Hi! From NY/FL

abbaker21

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Hello, my name is Xandra, and I live in NY/FL. I absolutely love octopuses, don't we all? I am thinking of getting a MS in Marine Biology and then specializing in teuthology. I have a BA, with absolutely NONE of the prereqs required, so I'd need to actually get a second Bachelor's in order to do this, sigh.

My question is, and I'll likely pose this on another part of the site, what are some of the actual jobs you can get if you want to study the behavior and lives of octopuses? Last time I got a degree, I was not prepared with this knowledge, and I want to be as prepared as possible, even though I have the passion this time.
Thank you all in advance!
 


pkilian

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Hello! Welcome to TONMO :octorun:

I do research on octopus behavior for my job so hopefully I will be able to help. Realistically, there are not a lot of opportunities to study octopus and their behavior. Your best bet would be to try and get your masters degree at an institution that already has a lab set up for studying Octopus, and make a connection with the PI who runs said lab to plan a rotation into their lab as you work on your degree.

Do you have any ideas about what labs you might be interested in working in already? How up-to-date are you on current papers that have been released in areas of octopus research you are interested in? Contacting those PI's who have been recently published, or doing research on their lab and institution would be the best way to see what opportunities might be available.

Alternatively, if you are more interested in husbandry rather than research, you could check out any aquariums near you that have a cephalopod program. You could also reach out to octopus farms or vendors to see if they are hiring divers or animal technicians. Another thing you could do to find potential leads would be to read through the acknowledgements on various octopus papers and see where the authors of the papers sourced their animals from, and contact those places to see if they are hiring.
 

abbaker21

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Hello, and thank you for replying so quickly! It's sad to say, but I actually have no idea how to find these things out. I was planning on getting my MS in Marine Biology at the University of South Florida, if not for their proximity to the ocean, then for the fact that I can get in-state tuition there. Funds are unfortunately a dire issue for me, especially since the pandemic.

I guess I shouldn't assume that just because they are close and convenient it will be all hunky dory.

I will definitely start seeing what I can find out about labs, although there was one in Galveston, TX, that peaked my interest. It was a standalone lab, not part of a university, so I can't get my MS there. But it's definitely a starting point.

If you have any pointers on how to find research papers (without being associated with a university), I would definitely be happy to hear them. Again, thank you for your insights.
 

Nancy

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Hi, and welcome to the site!

Unfortunately, the lab in Galveston, the NRCC (National Resource Center for Cephalopods), was shut down a few years ago because of lack of funding.

It was an interesting place. You’ll find an article I wrote about a visit to the NRCC under Articles here on TONMO.

Nancy
 


pkilian

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A good starting point for finding papers would be to use google scholar and search anything published after about 2015 or so. I think you can changed the settings on google scholar to only give results that were published after a certain year, so you can view the most recent (and hopefully still active) groups who are doing research on cephalopods.

You might have more opportunities if you look for a lab doing research on any kind of cephalopod, rather than specifically octopus. There is a lot of genetics research being done on a few squid species right now, and one of the longfin squid species (Doryteuthis) has been studied for many years by many labs around the world.

If google scholar is not giving you the results you are looking for, your local library (if you have access to it) might have subscriptions to scientific journals or be able to pull specific papers for you by request. It's worth sending them an email to see if they can help.

Finally, if University of South Florida is the best option for you, I would email some professors there and ask about the research they do. A cursory google search led me to their "aquarium lab" page. I would do some research and email Chris Stallings (the lab manager) and/or some of the PI's who use the shared space there (their contact information is on the site I linked). It seems like the aquarium lab is a shared lab space that is set up for a wide variety of marine organisms, and can be adapted to fit the purpose of the researchers. You could ask some of these people if they have ever had any cephs or would be able to house cephs. Make sure to do some research on what type of animals the PI's typically do research on and see if cephs would be a good fit for their lab. Most PI's get a lot of emails each day so it would be helpful for them if you had a few specific questions to ask, and had done some preliminary research on their lab and the research they do, to see if cephalopods would even be a possibility.

Finding research positions is hard, especially with an animal as tough to care for as a cephalopod. The best thing you can do is keep emailing people and asking around and doing research to the best of your ability and to try and make it happen. Good luck!
 

abbaker21

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A good starting point for finding papers would be to use google scholar and search anything published after about 2015 or so. I think you can changed the settings on google scholar to only give results that were published after a certain year, so you can view the most recent (and hopefully still active) groups who are doing research on cephalopods.

You might have more opportunities if you look for a lab doing research on any kind of cephalopod, rather than specifically octopus. There is a lot of genetics research being done on a few squid species right now, and one of the longfin squid species (Doryteuthis) has been studied for many years by many labs around the world.

If google scholar is not giving you the results you are looking for, your local library (if you have access to it) might have subscriptions to scientific journals or be able to pull specific papers for you by request. It's worth sending them an email to see if they can help.

Finally, if University of South Florida is the best option for you, I would email some professors there and ask about the research they do. A cursory google search led me to their "aquarium lab" page. I would do some research and email Chris Stallings (the lab manager) and/or some of the PI's who use the shared space there (their contact information is on the site I linked). It seems like the aquarium lab is a shared lab space that is set up for a wide variety of marine organisms, and can be adapted to fit the purpose of the researchers. You could ask some of these people if they have ever had any cephs or would be able to house cephs. Make sure to do some research on what type of animals the PI's typically do research on and see if cephs would be a good fit for their lab. Most PI's get a lot of emails each day so it would be helpful for them if you had a few specific questions to ask, and had done some preliminary research on their lab and the research they do, to see if cephalopods would even be a possibility.

Finding research positions is hard, especially with an animal as tough to care for as a cephalopod. The best thing you can do is keep emailing people and asking around and doing research to the best of your ability and to try and make it happen. Good luck!
Thank you all for your replies, I'm honestly so glad for your help and support. I will definitely be looking up those papers on Google scholar today and in the future.

I will do some research into ceph care and see what I can do.
 

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