Greta Reintjes: becoming a marine biologist

Dr Greta Reintjes graduated in BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology in 2011 and currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany.

This is Greta's story

Studying at Plymouth

"I grew up beside the sea and have always been fascinated by the oceans. I chose my course because I wanted to find out everything there is to know about the world's oceans. 

"Studying at Plymouth gave me a great introduction to the life of a scientist. I gained a lot of knowledge but also got a lot of practical experiences such as lab work, scientific writing, presentation skills and critical thinking. This gave me a great start to my career.

"The University offered me great support services which aided my professional and personal development tremendously. For example, the amazing library and interactive teaching labs (LABplus) which give you the ability to gain hands-on experience and discover things in a unique and extraordinary way.

"My favourite experiences from my time at Plymouth are from the hands-on practical courses. They were always super fun and exciting and let us do the research ourselves. 

"I learn the most from actually doing things, instead of just reading about them.

"I would recommend a course at the University of Plymouth because it enables you to develop both professionally and personally and prepares you well for your future. Studying at Plymouth didn't change my career aspirations but enabled me to become what I wanted to be: a marine biologist."

Living and researching at sea

"When I finished my bachelor degree, I decided that I needed a job and spontaneously applied to a job posting for a resort marine biologist. I got it and moved to a beautiful island resort and taught the guests about the corals and the fish. However, I soon discovered that the work was very repetitive and there was much about the oceans that I still didn't fully understand. Therefore, I decided to continue my studies to get a master’s degree in marine microbiology.

"I have tried to seize every opportunity which has come my way and believe that in doing so have had the chance to experience many amazing things.

"I have had the opportunity to take part in two two-month research cruises which crossed the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Living and researching at sea is amazing.

"The best motto is 'you don't know until you have tried it.' It can be applied to everything."

Study marine and coastal ecosystems in a global context

In this hands-on degree, one of the best in the UK and with an international reputation, you’ll tackle big questions, such as why are coral reefs so diverse, how do we best manage and conserve marine life, and how will climate change impact biodiversity? Fieldwork will be a key component of your studies, using the excellent marine and coastal habitats on Plymouth’s doorstep, as well as on residential courses in France and South Africa.

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology