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Career Options in Animal Ecology

Animal ecology is the study of the way animals live and interact with their environment. People in this field study how animals act in their natural environment. For instance, animal ecology bird experts study birds and how they behave, their mating habits, how they parent their young and how and why they change locations throughout the year. They would also examine how a variety of bird species live together and what interactions they have with each other.

A marine animal ecology expert would study animal life in the water and plant life in the water and what interactions and effects the two had on each other. There are many examples of marine plants and animals that depend on and have symbiotic relationships with each other like the case of the Pompeii Worm that resides inside hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. The worm survives the very warm environment because of all the bacteria it carries on its body. The bacteria live by feeding off the the worm and the worm benefits from the protective coating the bacteria provide. Another example of marine life symbiotic relationships is the squid and the many light producing micro-organisms in the ocean. The bacteria that give off light help protect the squid from enemies by scaring them off. The bacteria allow the squid to become luminous at will.

You have a lot of options if you are considering a job in the area of animal ecology. You can specialize in a variety of fields like bird studies, veterinary medicine, zoo animals, wild animals or marine animals. No matter what you are interested in, you will find a job to fit your interests. To get a job in the field of animal ecology you will need at least a bachelor's degree in either arts or science. For some jobs, you may also need more education like a master's degree or a doctor of philosophy. You can also use your animal ecology career to complement other fields like zoology, biology, anthropology and sociology.

Many people who study animal ecology teach others seeking the same degrees. You may need a Ph.D. to teach in this field but a few schools let you teach with just a master's degree. If you are interested in teaching high school students, you probably just need a bachelor's degree. There is a lot of demand for teachers in the field of animal ecology because people getting degrees in other areas like veterinary medicine, animal science and animal conservation need to take classes in animal ecology.

If you do not want to teach, you could consider working directly with animals by working as a veterinary assistant. You could also look for a job at your local zoo where you could help take care of the animals. For most careers in animal ecology, you need to get certification from one of the many animal ecology organizations. You can find out more about animal ecology career options by looking online or going to a library in your area.


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