Ecologists look at relationships in the natural world.

What does an ecologist do?

Ecologists look at relationships in the natural world; studying how animals, plants and humans interact with each other. You’ll need to have good analytical skills to be an ecologist, as you’ll often be conducting experiments and undertaking fieldwork. Good IT skills are also important as you’ll often be expected to produce computer models of how, for example, human activities may impact the natural world.

As an ecologist, you could specialise in one of the following areas:

  • flora – plants and flowers
  • fauna – animals
  • marine – sea plants and creatures
  • freshwater -  river and lake plants and creatures 

What do I need to do to become an ecologist?

To become an ecologist, you’ll need a degree in ecology or a related subject. Having a specific ecology related postgraduate qualification is highly desirable. Related subjects include conservation biology, marine biology, zoology and environmental science. 

Related skills

  • Analytics
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • IT
  • Numeracy

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

Essential qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in ecology or a related subject
  • Biology A level and/or another science A level is essential for many ecology-related degrees

Desirable qualifications

  • Postgraduate degree in ecology or a related subject

Where could I be working?

You’ll often be working outdoors conducting fieldwork, as well as examining your findings in the laboratory. 

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