02 May 2024
by Niru Dorrian, Lorenzo Scala

Navigating Marine Mammal Careers – for students, early professionals and employers

Niru Dorrian and Lorenzo Scala of the IMarEST Marine Mammals SIG explain the Marine Mammal Careers Matrix developed by the SIG as a comprehensive compass, unveiling the multifaceted landscape of roles within the marine mammal sector. Tailored for students contemplating their future careers, early career professionals, and employers seeking specialised talent, the matrix offers an intricate guide to the diverse roles available across sectors.

A key aspect of the career matrix is the featured roles offering guidance and direction for students and individuals to contemplate and distinguish clear pathways available within industry, consultancy, and academia. Featured roles include industry-focused protected species and mitigation and monitoring disciplines within the offshore energy and renewables sectors. The matrix also untangles the academic pathway to research careers and guides aspiring adventurists with options for expedition scientists, eco-tourism, and marine veterinarians. The comprehensive overview maps out the required skills for these roles and offers students practical guidance to prepare for dynamic careers that blend environmental stewardship with industrial demands. 

For many students, committing to early career decisions can be daunting, resulting in stalled skill development. The matrix aims to provide the tools to facilitate the process of migrating from student life into the niche world of the mariner mammal career space by offering clear advice on the critical skill requirements to embark on the myriad of pathways available. 

However, the matrix isn't just a guide for aspiring professionals; it's also an important strategic asset for employers navigating the specialised terrain of marine mammal roles. With its detailed breakdown of skills required for each role, the matrix equips employers with insights to make informed recruitment decisions.   

For employers in industries where marine mammal expertise is paramount, such as offshore energy and construction, the matrix offers a nuanced understanding of the skills needed for various roles. This insight ensures that recruitment efforts align with the specific requirements of projects, fostering effective collaboration between industry and marine mammal conservation. 

The matrix facilitates collaboration between industry and marine mammal experts by providing employers with a clear understanding of the differences between specialist roles. This collaborative spirit ensures that projects meet environmental standards and contribute to the sustainable growth of industries reliant on marine resources. 

As we navigate the dynamic waters of marine mammal science and conservation, the matrix stands as a beacon, illuminating the way towards a future where the harmony between industry and marine life is achievable and sustainable.   

View the Marine Mammals SIG Career Matrix here.