hey im sidra i'm 12 years old and i want to be a biologist when i grow up but i have no idea about it so i just basically wanna know what it is and what it concerns and how you have to be for it?

Hi Sidra,

A biologist is any scientist working in some way with biology. Some will work with animals (zoologists), others may work on plants (botanists). Some may look into evolution (evolutionary biologists), some of which may study extinct organisms (palaeobiologists). Yet others prefer to look into the more microscopic side of life, like molecular biologists, which may include cell biologists, biochemists, geneticists, etc.

You can be a biologist even while you're still in school. You can go to your biology lectures or attend local biology societies like bird-watchers groups or the herpetology societies (people that like reptiles and amphibians). Probably the easiest way into biology is to just go outside and observe living things; just watch how a bee collects pollens from a flower, or try to see how many different kinds of weeds grow in your garden.

And read books! or you can easily use the internet to look up for information.

The most important thing for a biologist is to have a keen eye and a lot of determination and patience. It takes a long time to become cable of telling the difference between a kestrel and a falcon, for instance.

And if you really want to become an academic biologist (someone who studies biology in a University or Museum or some academic institute) or as an industrial biologist (someone who works for a company like beer breweries and pharmaceutical companies) then it'd be better if you go to a University and get a biology degree.

Last edited by Manabu Sakamoto (7th Mar 2007 11:45:24)

Dear Sidra,

Great - the world needs more biologists! Biologists are all concerned with how nature works. This will be the century of biology, in the same way that chemistry and physics dominated science over the previous 200 years. We are in the wonderful position of discovering new fundamental principles all the time, which means that our knowledge is increasing incredibly fast.

When I was your age, I taught myself to recognise all the trees and plants around my home. After a degree in Biology and a few years experience, I'm now an ecologist studying tropical forests, which was my dream. You can start now by thinking about what areas of biology really interest you, whether it's conservation, genetics, microbiology, fossils... then go and learn about it for yourself. If there's any particular area you want to know more about then feel free to come back to this forum and ask us for more information!

Good luck, and I hope you manage to find something in nature that excites you as much as trees excite me :)

Last edited by Markus Eichhorn (9th Mar 2007 17:04:07)

Don't forget I wrote an essay on this very subject! Though it looks like even my colleagues have missed it.

You can find it in the 'Not just a labcoat' section or use this link....

http://www.askabiologist.org.uk/labcoat … ogist.html