Journal article Open Access

'Generation Nemo': motivations, satisfaction and career goals of marine biology students

Lucrezi, Serena; Milanese, Martina; Danovaro, Roberto; Cerrano, Carlo


Marine biology is an increasingly preferred study major and career among youth. This is particularly the case of countries with extensive coastlines, such as Italy. In order to understand what exactly is fuelling this trend, and whether it culminates in the successful absorption of marine biologists as valued workforce by society, this study investigated the motivations, satisfaction and career goals of marine biology undergraduate students in Italy. Although it was expected that scientific literacy in formal education plays an important role in motivating marine biology students, the results showed that intrinsic motivations and informal education play a more crucial role. The students consider realistic career options, although these imply having to leave the country. The results of this study were used to make recommendations on the importance of marine and ocean literacy in the formal educational system in Italy, and the general improvement of scientific literacy in formal school education. Recommendations were also made on the potential improvements that can be made by higher education institutions, to better equip marine biologists with the skills required by emerging sectors in society. Finally, considerations were made regarding the dimensioning of supply, offer and marketing of employment opportunities for marine biologists in Italy

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Biological Education on 17 October 2017, available online: An embargo period of 18 months applies to this Journal. This paper has received funding from the European Union (EU)'s H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 643712 to the project Green Bubbles RISE for sustainable diving (Green Bubbles). This paper reflects only the authors' view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license hEp:// licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Files (300.0 kB)
Name Size
300.0 kB Download
Views 88
Downloads 192
Data volume 57.6 MB
Unique views 78
Unique downloads 184


Cite as