Water covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface and is a crucial component for human life. Thus, there are increasing concerns about the sustainability, pollution and future of this valuable natural resource, and a pressing need for scientists who are trained to address these concerns.
The field of aquatic sciences is one which enhances the scientific understanding of the aquatic ecosystem using multi-disciplinary studies. The primary focus is to foster and sustain healthy aquatic environments, which allows us to maintain and manage its unlimited valuable resource besides developing solutions to a broad range of environmental issues.
Key areas of research will focus on ecosystem-based management, natural resources management, sustainable aquaculture as well as modern development’s impact on the natural ecosystems.
A combination of a solid foundation in basic sciences such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and statistics with an intensive training in organismal biology, ecology and evolution is a must for undergraduate students in aquatic sciences.
The bachelor programme has two specialisation options in Year 3, Aquatic Health and Management or Seafood Processing and Safety which will be used as the students’ research focus for their honours projects. Emphasis on theory, laboratory and fieldwork will ensure students are prepared for the demands of the working world.
This programme also plays an important role in nation building as it aims to support the government in conserving aquatic resources and providing training for industry personnel in the areas of research, development, management, production and conservation.
- Researchers – Often called marine biologists, aquatic biologists or aquatic ecologists, researchers study the creatures found in aquatic environments. They usually spend their time teaching, gathering data, and conducting experiments.
- Biotechnologists – Use marine organisms to develop human medicines and other health aids.
- Environmental Planners – These professionals work with governments, as well as builders and other private companies to ensure that development does not encroach on fragile aquatic and wetland environments.
- Aquarists – They maintain exhibits at large public aquariums, while also teaching their colleagues and other interested people about aquariums and aquatic exhibits.
- Veterinarians – They help doctors take care of animals, and some of them specialise in the care of fish and other aquatic animals.
- Fish and Game Warden – They monitor wilderness areas, manage native species, and ensure that hunters and fishermen comply with state and federal laws (as well as any additional local regulations).
- Aquaculture Farmer – They raise fish and shellfish for a variety of uses such as food, bait, or breeding stock. Basic animal care, water quality maintenance, and personnel management duties may be a part of an aquaculture farmer’s responsibilities (both technician and management positions are available in the aquaculture industry).
- Food Scientists/Quality Control Inspectors – ensure that products (seafood) meet standards of quality and safety.