Types of Zoologists

Acer ImageThe field of Zoology has many different disciplines such as cell biology, physiology, marine biology, behaviour, and ecology, to name but a few. Zoologists can also study animals at the level of the cell, organ systems, whole animals, animal communities or whole ecosystems. Zoologists can consequently be divided and classified on the basis of their area of speciality. An anatomist, for example, studies the body organisation of animals, an ethologist studies animal behaviour, a physiologist studies how animals work and ecologists study how animals interact with their environment and other animals in it. Zoologists can also be divided on the basis of the animal groups on which they work; entomologists study insects and herpetologists, ornithologists and mammalogists work on snakes and amphibians, birds, and mammals, respectively.

1379353_82764618Some zoologists work in “pure” fields whereas others work in “applied” fields. Pure, basic or fundamental science can be interpreted as “science for its own sake” and is concerned with increasing our knowledge of how living things work. It provides the foundation for applied science. Applied science, as its name suggests, involves applying scientific knowledge to specific problems. For example, a zoologist (who may be a mammalogist) may study a population of mice in the wild in order to understand how population numbers of mice fluctuate and what environmental factors are responsible for these fluctuations. This is pure research. He/she (or another zoologist) may then apply this knowledge to control populations of mice that are causing an economic problem because they are eating stored grain. This is applied science. Many studies that fall into the applied sciences have major implications for man and the environment.

Cell biologists: Study animal cells and their functions
Ecologists: Study animals and their interactions with their environments and humans.
Conservation biologists: Control and manage animal populations and their habitats.
Physiologists: Study how animals function and how they are adapted to live in their environments.
Systematists: Study evolutionary relationships between living and fossil animals and categorise animals.
Palaeontologists: Study evolutionary relationships between fossil animals
Taxonomists: Discover and describe new species or animal groups.
Entomologists: Study insects. Some study the roles and control of insect pests.
Herpetologists: Study amphibians and reptiles
Ornithologists: Study birds
Mammalogists: Study mammals
Parasitologists: Study parasites
Epidemiologists: Study the spread of diseases.
Ethologists: Study animal behaviour
Ichthyologists, Fisheries biologists: Study fish, fish populations and ways of growing fish and other aquatic animals
Aquaculturists: Study fish populations and ways of growing fish for commercial use.
Geneticists: Study the genetics of animals
Developmental biologists: Study the genetics of animals and how animals develop and grow.
Animal nutritionists: Study the diets and digestive capabilities of animals.
Animal photographers and illustrators: Produce photos and drawings of animals for books, films etc.
Consultants: Advise others on animals and the environment.
Writers and producers: Inform others about animals and the environment through journalism, books and films.

5 Responses

  1. krystan carter
    krystan carter / 10-30-2016 / ·

    what category would studying apes go under?

  2. William
    William / 1-16-2017 / ·

    To be more specific, it would actually go under primatology

  3. Sabrina Rodas
    Sabrina Rodas / 1-31-2017 / ·

    What category would studying penguins go under since they are both able to be on land and in water?

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