University student shares placement experience at the Marine Biological Association

Mariko is an undergraduate marine biology student at the University of Plymouth and is passionate about anything to do with the ocean and marine life.

Mariko, who completed a seven-month placement at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) as an Ecology Assistant in the Research Aquarium shares her experiences working in this unique research environment.

University of Plymouth student Mariko completed a Student Placement as an Ecology Assistant at the MBA

What did you do during your placement?

My role as an Ecology Assistant involved husbandry and welfare of the animals in the Research Aquarium including moon jellyfish and cuttlefish, as well as more general aquarium work like building and setting up tank systems for new projects.

I was also able to assist the Mieszkowska research group by identifying species of and counting barnacles in photos from across the UK and processing Sargassum (an invasive species to the UK) samples.

Being a general ecology assistant, I also helped multiple groups with shore-based fieldwork from seaweeds and kelp to pollutant investigations to species collection. 

University of Plymouth student Mariko completed a Student Placement as an Ecology Assistant at the MBA. With Cat Wilding working on Green Gravel Project.

Why did you choose the MBA for your placement?

I chose the MBA as it has such great facilities and multiple different research groups that I could learn from to get a wide variety of experience.

The MBA has so much history in marine biology, and to be able play even a small role within that and learn so much is something I will always be grateful for.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone I met at the MBA, I learnt so much from everyone and you all made it a really enjoyable time!

What are the next steps in your career?

I am now interning at a marine research center in Japan before going back to Plymouth to complete my degree, but after that I am keeping my career choices within marine biology open for now.

For more information about Student Placements at the Marine Biological Association, please visit our Student Opportunities webpage.