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Do You Like Sharks? So Does Ezra Holbrook!

Florida State University (FSU) student Ezra Holbrook is diving deep into marine biology.

Her Campus (HC): Hi Ezra! First off, can you just tell me a little bit about yourself?

Ezra Holbrook (EH): My name is Ezra Holbrook and I’m currently a third-year marine biology student at FSU. I’m most interested in the conservation of threatened species of cartilaginous fishes. I was raised in Panama City Beach, which is not too far from here, and I originally was a music student at FSU before switching to biology.

HC: What have your track or experiences at Florida State been like to steer you towards the marine biology direction?

EH: I’ve been interested in marine biology ever since I was a really young kid going out on the boat with my dad. I’ve been headstrong about it since the application stages. The thing that sealed the deal for me was reading about the Florida State University Coastal Marine Lab (FSUCML). I read about all of the research that’s being done just an hour away from the main campus. Once I found that out, doing well in classes and getting involved with these topics have been my main goals.

overview shot of a bunch of people sitting on the beach
Photo by Hybrid from Unsplash

HC: What exactly is it that you do at the FSUCML? Are you involved with anything else off-campus related to your career goals?

EH: At the FSUCML, I only volunteer for the monthly shark surveys they do every month for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I also volunteer at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab every weekend and I volunteer at PetSmart. Petsmart has a little less to do with my career goals and more because I really like cats.

HC: What would you say has sparked your interest in marine biology and all that is in the ocean?

EH: My past growing up at the beach and being on the boat with my father constantly surrounded by marine life has always given me a huge appreciation for everything outdoors involving the ocean. My interest in Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) has come from reading research and the particular misconceptions people have about sharks.

lab scientist with blood filtering test tubes
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng from Unsplash

HC: I know that there are lots of new students that may be interested in such a track. Do you have any advice for them to see if this is the right fit for them?

EH: Research, research, research! Even if you don’t want to get involved with hands-on research at the FSUCML, there are so many incredible teachers and staff at FSU that have their own interests. They are doing their own thing outside of classes and it just takes a quick Google search to find out what they’re doing. It is very likely that you can get involved. The college experience is about how much you put into it, so if you want to find what you’re interested in, you have to look for it!

Ezra, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed this week! I know so many new and incoming students that are interested in marine biology, and so this interview was especially interesting. As always, I encourage you to look into the resources he listed, such as the FSUCML.

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Kyla Roginski is a junior majoring in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences at Florida State University. She grew up in New York and recently lived in Panama City Beach, FL. She has a cat named Lydia, a dog named Teddy, loves snickerdoodles, and is obsessed with updating her LinkedIn profile.
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