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The University of Southampton
Discover Oceanography


Marine Biologist

Name: Moira

Age: 25

When did you start at the university? 2009, I came to Southampton from Scotland to do my Master's in Oceanography.

Best thing about your job? Being on the boat and going new places, meeting new people and exploring the South coast

Worst thing about your job? Sometimes the weather can be against you on the back deck, It gets very cold at times, especially if it’s a little windy.

Favourite nautical term? Let’s get clagged up! This means to tie the boat up for the night.

Favourite scientific instrument? The Secchi Disk, fantastic piece of kit which hasn’t changed very much for hundreds of years.

What would you say is your area of expertise? Limpets! I used to work with deep-sea creatures and I have now moved to intertidal rocky shores, in the past I used to look at video footage from the deep-sea but now I can go and look at the species I work on with my own eyes.

How did you get involved in Marine Science? I always wanted to be a Marine Biologist from when I was very young, I grew up on a small Scottish Island surrounded by water and the only daughter of a fisherman, so it was inevitable really.

Why do you think Discover Oceanography is a good thing? Discover Oceanography is awesome, as it manages to introduce so many aspects of Oceanography to all ages, in 3 hours!

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work in marine science? Don’t give up, the courses and jobs are highly competitive in marine science, mainly because the jobs are highly skilled and great fun. So don’t give up trying to get into this field, its well worth all the hard work in the end.

What’s your best Discover Oceanography memory? When Callista was at the Boat show there was a little girl about 6 years old, who was very excited to hold a spider crab, who then held a sponge. She asked me if it was alive, to which I said yes it is. She got very frightened that it would bite her. So she threw the sponge into the tank so hard that, I got soaked by the splash. She wouldn’t believe me when I told her that a sponge doesn’t have any teeth.

What’s your favourite Knot? A Monkey’s Fist

What’s your favourite marine creature? Cuttlefish, I like the way they change colour and when they squirt ink. Sometimes we get eggs on the boat during the Discover Oceanography Sessions. They are really fascinating when you look at them under the microscope. Slipper limpets are my ultimate favourite, and luckily we are almost guaranteed to get some on every trip.

Marine Biologist
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