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Breaking into a unique area of study?

  1. Mar 20, 2014 #1
    Long story short, I'm taking my Intro Biology class/lab right now. My current plan is grad school in a field of Biology, so obviously I've been keeping an eye out for a field that might interest me. We are currently studying Plants and Animals, and I've become hooked on Marine Invertebrates...... Sponges (Porifera) mainly. My professor jokingly said that some Biologists actually had the audacity to devote their research to sponges, and it caught my attention....

    I was later talking to him, and asked him how someone would go about grad school with the eventual hopes of researching sponges and other marine invertebrates. He said that you may have to attend a grad school where a Prof already has a lab dedicated to tha area (probably few Im assuming) and follow that professor around. Is this correct? How does one break into researching a very unique or small area like Porifera?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2014 #2


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    I'm not sure about the "follow him around" part, but the general idea is that you start with graduate work in a particular area.

    I suspect a lot of biological research doesn't so much start with wanting to learn about a certain class of animal, rather, it starts with a specific question that will add value to our understanding of nature. This could be something like how (if at all) a sea sponge navigates - which may be of particular interest if it tells you something about the larger ecosystem, or if it could lead to insight into another problem, such as designing a mop that targets specific microorganisms.

    Damn it - now you've got me interested in sea sponges.
  4. Mar 20, 2014 #3
    Hahahaha! Well from what I know, adult sea sponges don't move at all (but their larvae can). Interesting points as well, thank you!
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