Ecology job description

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Ecologists are concerned with with ecosystems, and look at the relationship of the distribution and abundance of organisms in a particular environment. Working with flora, fauna, terrestrial, marine and freshwater life, the ecologist will identify, monitor, record and evaluate the findings, to relay information back to the laboratory workers.
Those working in ecology will often work with proposed building departments and the planning permission offices to see what effects new developments could potentially have on the environment. Understanding different species and what might affect them is obviously important. The ecologist will use high-tech sampling equipment, take photographs, use maps and analyse habitats.
The ideal candidate will usually have a degree in ecology and have experience with working both in laboratories and out in the field. The salary for an ecologist starts at £18,715 and rises to around £24,367, depending on experience. There is an opportunity to progress to a more senior level where the work would involve more policies development and management duties.

Description

Ecologists are responsible for studying animals, micro organisms, and plants, including their interaction with others and its environment. They can also write articles about science for magazines and newspapers and create films for television programmes. Among employers for this area are government and commercial research institutes, universities, environmental consultants, industrial companies, statutory bodies, among many others.

Ecologists usually perform many of the following tasks:
• Researching about climate change.
• Developing computer models.
• Providing advice about water use.
• Teaching in schools and universities.
• Teaming up with other scientists.

Skills

• Being flexible and adaptable.
• Having a strong sense of observation.
• Having competent communication skills.
• Having good IT abilities.
• Having presentation skills.
• Being able to collect and interpret data.
• Having good math skills.
• Being methodical.
• Having knowledge about environmental legislation.
• Being enthusiastic about plants and animals.

Education

Ecology jobs require a first degree in environmental or biological subjects such as conservatory biology, environmental management, environmental biology, marine biology or ecology as a minimum. Candidates need at least five GCSE’s/S grades (A-C/1-3) and two A levels/three H grades for first degree courses. A recommendation is to have also experience as a research assistant and a postgraduate degree related to this area.

Other advice is having a CIWEM or IEEM membership to develop a contact network. This will increase job possibilities and study opportunities to move forward in this area.

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