Student Perspective | John Yanez Dobson | Marine Science

I am happy to be part of this journey and leave my mark in this University.
24th March 2021
John, one of our students from Spain, is working towards his Master in Marine Science & Climate Change degree. He has explained to us that, despite the many similarities between his studies in the UK and Gibraltar, there are some notable differences.

Background story

I am from Spain, but I did my undergraduate in the UK, in Southampton, one of the most prestigious universities for Marine Biology. I continued to do my masters there and focused on zooplankton, jellyfish in particular. The topic was so fascinating to me that afterwards I started a PhD at the University of Alicante in Spain to focus my research on jellyfish. And meanwhile doing that PhD I wanted another masters in a different area of Marine Biology, to be more multifunctional. And Climate Change affects everything, which makes it a good masters to have.
Currently the University of Gibraltar is not well known in the marine world, but it has the potential in becoming a very important University in the future, with the location it has to offer and when other Universities start having interests here. I am happy to be part of this journey and leave my mark in this University.

What were your first impressions when coming to Gibraltar?

Being from Spain but having lived in the UK for 5 years, it was very easy for me to cross the border. And then Gibraltar feels more like my home than the UK, the people are very nice and involving here. But culturally it still has a lot of UK resemblance with the pubs and that kind of culture. The University of Gibraltar offers me a masters with the UK credit system and the same level, but it also has the great weather and great food that I missed when I was studying in the UK. My first impression was that Gibraltar is quite small at first, I thought there is only one street here. But actually, it is a lot bigger than I thought and there a lot of things to do and explore.

What are some of your favourite things to do here?

I like being able to go to the beach and seeing the sunset every day, because you are right next to it. And exploring some of the old WW tunnels in areas that tourists don’t really get to see became one of my favourite things. Because the University is so new, there is not a lot set up yet to bring people together, especially in areas of sport. But if you are the person to take things into your hands and I think if you really want to set something up here, they will help you to do it. They are open to suggestions to change anything and they will always ask for feedback. If we could build a bridge between Gibraltarian residents and the university more, to mix sports clubs and so on, it will be a really good experience for everyone.
Because the class sizes are small as well, you might not find the people you normally hangout with. But it is easy to connect and get together with everyone, you can learn new perspectives from different people. In class it is really good, because everyone is involved, and no one can hide away. There is more participation by the students, you get to asked questions and you need to be more involved.

What’s your goal after your studies and how can the University contribute to it?

After this masters I want to become a researcher in the Mediterranean. And the Straits of Gibraltar is a really important place for any aquatic studies that are done in the Mediterranean. Studying here has already provided me with a lot of contacts that can help me to collect data, also in the future if I can’t come and be here. I think they have good connections here, because it is really small, and everyone knows everyone.
They also know quite a lot of Universities in the UK that they can get in contact with, we have many guest lecturers from around the world teaching us about their personal research. For me it is also very beneficial that they have contacts to the University of Cadiz, Seville, Malaga and even on the other side in Morocco. Despite me already having done a master’s program in the UK previously, the location, contacts and new lessons will fuel my future career.
  • MSc

    Master in Marine Science & Climate Change

    Designed and delivered by expert academics and scientists, this full or part-time interdisciplinary programme blends theoretical study with practical, field-based work. You will cover specialist subject areas and gain the skills required to tackle the complex issues associated with the sustainable development of marine ecosystems.[...]

    1 Year

    No Placement option

    Full Time

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