COSAM News Articles 2021 04 Auburn University's Marine Biology Club

Auburn University's Marine Biology Club

Published: 04/13/2021

By: Carla Nelson

For Auburn University students that have an interest in the ocean and marine life, no matter your major, Marine Biology Club President Avery Von Eiff invites you to join the Marine Biology Club.

The club meets once per month during which a guest speaker, usually a professor, discusses current research or topics related to the ocean or marine biology. The club also hosts trips once per month that include visits to aquariums, kayaking, swimming with manatees, a visit to Jekyll Island and the sea turtle rehab center, and more.

“The most popular trip is when we go to Florida and snorkel with the manatees,” Von Eiff said. “That happens usually in early January and that is so much fun. That’s everyone’s favorite. Usually we go kayaking and we see manatees and alligators while we’re there.”

One important event the club hosts each year is a beach cleanup day.

“The club has been doing an annual beach cleanup for many years because it is so important to remove trash from the beaches where it could harm organisms that come onto the shores, as well as it could get back in the water and harm other marine life,” Von Eiff explained. “Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for food and birds eat plastics and get six-pack plastic rings stuck around their throats. These are just a few reasons why beach cleanups are so important.” 

Von Eiff, a junior studying marine biology, has been a member of the Marine Biology Club since her freshman year. She has been president for the last semester. She plans to pursue a career in research and has been interested in marine biology since she had the opportunity to feed Beluga whales in the sixth grade.

“I wanted to learn everything I could about the ocean and marine life and it never got old,” she shared. “I just can't imagine myself doing anything else.”

The Marine Biology Club, whose advisor is Biological Sciences Associate Professor and Marine Program Coordinator Anthony Moss, currently has around 50 members. Students interested should join on AU Involve.

“You get to hear a lot about research opportunities here at Auburn and how you can get involved with professors’ labs and what they are working on, and you also get an in with other marine biology students,” Von Eiff said. “Even if you’re not a marine biology student, you can learn about what is going on with the ocean right now and make other friends who are also interested in the same thing.”

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