Tuesday, 23rd April 2019


Zoology is the scientific study of all types of animal and animal behaviour. Zoologists work for a wide range of institutions, studying animals and their activities in order to gain a better understanding of how they live and how to protect them and their environment.

Depending on where they work, zoologists can have a variety of tasks and responsibilities. Typically, zoologists will specialise in a particular aspect of zoology and animal science, including:

  • Ecology - the environment and habitat
  • Ethology - animal behaviour
  • Entomology - insects
  • Ichthyology - fish
  • Mammalogy - mammals
  • Ornithology - birds

Zoologists can be involved in conservation, the study of animal disease, investigating vermin and pest control, animal welfare and education, development of new policies and regulations. A lot of this work is research-based, which can be conducted either in the field, observing animals in their natural habitat, or in the laboratory.

They can work in zoos and wildlife parks, higher education institutions, research centres or for animal conservation charities and organisations. The daily tasks and duties will vary considerably depending on these organisations, but generally zoologists will be involved in:

  • Carrying out research, both laboratory- or field-based
  • Observing animals in the wild or under artificial conditions
  • Studying and recording animal activities and behaviour
  • Experimenting with complex procedures, including cellular analysis and in-vitro fertilisation
  • Presenting recordings or theories in lectures, to all types of audience
  • Creating campaigns in support of conservation or animal welfare
  • Publishing experiment results and information

Zoologists working in zoos may have a more hands-on role with the care of animals in the zoos, on top of studying them and educating visitors. Those working for animal welfare charities may be involved in campaigns to release animals into the wild, or to rescue animals from poachers and poor habitats.

Regardless of their specialism or employer, all zoologists have a focused interest in the study and welfare of animals. Their main concern is to gain a better understanding of how animals behave, so that they can improve their quality of life, their safety and they can educate the public about how animals are to be treated and protected.