S.E.A. Aquarium has awarded scholarships to two students reading Diploma in Marine Science and Aquaculture (DMAC) at Republic Polytechnic. The first recipient is Iliya Izzudin who is currently on a six-month internship at the Aquarium. He shares his story.
What sparked your interest in marine life?
When I was in the Young Scientist Club in primary school, I participated in an overnight programme at Underwater World. The experience left me in awe of marine life. And my parents used to take me snorkeling when I was younger. That deepened my love and appreciation for the ocean. So when DMAC came about, I went for it.
You are almost two months into your internship. How has it been so far?
It was a little overwhelming at first as there was so much to learn. In school, it was more theory. Here in the lab, it’s all hands-on. The fun part is that I get to work with animals.
Tell us some of the things you do in the lab.
I have learnt how to test water samples from the different habitats in the Aquarium to see if the pH values and other parameters are within optimal levels. Also, I check skin scrapes, gill clips and even fecal samples for pathogens and parasites.
Any memorable experiences so far?
I once helped our vet collect stingray skin scrapes to check for pathogens. I was in the water with him to observe the procedure and record the details. After that, we jumped into the Adventure River in Adventure Cove Waterpark to check on the fish in the surround tunnel tank. It was very hands-on and I learnt a lot.
Which team will you be attached to next?
I will be with the curatorial team for three months where I will be an ‘apprentice aquarist’. I am a certified diver so I look forward to dive feeding the fishes and learning more about fish behaviour.
Any plans to further your studies?
I may take a degree in marine biology in Australia.
Grace Loo, lecturer from School of Applied Science at Republic Polytechnic, on the S.E.A. Aquarium Scholarship:
“Our partnership with S.E.A. Aquarium started even before the inception of DMAC at Republic Polytechnic. DMAC is the only full time course of its kind in Singapore. With this scholarship, we hope to encourage more Singaporeans to learn and to be involved in the fields of marine science and conservation, as well as to contribute to developing a sustainable aquaculture industry in Singapore.”
Click here for more information on S.E.A. Aquarium’s education partnerships such as work attachment, internship, mentorship and book prize.