A degree at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) took Amber Tiller underwater, to China and straight into the workforce.

Amber Tiller always had a passion for the ocean. At Ithe University of Tasmania, she was able to turn that passion into an exciting career.  

“I wanted to find a biology course that was hands-on and wasn’t a standard Bachelor of Science,” she says.

For her major, Amber chose to study aquaculture. Not only did this teach her about the industry, she also learned all about the health, behaviour and nutrition of marine organisms.  

Off-campus excursions and week-long trips are common at IMAS. For Amber, they allowed her to see theoretical classroom knowledge placed in a practical setting.

Coming to campus knowing you would get to hold a shark, stingray or starfish, extract bacterial DNA from specimen, build a functioning aquaculture system or even make marshmallow creatures (yes, that did happen) made every week a new and intriguing experience.

Aside from these hands-on experiences, Amber was also able to access the University’s overseas study programs.

“The cherry on top of the cake for my time at IMAS was when I was granted a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to study marine and Antarctic governance in Qingdao, China.”

Amber and eight other IMAS students were given the opportunity to study and live at the Ocean University of China for 12 days – all expenses paid.

Amber has some advice for those feeling a little unsure about their next move.

The best advice I can give to new and current students is to put themselves out there. Apply for scholarships and trips, even if you don’t think you will get them in many cases you will surprise yourself.

One of the greatest benefits of studying at the University of Tasmania are the unrivalled industry connections. This allowed Amber to experience work placement as part of her degree, and even led to her landing a job straight after graduation.

“When I completed my degree in December of last year, I was fortunate enough to be offered employment locally at 41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm – an opportunity that came from work placement at IMAS.”

Amber feels very fortunate to have found this opportunity straight after graduation.

“I cannot recommend IMAS enough for any student looking to enter a career focusing on the Marine and Antarctic environments and industries.” 

Find out more about studying Marine and Antarctic Science here.