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Are there any established fields in which neuroscience and marine biology mix?

I was previously a marine biology major prior to switching to neuroscience. marine-biology neuroscience

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Kathleen’s Answer

There is! There is an institution in Woods Hole, MA called the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL). Run by the university of Chicago but hosting scientists from around the world the MBL is the intersection of marine science and neurobiology. The institution uses marine organisms as model systems to study a variety of biological functions. For instance, species of squid which are basically one giant axon are used to test reaction time to stressors and many many more cutting edge research. They have internship programs and paying summer jobs, and it sounds like that would be a great fit for you.

Kathleen recommends the following next steps:

Explore careers at the MBL
Check out the research going on at the MBL
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Sherrie’s Answer

Hi Christopher,

In addition to the response from Kathleen, I also wanted to recommend some excellent programs that offer opportunities to pursue a career that combines marine biology and neuroscience. There are many marine organisms that are studied by marine scientists in an effort to understand how their neural systems work. This type of research can provide key insight into human biology and help to ultimately understand and solve complex physiological and neurological problems related to tissue and organ regeneration, sight restoration, and aging. The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has an excellent program (I-BRAIN) that you might want to check out. In addition, Texas A&M University has multiple opportunities both at the main campus in College Station, and at other campuses in Galveston and surrounding cities.

Best wishes,


Sherrie recommends the following next steps:

Check out HBOI (I-BRAIN) Program:
Check out TAMU Marine Biology Program:
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Ilana’s Answer

The answers above are fantastic, but I also thought it might be useful to mention that there are a huge number of laboratories in Neuroscience who use Zebra Fish as a model organism. These are generally much more Neuroscience focused, rather than marine biology, but still it may be of interest to you. The Zebra Fish model organism is especially fantastic to use when working with genetic tools such as CRISPR. One laboratory that particularly comes to mind for me is the David Lyons Lab in the University of Edinburgh.