Fields of Biology
Biology is a specialization of science studies which focuses on living organisms and the systems that support organisms, both internal and external. A biologist has a plethora of specializations they can select from when they decide to attain a degree in biological studies. Some of the fields of biology include the following:
Aerobiology is the study of airborne living organisms typically relating to viruses, fungi and particles such as pollen and spores. Research from this subdivision is used in treating allergies, quarantining viruses and for medical research into treatment and prevention of diseases.
Agriculture goes by many names but relates to researching the cultivation of living organisms for food and material resources and is responsible for founding innovative techniques to improve farming, ranching and the production of biofuels. Biofuels are of particular interest to the scientific community as it constitutes as renewable resource with the potential to replace fossil fuels.
One of the more popular fields of biology, anatomy is considered a discipline in both biology and medicine as it relates to studying the structure of living organisms. Anatomy plays a crucial role in identifying organisms parts and structure which is in turn used to help classify the taxonomy of a species.
Arachnology is the study of the spider family and relative species including opiliones, scorpions, arachnids and in some cases ticks however ticks and mites are more commonly studied by a acarologist. An arachnologist will typically attain a degree in zoology and will often work closely in the field of entomology as insects are the natural food source for most organisms in the arachnid family.
Astrobiology is the science of extraterrestrial organisms and supportable habitats to help locate possible life off of the planet Earth. In addition astrobiologists investigate the origin and evolution of potential extraterrestrial life as well as trying to determine how life arrived on Earth.
Most living organisms have a complex system of tissues and organ systems which allow life to flourish, compete and evolve. Biochemistry is the study of the chemical reactions that occur in biological life forms, the purpose of these reactions and how they help spread the growth of life. A biochemist is a hybrid between a biologist and a chemist with additional attention in the biological aspect.
Bioengineering, also sometimes referred to as genetic engineering is a the analysis and application of modifying biological components of living organisms, or organisms completely which is typically done through genetic modification or altering DNA sequencing in living organisms.
Studying the distribution of species and sub species is referred to as biogeography which in turn helps to classify new species of living organisms and classify the taxonomy of these creatures. This study also gives a powerful insight into how evolution effects living creatures based on their geographical location, competition of resources and sexual reproduction habits.
Bioinformatics pertains primarily to DNA and RNA sequencing and how biological data is stored, transmitted and retrieved within living creatures. Information is stored in nucleic acid and protein sequences making up a biological database within all life forms.
A mathematical biologist is a person who studies the formulas and mathematic models to accurately represent the functions of biological systems. Scientists in the field of biomathematics often work closely in related fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, biocomputing and biomodeling to explain more accurately why and how cells function together.
Biomechanics is the study of structural components of living organisms and the purpose of their functions for maintaining life. Similar to bioengineering a scientist in the field of biomechanics is concerned with deciphering and analyzing biological systems for the purpose of understanding and emulation.
Biomedical research is the analysis and application of biological data in the medical industry to provide a greater understanding of conditions that effect humans. Medical research is an industry which has had a steady exponential growth throughout the past decades with a greater availability of data for public entities.
Biophysics utilizes the theoretical aspects of physics and physical science to apply towards biological organisms, systems and habitats. A biophysicist studies organisms on a variety of scales ranging from the molecular aspects, complete organisms and ecosystems.
Biotechnology harnesses the unique qualities of living organisms for the use in products, agriculture, medicine and biofuels. Also commonly referred to as biotech, this subdivision of biology has become a leading focus of government funding to find renewable resources and improve crop yield from our agricultural institutions.
Building biology is a branch off of environmental science and consists of studying how the human habitats effect our performance and health through analyzing the buildings we live in, their structure, materials used, pollution and other aspects such as radio waves and electromagnetic fields.
Botany is the study of plant life the habitat, growth, evolution and reproduction of plant organisms. Botanists typically work closely with the field of entomology since insects are critical in the sexual reproduction of many plant species.
Cell biology is one of the disciplines in microbiology which studies cells, organelles and the cycle of life and death on a cellular level. A cell biologist would typically work towards analyzing data that can be applied to medical research for treatment of diseases such as cancer. This specialty also focuses on the immune system and how a biological organism repairs their own cells and structure.
