Botanist & Botany Degree Programs: Also referred to as plant science or plant biology, botany is the scientific study of plants. Basically the word botany came from the Greek word “botane” which means plants.
Although the last three organisms already belong to their own kingdoms, most scientists in the field still study about these groups due to their wide resemblance with plants.
Botany is an exciting field that requires both knowledge and love for plants. Basically a specific kind of scientist, referred to as a “botanist“, is trained and works on this field.
If you are having thoughts of becoming one, congrats! You have come to the right place.
Table of Contents
- What Does A Botanist Do?
- Be involved in the taxonomic identification of plants
- Study the anatomy and physiology of plants
- Look into the evolutionary history of plants and their relationships
- Seek and discover the agricultural and therapeutic uses of plants
- Study plants for environmental conservation
- Forensic Botany – Solving Crimes!
- What Kind Of Educational Attainment Is Required To Become A Botanist?
- Where To Study Botany?
- How Much Does A Botanist Earn?
- Why Should You Become A Botanist?
What Does A Botanist Do?
Most botanists work inside laboratories and offices where they conduct research abut plants. Sometimes these researchers go on field works and do sampling in remote areas. Some typically work full-time as teachers in secondary schools, colleges, and universities. Others are employed as scientists that perform genetic engineering on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Regardless of their jobs, botanists are tasked with the following:
Be involved in the taxonomic identification of plants
- By identifying plants names and classifying them, it will be easier for researchers to identify their relationships (even variations) with their contemporaries.
Study the anatomy and physiology of plants
- As pioneers in this field, botanists are tasked to advance the frontiers in the study of the various cellular and molecular processes.
Look into the evolutionary history of plants and their relationships
- Botanists will have to compare extinct species to present life forms and from such, derive an understanding of the origin of life.
- Aside from that, by studying the phylogeny (evolutionary history) of plants, they can predict what happened during the major events that took place event before land, and aquatic plants emerged.
Seek and discover the agricultural and therapeutic uses of plants
- Botanists who investigate through fundamental research how plant grow and develop are the ones who have knowledge and ideas on its application on biotechnology.
Study plants for environmental conservation
- By studying various factors (e.g., biological weathering) that results to its destruction (i.e. natural calamities and anthropogenic activities), botanists can formulate certain measures to prevent it.
Forensic Botany – Solving Crimes!
- Forensic botanists study the crime scenes using their botany skills to investigate where, when and who committed the crime.
- Forensic botanists find jobs in federal agencies & law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the DEA and also in the private sectors as well as in universities (forensic laboratories).
What Kind Of Educational Attainment Is Required To Become A Botanist?
The field of botany is so broad and there are in fact numerous career opportunities for people with a botany degree. Oftentimes, people with a doctorate degree in botany either opt to teach at universities or to indulge in research.
Nevertheless, people with mere bachelor’s degree may still find careers in numerous places and related fields.
1. Undergraduate Degree
2. Master’s Degree
3. Doctorate Degree
- A doctorate degree in Botany typically requires the student to narrow their focus and to select an area of specialization.
- Students are required to have finished a master’s degree in Botany (or any related field) and have acquired significant experience in both laboratory and field work.
- The common courses include: plant pathology, stress physiology, and conservation and restoration of both endangered and present species.
Where To Study Botany?
Top 5 Universities Offer Botany Degree in the USA
Listed below are the top 5 most popular and best schools that offer a degree (undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate) in Biology, major in Botany.
|University||Botany Degree Offered|
|University of California, Riverside, CA||The Plant Biology graduate and doctorate programs in this university holds one of the top ranks in the world. These programs encompass all possible areas that involve plants.
More Info: University of California – Plant Biology Graduate Programs.
|Harvard University, Cambridge, MA||The Harvard University offers a degree in Biology (major in botany) that specifically aims to study biological diversity. To support the interests of the students and faculty, this university has numerous research libraries collectively called as the Harvard University Herbaria.
More Info: Harvard University – Dept of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology.
|Cornell University, Ithaca, NY||Cornell University offers undergraduate (major in Plant Sciences or Plant Biology), graduate (Master’s and Ph.D. in Plant Biology) studies which are both top-ranked degree programs in the world.
More Info: Cornell University – Plant Biology Programs.
|Washington University, St. Louis, MO||Washington University offers a unique graduate degree program that incorporates the use of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, mosses and vascular plants in scientific experiments. This degree program is referred to as Plant and Microbial Biosciences (PMB).
More Info: Washington University – PMB Programs.
|University of Florida, Gainesville, FL||Considered as one of the top performing schools in the world, the University of Florida offers a botany degree that gives a wide background about plant biology and biodiversity. Aside from that, the school has facilities like herbarium, ethnoecology gardens, and wide collections of plant samples.
More Info: University of Florida – Plant Biology & Biodiversity Programs.
Botany Online Courses
Yes, you have read it right! Due to the progress in technology, there are already a lot of accredited schools, colleges, and universities that offer such degrees.
If you want to find out more, you can check them on the following page: Grad Schools.
How Much Does A Botanist Earn?
Why Should You Become A Botanist?
Come to think of it, there is nothing more fulfilling than to work in a career that is both enjoyable and beneficial for others, isn’t it? Now, are you ready to become a botanist and start thinking green?
-  – “BSA’s Classroom Plant Talking Point.” Crime Scene Botanicals – Forensic Botany. Accessed January 21, 2017. Link.
-  – “Wages & Pay Scale for a Botanist.” Wages & Pay Scale for a Botanist | Chron.com. Accessed January 21, 2017. Link.