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Biologist Job Description

Shashank Nakate
A biologist mainly deals with studying living organisms and their relationship with the environment. The job description presented here provides a brief idea about different tasks handled by him.
The word biology is a broad term, which has originated from the Greek word 'bios', i.e., mode of life. There are different types of biologists, who specialize in their respective disciplines.


A biologist is a person, who studies animal and plant life in terms of origin, structure, and development. The most common criterion used for classifying them is the organisms in which they specialize their study.
Organisms Being Studied: Botanists are biologists who study plants. The ones who specialize in animals are known as zoologists. Different microscopic organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi are studied by microbiologists. Marine biology is an interesting branch which involves the study of underwater life (oceans).
Study of Different Aspects of Life: The classification can also be made on the basis of the functions/aspects of life they study. Different categories, according to this criterion of classification, include physiologists, anatomists, nutritionists, geneticists, pathologists, pharmacologists, etc.
Life functions such as respiration, growth, reproduction, etc. are studied by physiologists. Anatomists are involved in studying the structure of organisms, ranging from single-celled microbes, to multicellular human beings.
Heredity is the focus of study for geneticists. The effects of various drugs on different organisms are studied by pharmacologists. Pathologists undertake the study of effects of diseases on the tissues of animals and plants.

Job Description

A biologist is mainly associated with research work, and the subjects of these research activities are related to the environment, plants, and animals.
For example, he/she may need to collect data/facts regarding the effects on the environment due to factors such as water and land use. The data recorded is submitted to the federal authorities, and is displayed in the public.
Various tasks that a biologist has to undertake are mentioned here.
  • Collection and analysis of the biological data related to the interrelationships between organisms and the environment.
  • Carrying out the distribution of animals and plants in the environment, their identification, anatomical study, classification, etc.
  • Studying the effects of pollution and radioactivity on aquatic animals and plants.
  • Taking up research projects for different types of agencies, such as government, medical industries, research firms, or manufacturing firms.
  • May need to represent their employers at conferences to present technical information; if a biologist works for the federal government, or any other industry, publication house, etc., s/he may need to prepare environmental impact reports.
  • Review reports related to land use classifications, recreational development, etc. to check for adequacy and accuracy.
  • Devise methods for increasing crop yields, which is a part of the environment-improvement task.
  • Measure acidity, salinity, oxygen content, and light in water for the study of the relationship between aquatic life and water.
  • Study the basic principles of animal and plant life, in order to understand their origin, anatomy, body functions, and development.
  • They also teach university students, supervise their research work, and also perform their own research in the university. They also guide technologists, technicians, and other professionals working on research papers.
  • Carrying out breeding and cultivation of aquatic animals
  • Preserving animal, plant, soil, and aquatic samples; they also prepare plans regarding the management of resources that are renewable.
  • Managing wild population.
  • Studying responses or reactions, exhibited by plants, animals, etc. to parasites.
  • The control and management of pests is one of the important tasks of biologists. In the process of managing pests, they may have to conduct risk assessment, which is associated with pest exclusion.
The earlier mentioned aspects clearly highlight the vast nature of biology, which makes it an interesting subject to study.