Conserving our natural environment is an increasing topic of popularity with humans in the modern age with the advancements of technology. Maintaining biodiversity on the planet Earth is essential to the survival of not only humans but the majority of life on our planet. Analyzing the rate of extinction of species and attempting to prolong these effects are the main goal of a conservation biologist who also seeks to protect species, habitats and ecosystems from destruction by man made influence.
Cryobiology or “low temperature biology” is the study of organisms, biological materials and systems in temperatures below freezing. Understanding how plants, bacteria, fungi and animals withstand subzero temperatures helps to develop research into other forms of science such as cryogenic freezing.
Developmental biology is the study of the development of organisms throughout their nature lifestyle including cell growth, metamorphosis and morphogenesis for complete organisms and the cells, tissue and organ systems studied in anatomy.
Ecology is the study of interactions between living organisms in conjunction with their natural environments. An ecologist is responsible for analyzing ecosystems and habitats as well as population, migration, biomes and niches of life.
Embryology is the study of the development of fetuses prior to birth in animals, most commonly within humans and mammals specifically. One of the primary interests of analysis in this field is within bilaterans, or organisms that have two symmetrical halves and the classification of living systems based off which anatomical parts form first in the fetus.
Entomology is the study of insect life forms and is a subdivision of zoology. Entomologists typically work closely with botanists since insects and plants have an inherit connection with each other. Classifying the taxonomy of insects and interdependency between insects and their ecosystems.
Environmental biology is a combination of ecology, biology, physics, geology, physics and bio engineering to study environmental issues, interactions and solutions for environmental problems. Environmental science is a sector with increasing job opportunities as technological developments create increasingly dramatic effects on our environment.
Epidemiology is the science and analysis of health within populations and the spread of diseases and health conditions on a large scale. Prevention of epidemics is one of the primary goals of this subdivision which also investigates the spread of contamination between habitats as well as humans and animals in largely populated areas.
Epigenetics is a sub branch of genetic research which deals with heredity and gene phenotype in the DNA sequences of living organisms. The goal of epigenetics is to manipulate the gene sequence without altering the DNA sequence of a living organism to allow a gene to express its self differently.
Ethology is a sub branch of zoology which deals primarily with the behavior of animals in their natural environment. Understanding animal behavior is one of the factors that has allowed humans to excel and out compete other creatures to arrive at the top of the food chain.
Evolutionary biology consists of research into the genetic variation of living organisms and how genetic characteristics drive natural selection in the natural world. A biologist who specializes in evolutionary research is primarily concerned with how new species originate along with where current known species descended from.
Genetic research is the investigation into genes, variation, phenotypes and the heredity of genetic characteristics of living organisms. This discipline of science deals with the molecular structure of organisms and how traits are passed from parent to child along with how these traits relate to evolution of species.
Herpetology is a division of zoology which focuses on studying reptiles and amphibians which is also broken down into the further sub classification of batrachology which focuses only on amphibians.
Histology is the research of anatomy on a micro level which pertains primarily towards tissue, cells and structure of animals and plants. It is used in the medical industry for examining cultures of cells to scan for bacteria, viral infections and inconsistencies to diagnose medical conditions.
Ichthyology is a branch of zoology and more specifically marine biology which deals with the classification and study of fish. With oceans covering the majority of Earth, the identifying and classifying species of fish is an ongoing process with approximately 250 new species and variations discovered annually.
Integrative biology is a fairly new branch of biological study which focuses on the interactions between organisms in relation to adaption to environments. As a broader discipline this ranges from the interactions on the cellular level to biospheres and ecosystems.
Limnology is often classified as an environmental science or within ecology and consists of studying fresh water ecosystems ranging from rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and estuaries.
Mammalogy is yet another sub branch of zoology which focuses on mammals. Understanding mating habits, geographical distribution, genetic variation and behavior of mammals is an area which has fascinated humans since the dawn of our species.
Marine biology is the study of life that resides in salt water environments and includes aspects from oceanography, a sub division of geology. Marine organisms play a crucial role in understanding the foundation and origin of life on Earth and is one of the industries which still relies heavily on exploration expeditions due to the vastness of the oceans that cover our planet.
