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Opportunities after Master's in Marine Biology or Ecology/Evolution?


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Hi everyone!

This is my first time looking for help here, so thank you in advance! I hope applications are going well for everyone who is busy with them at the moment

My question is this: how important is a marine-specific degree when applying to marine focused PhD programs/jobs?
And related: how common/difficult is it to switch from a marine-specific master's program to a terrestrial-focused PhD program/job?

I am currently in the final year of an undergraduate program in ecology and nature conservation (EU university), and I am applying to master's degrees. I have been focusing more on evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology in the past year. I would love to research adaptability and vulnerability of species to environmental change, but I am not sure what the right path is. Marine biology has slowly become somewhat of a fascination, but it is not the only thing that interests me and I am not entirely sure the fascination will last.

Any advice would be very much appreciated!


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I think that within EEB there's some flexibility. Some researchers want to study every aspect of a single taxonomic group from ecology to behavior to evolution etc.. (Ex: someone who studies ecology/evolution in frogs). Other people specialize more in processes. Instead of focusing on a single taxa, they use many different species to study an ecological or evolutionary theory (Ex: someone who studies communication strategies in varied taxa such as birds, frogs, whales, bats etc.) For example, if you are interested in "vulnerability of species to environmental change" you may decide to work on marine ecosystems and species for your masters, the tools you learn and use to analyze data will likely be applicable to other groups of organisms, but the collection strategies will differ. 

So I guess the short answer is, I think you can make it work however you decide to go, just be sure to work on something that you're interested in!

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A good number of people in marine biology come zoology, biology, ecology, a few from statistics, and others here and there.  

One of my professors during undergrad has his Ph.D. in ecology, is all about animal behavior and studies deer and migratory birds.  He also studies jellyfish and considers himself to be a marine biologist.  

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