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Honours project Ideas?

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New Member
Apr 24, 2003
Okay this is a dead quick question, but does anyone have any ideas what i could do for my honours project.

Im studiyng marine and freshwater biology, and my god i cant think of anything decent to dedicate a year of my life to.

Anything considered,


I'm asuming you are in college.

Are there any fish available that you could spear or otherwise collect while diving?? You can do age and growth, fecundity, general life history, spawning cycle etc etc etc. Some of this requires a 13 month sampling program but not all. One of the best days of my life was when I realized no one had done a life history masters thesis on hogfish.

Think about what critters are available to you in easily accessable waters.

I really don't know what's possibile and reasonable for honours project, but here's something that interests me and has some relation to freediving. And was brought up in these forums already, regarding pinguins, but can be related to many other air-breathing marine animals.

Do air-breathing marine animals (well, diving mamals and birds) get their diving adaptations from a training response or genetics (my guess is both, but to what extent?).

Checking hemoglobin, myoglobin (if possible to sample without killing) (and maybe other blood contents that might affect viscosity due to high hemoglobin) levels in marine animals in nature and captivity (where they can't dive deep).
Also graphing by age.
I don't know if that would fit such a project.
I'm not sure if such conclusions (yes / no / both / seals yes / pinguins not / unexpected results) would justify the project in the eyes of your professors, since they might not care much for freediving as us. :)

Maybe you could think of something better which combines both?

Good luck.
Tell us what you chose. I might have to do one of those stuff myself in the future. :)

I really like the idea of marine mammal and bird diving reflex and whether or not it is genetic or trained but, as i am in scotland it would excidingling difficult to study.

I am going to lookinto it thou i like it as an idea, you never know might be worth investigating more

The Cayman Islands have just been hit with a huge hurricane. There is no food, water, power and a great deal of damage. The reef system also took a battering. Spend a year looking at the reefs around Cayman and tell how they recover.
Some nice ideas.....but, of course, rather unrealistic.

The penquins study is a great idea, and even possible since they have penquins at edinburgh zoo. However, such an invasive study requires a home office license and the zoo wouldn't allow it.

As someone who has organised honour projects for students doing degrees - go for ANYTHING that produces lots of numbers in a very short space of time and that you can show off your analytical skills on. That's what counts, even if it is boring.

Hmm, but you do have seals in nature there, no? (and probably in the zoo).

Ben's advice sounds more realistic (and depressing).
I agree with Ben, I am in the last stages (has to be in on Friday!) of my MSc dissertatiion and it makes life so much simpler if you have a nice big data set to work from. Just try and find a topic your interested in!!!!!
Good luck with it.
I know this might not be what you are looking for, but maybe you could have 2 groups of people. Those who freedive and those who dont. Then you could compare their physiologies. You could look for thind like lung capacity, and hemoglobin levels, as well as other stuff. There are alot of ppl in the UK that dive, and Im sure they would be willing to sign up.
Here is your project, pick "reef" a fish or two that are native to your part of the ocean, than study its population around its native local and around the WWI & II wrecks in the area, also check for toxins that were common at that time in those wrecks and see how far off the contamination goes. Also study the "eaters" of those fish and see who they are doing. Lots of diving, lots of numbers, lots of fish to spear. Can't go wrong.
Originally posted by Alimar7
Okay this is a dead quick question, but does anyone have any ideas what i could do for my honours project.

Why don't you study the underwater highways followed by cetaceans, pelagics and cheloniidae?

Im studiyng marine and freshwater biology, and my god i cant think of anything decent to dedicate a year of my life to.

Anything considered,

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