Nav: Home | Inst. | Burs. | Careers
Zoologists study the origin, growth and development, structure, environment, classification, behaviour and life processes of animals. As this field is so broad, zoologists usually specialize in a particular type of animal or animal family, or in certain aspects of animal life such as genetics or animal classification.

Tasks of zoologists are determined by their specialities and by their employers. They may study live animals in controlled or natural settings; dissect animals to study their anatomy and physiology; be involved in the identification and classification of animals; carry out research into the diagnosis, the prevention and the treatment of both animal and human diseases; or work as a consultant or curator for zoos, aquariums or wildlife parks.

Zoologist can be involved or specialize in any one of the following fields:

- Aquaculture: commercial production of aquatic animals
- Arachnology; study of spiders, scorpions, ticks and mites
- Carcinology: study of crabs, shrimps and other crustacea
- Cell biology: study of cells
- Developmental biology: study of how animals develop from egg to adult.
- Ecology: study of organisms in relation to the environment. This area could include freshwater biology, marine biology and terrestrial ecology
- Ecotoxicology: study of toxic environmental substances and effects on animal life
- Entomology: study of insects
- Ethology: study of animal behaviour
- Evolutionary biology: study of evolution and evolutionary relationships of organisms
- Genetics: study of heredity
- Herpetology: study of amphibians and reptiles
- Ichthyology: study of fish
- Laboratory animal science: breeding of experimental animals
- Malacology: study of molluscs
- Mammalogy: study of mammals
- Morphology: study of the structure of animals.
- Nature and environments conservation: conservation of the environment
- Nematology: study of nematodes
- Ornithology: study of birds
- Palaeontology: study of fossils
- Parasitology: study of parasites
- Physiology: study of how animals function.
- Protozoology: study of unicellular animals
- Systematics (Taxonomy): identification and classification of animals
- Toxicology: study of toxins and venoms

The work settings of zoologists vary from pure research and laboratory work to fieldwork. Museum zoologists are involved in the preservation of valuable animal collections, research on the classification and distribution of animals and in the construction of interpretive displays for the education of members of the public who visit the museum.

Satisfying Aspects
- working both indoors and outdoors
- many specialities to choose from
- working with animals

Demanding aspects
- sometimes working with creatures that are not easy to observe
- working in various weather conditions

A zoologist should:
- love nature and have a genuine interest in biological science;
- be able to work independently or as part of a team;
- be imaginative and curious;
- have good judgement and problem solving skills;
- be a keen observer;
- have patience and perseverance;
- be accurate and have an aptitude for detail.

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Degree: BSc degree course with Zoology as a major, with a second major such as: Botany, Chemistry, Physiology, Geology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology

Postgraduate study: An honours degree or preferably an MSc or PhD degree is essential for the full professional development of the zoologist. Post-graduate studies involve a series of research projects chosen by the student in accordance with the area of interest.

Note: Employers give preference to candidates with post-graduate training.

- Schools, universites of technology and universities
- Medical and industrial laboratories
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Water Affairs
- Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
- Zoos
- Aquariums
- Wildlife parks
- Research organisations
- Onderstepoort Veterinary Institution
- Museums
- National Parks Board
- Manufacturers of fertilisers, insecticides and livestock remedies

The Zoological Society of Southern Africa
Department of Zoology
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: (033) 260-5127 Fax: (033) 260-5105

The National Parks Board
P O Box 787
Pretoria, 0001
643 Leyds Street
Tel: (012) 428-9111 Fax: (012) 426-5500

Nature and Environmental Conservation
Private Bag X?209
Pretoria, 0001

Wildlife and Environmental Society of SA
P?O?Box 394
Howick, 3290
Tel:?(033) 330-3931 Fax: (033) 330-4576