Basically, botanists are biologists who work with plants. Marine botanists
work with plants that live in water.
Marine botanists in Canada and the U.S. work in academic institutions,
government, industry or aquariums. They can also be the owners of their own
According to marine botanist Louis Druehl, people in the field work with
saltwater plants, although one subsection studies freshwater algae.
Druehl says marine botanists employed as academics conduct research into
algae, kelp and other underwater plants. They also deliver lectures to students
and perform administrative tasks for the department. Marine botanists employed
in industry or government conduct research, lead educational activities and
Self-employed marine botanists may produce and market a product or provide
"Marine biology is a broad field, and there are many types of jobs that
would fit into the category -- anything from technical support staff to research
associates to professors to teachers," says Cynthia A. Moncreiff, a marine
Trends occurring in marine botany include an emphasis on the many uses
of seaweed (kelp) in industry, in pharmaceuticals and as food for sea urchins
and abalone. "We are researching the use of seaweed in the manufacturing of
unique chemicals, [for example] kelp plastics and various pharmaceutical compounds,"
"Potentially, there are many uses for kelp products and kelp compounds
-- such as in industrial chemicals, toothpaste, yogurts and salad dressings.
What's more, research is beginning to show that kelp compounds have many uses
in the pharmaceutical industry."