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A student’s experience in the marine biology (SBM) masters program in Brest.

Aerial view IUEM

Eliot Boulaire, Clara Hequette-Ruz, Salomé Kermones, Tristan Halna du Fretay, Jonas Bousquet

Our group of student’s started the Master’s program in Marine Biology in September 2022 with a multitude of different courses dealing with the different aspects of marine biology. Parallel to that we also had the basics of oceanographic physics and marine chemistry. In the biological subjects we took a look at different levels, be it marine animals, plants or more generally about how entire ecosystems behave. 

Four of us decided to tell you about our personal experience in each a course we found interesting.

The different courses

Physical oceanography

Tristan Halna du Fretay (21 years old)

Ocean currents map

“ One of the subjects that I found really interesting was Physical oceanography. Physical oceanography is the study of the ocean and all the physical processes that govern it. The idea of this course was to learn how oceanic currents, upwelling, downwelling, gyre and other processes work, and how they are related. For me it is fundamental to understand these phenomena as I want to work on ecosystems. The approach is very theoretical, sprinkled with more practical exercises. I really enjoyed the format because it allowed me to find mathematics and physics, which I really missed during my undergraduate. I think this class fits logically in our curriculum, as understanding the ocean is essential to understand the life within it. ”

Marine Communities and Ecosytems (MCE)

Picture of Isle of Landes

“ Concerning a more biological aspect on the scale of the entire ecosystem we had a marine ecosystem and communities course. In the Marine communities and ecosystems course we had the chance to discover ecological functions and structure of marine ecosystems, by being introduced to oceanic and coastal biocenosis and environmental characteristics in temperate and tropical zones. We had a lot of different teachers, which gave a dynamic atmosphere to this course, and allowed us to learn about a lot of different exciting topics such as the abyss and coral reefs. Everyone enjoyed the fact that we had no final exam, instead we had to prepare a literature review about a specific topic, where we had to read a lot of articles, and I really enjoyed learning new information this way! ”

Clara Hequette-Ruz (22 years old)

Population biology

Eliot Boulaire (21 years old)

Pictures of pinson’s of Darwin

“ On a smaller scale than entire ecosystems, we had a course about population biology, this course was separated into two major topics. In the first half, we learned about population genetics which can be annoying at first but with the model of inverse classes (students present the course) which allowed us to understand in depth at least one part of the course and to understand where we lack the knowledge. In the second half, we learned more in detail about the population dynamics by courses first, which can be hard to digest, but we quickly practiced a lot allowing us to understand and enjoy the course with real world examples and cool assignments. ”


Picture of a clownfish ventilating his eggs

“ And to finish things off we took a look on the individual level and had an ecophysiology course, where we discovered the major physiological functions of life. In our class, we learned about the different forms of reproduction found in the major phyla of the animal kingdom by doing reverse lessons. All this while using marine examples! It was so much fun. We also did some practical work in the lab.  In addition to that, the different courses on animal and plant physiology were very complementary and interesting. However, some of the courses contained a lot of repetitions from last year… But they were not all reminders, so in the end they were useful! ”

Salomé Keromnes (22 years old)

Our group of student’s

Tristan Halna du Fretay (21 years old)

Clara Hequette-Ruz (22 years old)

Eliot Boulaire (21 years old)

Jonas Bousquet (23 years old)

Slalom Keromnes (22 years old)

University and Institute