Fossilized teeth from Carcharodon megalodon can date back more than 20 million years and provide paleobiologists with valuable information about the evolution of ocean inhabitants like top predators, such as great white sharks.
Not all biologists study things that are still alive today -- paleobiologists, evolutionary biologists, ichthyologists, and morphologists could all have experience with a megalodon tooth.
Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke “for the trees, for the trees have no tongues” and dendrochronologists have a similar calling. Trees carry the history of a location in their rings and dendrochronologists are skilled at deciphering that history. The tools of dendrochronology are used to pinpoint timing of major events and measure rates of change both in the environment and in works of art and architectural pieces made of wood. It is also used in radiocarbon dating to validate radiocarbon aging for things not made from trees.
Our coastal areas throughout the world are being impacted by sea level rising, construction, resource extraction and recreational use, and yet they are some of the most densely populated areas in the world. Coastal engineers look at all these issues and try to answer questions like “What if this happens?” and “What can we do to reduce the impact of these changes?” Coastal engineers spend time observing the changes, building models of the area to simulate the changes, and then try to design solutions before the real-world situation progresses out of control. They work at learning and improving situations on an international scale. Their principal tools include mathematics, physics, geology and engineering through the use of computers and physical models.
Coral biologists combine specific elements of marine biology and conservation biology to research, experiment, or develop conservation actions to improve and sustain some of the oldest animals on the planet - coral reefs. While not required, these scientists often spend time underwater conducting experiments and restoring fragile reef ecosystems so a love of the outdoors and a sense of adventure is a bonus!
If you’re looking for an adventurous job, maybe a career studying the ocean’s predators is just right for you! While shark biologists spend their lives dedicated to diving and observing these incredible animals, they spend much more time teaching, writing grants and reports, requesting permits, and advocating to balance the economic interests of fishermen with the ecological influence of top predators!
Wildlife Biologists are scientists that observe and study the behaviors of animals. They frequently observe the features of certain wildlife and determine the creatures' role in specific ecosystems and/or how they interact with human beings. In addition, they will often perform various experiments to either increase our knowledge about a certain species or see how humans influence the ecosystem in question.
The United States Geological Survey is a broad ranging agency studying everything from earthquakes to endangered species in the US. This scientist is involved in the study of coastal coral reef degradation, and approaches for the conservation and restoration of said reefs. The job description is quite similar to that of the coral reef biologist for her position.
“Let your curiosity take you” was the advice given by our marine biologist. If you follow your interest you will find you motivation.
Plant biologists can work in a number of different industries from universities to farms to government and their career paths are just as diverse. One thing is certain, most plant biologists have a green thumb in one way or another! Whether optimizing the cultivation of plants for food or decoding the complex relationships between plants in a unique ecosystem or even extracting potentially life-saving pharmaceutical compounds from newly discovered plants plant biologists may have an understanding of chemistry, agriculture, or even anthropology. For entry level jobs in plant biology, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient but to run your own lab an advanced degree is necessary.
By Serge Illaryonov (http://www.naviquan.com/) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons