Students offered chance to help protect ocean giants

The University of Plymouth is joining forces with the Ocean Giants Trust to create a series of exciting new opportunities for its marine students.

The partnership will award a series of scholarships through which students will be able to complement their studies with work for charities in locations such as Mexico, Mozambique, the Philippines and Tanzania.

Five scholarships will be available each year to students on the University’s marine biology and conservation undergraduate courses.

Those starting in September 2018 will be the first cohort eligible to apply, with the first scholarships being awarded in early 2019.

Martin Attrill, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University, said:

“This new partnership presents our students with a unique opportunity. The selected scholars will not only get to learn about marine biology and conservation from internationally renowned academics at the University, but will be able to actively engage as part of their studies by partnering with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) abroad and helping them develop local capabilities. 
“The Ocean Giants Trust has also provided a mechanism whereby the scholars will have direct experience of running a charity under the Trust’s umbrella. Many of our students go on to work with conservation charities and NGOs when they graduate, and this will provide them with the perfect experience that could inspire their future careers.”

The Ocean Giants Trust seeks to develop enduring conservation solutions from pioneering research, to nurture local conservation action and education, to champion international protection and to inspire a new generation of Ocean Guardians.

A key part of its ethos is to encourage sustainability and financial independence, so that they can take advantage of local knowledge and develop expertise where it is most needed.

Through the scholarships, students will get the chance to work with the partners:

  • The Marine Megafauna Foundation, recognised as a global leader in the field of research into the lives of whale sharks;
  • The Mexican Caribbean Manta Ray Project, a research, conservancy and education programme seeking improved protection of manta species and their habitat;
  • Sea Sense, a Tanzanian NGO that works with coastal communities to conserve and protect endangered marine species including whale sharks, dugongs, sea turtles and large marine mammals;
  • LAMAVE, an NGO that seeks to spread awareness in the Philippines of whale sharks, sea turtles and several species of cetaceans.

Andy Prebble, chairman of the trustees at the Ocean Giants Trust, said:

“The University of Plymouth has an outstanding reputation for marine research and education, and we are delighted to be working together to offer these opportunities. As well as supporting all our partners to achieve their goals, we believe educating the next generation of marine conservation professionals is a vital element of our work. This collaboration – which brings together Plymouth and leading international research and conservation organisations – achieves both as we look to find ways to conserve and protect our oceans, and the creatures within them, now and in the future.”

Careers in marine biology

Work opportunities for trained marine biologists exist worldwide within regulatory bodies, government agencies, conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, aquaculture, and fisheries management. Many graduates progress directly to a PhD.

MRes Marine Biology offers a range of relevant experiences that enable you to progress to careers within the public or private sector.

Marine Biology students looking at a range of different intertidal habitats scattered around the shore at Bigbury

Caribbean reef sharks in Bahamas


The Ocean Giants Trust

The trust seeks to develop enduring conservation solutions from pioneering research, to nurture local conservation action and education, to champion international protection and to inspire a new generation of Ocean Guardians.

Find out more about the Trust's work

Marine Institute

Representing 3000 staff, researchers and students, the University of Plymouth's Marine Institute is the first and largest such institute in the UK. 

We provide the external portal to our extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to understand the relationship between the way we live, the seas that surround us and the development of sustainable policy solutions.

Discover more about the Marine Institute

Marine Institute