Zoology is the scientific study of the characteristics and classification of animals. It is one of the branches of biology, and therefore it is also referred to as animal biology. There are several sub-branches within this field, including ethology, zoography, and anthrozoology. Additionally, zoologists often specialize in the study of specific types of animals. For instance, an ornithologist studies birds, while a mammologist studies mammals. As zoology is a very interdisciplinary subject, there are a number of related fields, including taxonomy, paleontology, and evolutionary biology.
Zoology is a vibrant and growing discipline with substantial relevance for modern society. Knowledge of animal’s biology contributes to the development strategies to reduce and cope with pollution, strive for renewable sources, deal with environmental changes, discover new biologically based solution to human/animal diseases and develop biopharmaceuticals. The study of Zoology is increasingly recognized as vital for understanding and protecting our planet.
CAREERS RELATED TO DEPARTMENT
Zoology is a wide field offering many career opportunities for research, as there is still a great deal to learn. It offers a way to make a difference to the planet’s ecology through conservation work. Most zoologists are employed by colleges and universities, where they undertake research and teach students. Here is a brief summary of some of the main careers available.
- Zookeepers are employed by a zoo or aquarium, where they manage and befriend the animals on display.
- Zoo Curators are responsible for acquiring animals for zoos, either through breeding programs, through purchase from other zoos, or very occasionally from the wild.
- Animal and Wildlife Educators work in a public venue, such as a sanctuary, museum or aquarium, the educator creates a range of materials that help visitors to understand the wildlife they are seeing.
- Wildlife Rehabilitators care for ill, injured or orphaned wild animals that have been damaged by bushfires, oil spills, or other major disasters. They are responsible for then releasing the animals back into the wild.
- Animal Behaviorists train zoo employees how to interact with and successfully care for animals. They are usually trained in ethology (the study of animal behavior in natural habitats) and have had direct experience working with animals themselves.
- Conservationist work for conservation agencies, reporting on what is impacting on a particular species’ survival or on a region’s ecosystem.
- Researchers conduct research in private organisations or in university departments, where they also teach students.