In the Biological Oceanography program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), biological oceanography is also a study in extremes...
- In size, from the tiny microbes in the water column to the 30-meter blue whale
- In depth, from blooms of cyanobacteria covering thousands of square kilometers of the ocean's surface, to hydrothermal vent colonies emerging eerily from the mile-deep dark
- In locale, from the lab next door to the deck of a research vessel bucking ice flows in the Arctic
Studying organisms that occupy extreme habitats, such as the deep sea or polar regions, presents major challenges for accessibility and sampling. Meeting these challenges has had exciting results. The discovery of biological communities near hydrothermal vents, for example, led to new perceptions about the evolution of life, the discovery of unusual symbioses, and new insights on adaptation in the deep sea.
Lab to ocean
Another set of challenges lies in comparing data from lab experiments and observations on individual organisms with the patterns we see during field studies and ocean cruises. Laboratory work, such as isolating cyanobacteria in pure culture or sequencing genomes, underlies our interpretation of how populations respond in nature.
Different faces of biological oceanography
Biological oceanographers study:
- Chemical and physical factors influencing distribution patterns
- Physiological, behavioral, and biochemical adaptations to environmental variables, including natural variations in food, temperature, pressure, light, and the chemical environment
- Food chain dynamics
- Nutrient cycling and initial steps of chemical energy fixation
- Responses to the results of man's activities in the oceans
In this broad range of work, you can see the many faces of biological oceanography. Answering research questions may require studies in microbiology, planktonology, ichthyology, benthic biology, taxonomy, ecology, biogeochemistry, cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, animal behavior, bioacoustics, and applied mathematics.
Programme StructureCourses include:
- Mathematical Ecology
- Biological Oceanography
- Research in Biological Oceanography
- Method and Logic in Molecular Biology
- Principles of Biochemical Analysis
- Genetics for Graduate Students
- 24 months
Start dates & application deadlines
- Apply before
DisciplinesEarth Sciences Marine Studies Biochemistry View 19 other PhDs in Marine Studies in United States
We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.
- In the application, you will be asked to supply the names and email addresses of three people to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf
- You will be required to describe the grading system(s) used at all colleges and universities you have attended. Explain the specific meaning of any numeric values, letter grades, and rankings
- English Language Proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
- Statement of Objectives
International26725 USD/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 26725 USD per year during 24 months.
National26725 USD/yearTuition FeeBased on the tuition of 26725 USD per year during 24 months.
Living costs for Cambridge
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Apply and win up to €10000 to cover your tuition fees.