What Do Biologists Do?
SummaryA biologist’s job description may range widely depending on the area of specialty. A biologist is a scientist who studies life in one of its many forms, and a work settings can also range from a classical laboratory to field work in various environments and climates.
A biologist’s job description may range widely depending on the area of specialty. A biologist is a scientist who studies life in one of its many forms, and a work settings can also range from a classical laboratory to field work in various environments and climates.
Biologists may study life on land, water, or air. They may study the smallest microbes or whole interlocking systems of life. Just a few of the possible kinds of biologists are
- Aquatic biologists – Study all organisms, plats, and animals that live in water
- Marine biologists – Study organisms that live in salt water environments
- Limnologists – Study organisms that live in fresh water
- Molecular biologists – Study the processes that take place inside cells
- Microbiologists – Study microscopic life forms such as bacteria
- Botanists – Study plants and plant environments
- Virologists – Study viruses
- Immunologists – Study ways to fight infection and disease
- Physiologist – Study the life functions of plants and animals
- Zoologist – Study animals and wildlife
- Entomologist – Study insects
With the vastness that is biology, the day-to-day life of someone in this field will vary depending on what biology jobs they do and what kind of research they conduct. Many biologists are connected to a university, and most hold a traditional or online biology degree—usually a PhD. They balance their time between teaching, research in the lab or field, and writing articles for academic journals to help other scientists with their research. Other biologists work for private companies, conducting research for industries such as pharmaceutical companies and agricultural supply companies. In either case, the biologist will sometimes work alone, and sometimes as part of a research team.
Biologists need to have curiosity, discipline, patience, and persistence. Data may be hard to acquire, and experiments and studies may take years to conduct. They need to have good writing and communication skills—especially if they wish to teach. In some cases, biologists need to be willing to be mobile for research. Most biologists carry a master’s and/or doctorate degrees in their specific studies. A biology resume usually includes several important pieces of published research.