What Is Marine Biotechnology?

Marine biotechnology studies the marine resources of the world. It covers many sub-fields and there are many opportunities for those pursuing a career in marine biotechnology. This article discusses marine biotechnology and the many disciplines of the industry. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

Marine biotechnology is the process that involves the marine resources of the world that are studied in biotechnology applications. Its applications are utilized in numerous tasks, such as deriving new cancer treatments from marine organisms to localized seaweed farming. As new pharmaceutical companies focus on developing new drugs from marine resources, professionals are needed that are trained in the disciplines of marine biology, microbiology, chemistry, genomics, bioinformatics, and related fields. Marine biotechnology focuses not only on little known forms of deep ocean life but also on the growing use of marine life in the food, cosmetic, and agricultural industries, such as aquaculture.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degrees Associate of Applied Science in Marine Biotechnology; Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology; Master of Science in Marine Science or Biotechnology; PhD in Marine Science and Technology
Median Salary (2015) $51,615 (for marine biologists)
Common Courses Marine organisms, molecular biology, bioengineering
Online Availability Biotechnology master's program fully online and hybrid marine biology programs available

Employment Opportunities

Many biological scientists are involved in marine biotechnology today. These scientists work on various genome projects by isolating genes and determine their function. There are many topics the student can study within the field, as well as a variety of specializations to choose from. A marine biotechnologist may focus on one particular species, organism, organism behavior, or ecosystem. One area of focus is in the biomedical field. Many new drugs are produced from marine organisms. A marine biotechnologist may work in the defense industry, developing nontoxic coatings that prevent the buildup of organisms that negatively affect ships and intake pipes that are used in power plants.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, employment of biological scientists in general is expected to grow just over seven percent over the 2012-2022 decade. Growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

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