Jinchen Guo

Martin and Sea Cucumber

Name:  Jinchen Guo (also go by Martin)

Lab webpage: forthcoming

Hometown:  Dalian, China

Undergrad: B.S. in Marine Biology at Hawaii Pacific University in 2013

Work experience before MLML: Volunteered in the Genetics Lab at Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology on the Coconut Island, Oahu; worked in the Carbonate Chemistry Lab at Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, Oahu; worked as a student assistant at the Reference Unit of Meader Library in Hawaii Pacific University.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue marine science?

Life began in the ocean, and it is still supporting plenty of resources to human beings. Ocean is very close to approximately 80% of the world’s population, yet less than 1% of the entire blue world has been completely studied and understood. We will have a better understanding of the ocean and receiving more economic and environmental benefits from it by understanding the geological, physical, and chemical properties of the ocean as well as deciphering patterns and secrets of various marine life.

Q: What experiences and opportunities have shaped your path to get you where you are now?

My working experience as a senior ecological intern at Heeia Fishpond as well as a volunteer in the Genetics Lab and as a student assistant in the Carbonate Chemistry Lab has provided me great opportunities to get exposed to different aspects of marine science. They have also offered me a message that much more interesting and useful information and knowledge can be discovered when doing researches in a specific direction of marine science as I go to graduate school. It is not the master or doctor title that I obtain but the knowledge and skills that I gain from this academic field that would benefit me for the rest of my life!

Q: What are you studying and why is it interesting and important to you?

Currently, I do not have a solid research thesis, but I am thinking about discovering and comparing the distribution, dispersal patterns, and growth rate of the California red sea cucumber, Parastichopus californicus, along the coast of California by using phylogenetic and analytical chemistry applications. It is a native species in California and have a great potential value for aquaculture. Understanding its distribution and growth patterns would increase the wild stock of such an economically important species.

Q: What are you hoping or planning to do when you finish?

Hopefully I can be a laboratory researcher, a college marine biology teacher, or an aquaculture researcher after I finish my thesis at MLML.

Q: What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of graduate school?

The most rewarding thing for me is receiving this great opportunity to study at MLML and do some research on marine invertebrates. Currently, I am struggling with knowing everybody in the labs and coming up with a solid thesis idea that can keep me busy for my entire life at MLML.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get in to marine science?

People who want to dedicate themselves to marine science should definitely love it and be patient when doing researches. They do not have to be smart, but they need to study and work hard in order to keep up with the progress of their interested fields. What is important about learning marine science is not specific projects we are researching, nor the results of those projects, but the thoughts, ideas, methods, skills, and solutions we are experiencing from those projects.

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