Microbiology is the science of simple or single celled organisms which are often too small to be visible to the naked eye. Areas of focus within microbiology are prokaryotes, eukaryotes, protists, viruses, prions and fungi. Applications of the research discovered from microbiology are typically used in medical industries for immunology purposes.
Molecular biology is a biological science which ties in with biochemistry and genetics to investigate biological activity as it pertains to the function of cells and biosynthesis.
Mycology is the study of fungi and their genetics, taxonomy and biochemistry. Contrary to popular belief fungi are actually more closely related to animals than plants, however due to distinct characteristics of these organisms they cannot be classified into either of these taxonomic kingdoms.
Neurobiology, also commonly known as neuroscience, is the discipline of understanding the nervous system and how brain activity works. Developments that result from neurscience are currently being applied in the medical, technical and military industries and is used to develop innovative technology such as artificial intelligence.
Oncology is the study of cancer, tumors and medical conditions that result from irregular growth of tissue or cells in living organisms. An oncologist typically works within the medical industry to research and develop treatment for cancer.
Ornithology is the study of birds which is a sub division of zoology. Birds play an integral role in the ecosystems they inhabit and are responsible for distributing plants and plant reproductive capabilities over a large range of environment. As migratory creatures, studying how birds interact with their ecology, their evolution and mating helps to provide a greater understand of the dynamic interactions in a multitude of ecosystems.
Population biology is the analysis of how populations of organisms interact with their ecosystems and factors such as extinction. This discipline is commonly referred to as studying disease, microbes and viruses however it also covers animals and plants.
Population ecology is often used in lieu of population ecology however this pertains primarily towards the study of plant and animal populations.
Population genetics investigates the allele frequency and evolutionary theories such as natural selection, mutation, gene flow and genetic drift to determine how a population of organisms adapt to their environments and split into new species.
Paleontologist study prehistoric life forms and extinct species through fossil evidence in an attempt to determine evolutionary predecessors, adaption, extinction and natural history. Looking into the past is a great way to determine how our planet has changed over the course of millions of years as well as providing insight into the dangers that can effect life on Earth.
Pathology relates to the studying and diagnosing of diseases as well as how a disease effects living organisms as it runs it’s course.
Parasitology is a field of science which studies parasites and their hosts and the parasitic relationships the two organisms share. Parasitologists focus the bulk of their studies on the way of life of a parasite and their host.
Pharmacology is the research and development of pharmaceuticals or drugs and their role in prevention and treatment of illnesses. Commonly applied in medical professions, pharmacology is a science with a variety of sub branches including toxicology and posology.
Physiology studies the function and interaction of living organisms and the systems that support them. The primary focus of this discipline is on the function of organ systems, organs and the cells that account for the physiological makeup of organisms.
Phytopathology is the study of of diseases in plants as well as researching the types of organisms that can cause diseases such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, parasites and fungi.
Psychobiology is also commonly referred to as behavioral neuroscience which applies the core elements of biology in conjunction with the genetic development of living organisms.
Sociobiology is a mixture of biology and sociology which analyzes the correlation between evolution and social behavior. Theories in sociobiology believe that social behaviors such as hive mentality, mating and territorial behavior are adaptations that have been created by various species through evolutionary methods to ensure survival.
Structural biology investigates the molecular structure of macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. This is a subdivision of molecular biology and biochemistry with some elements of biophysics involved. Biomolecules are too small to be seen by almost all microscopes so a structural biologist must employ other methods of calculation to determine information about these molecules.
Synthetic biology is one of the newest branches of biology that has arisen in recent years. It involves studying the functions carried out by organisms as well as how to recreate these functions using sythetic materials for human uses.
Virology is the study of viruses and virus like organisms including how they infect their hosts, evolution and taxonomy. The interaction between a virus and its host determines how the virus will reproduce along with how the host develops immunities towards the infection.
Zoology is the study of animal life and all organisms that are classified in the kingdom of animalea. It involves the studying evolution, extinction, reproduction, geo distribution and feeding habits of these organisms.