Biologist

South Africa has natural wealth beyond comparison with exceptional species richness, diversity and endemism. To ensure the integrity of our ecological systems and services for natural and human wellbeing,  we need accurate biological information. Biology in conservation examines interactions between living things (natural and human) with and within ecological systems.

Biologists study the origin, anatomy, physiology, reproduction and behaviour of living organisms and the ways in which they interact with the environment in which they live. They can advise, consult, conduct, oversee and manage biological and environmental research projects. Some biologists might also design conservation management plans for managing species and critical biodiversity areas as some examples.

Biologists undertake extensive fieldwork and work in laboratories processing and curating  samples. They might also spend some time in  an office. They work with and advise other natural science professionals as well as teach and supervise students in the related research fields.

Skills

Biologists require a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of biological principles, processes and interactions. They will additionally benefit from:

  • Strong methodological ability in the field and laboratory 
  • Extensive research competence 
  • Critical and analytical thinking ability and problem-solving
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills

Tasks

Study the origin, structure, function and development of animal and plant life within ecological environment

Collect and analyse biological data 

Review and provide feedback on reports related to biological projects

Supervise projects and report and publish scientific findings

Studies

B.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. in Biological Sciences at all universities

Employers

National, provincial and local government.

Conservation organisations, both public and private.

NGOs, research institutions, zoos and aquariums.

Related career paths