CAREERS IN SYSTEMATICS

Botanical Gardens

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    • botanical gardens
The first modern botanical gardens were developed in connection with European universities about 500 years ago so that medical students would be able to study the plants that they used for curing people.  Plants were the main source of medicines then, as they are still for most people in the world. …

Bioinformatics

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    • pathogenbioinformatics
Biodiversity Informatics is the management and manipulation of biodiversity data. In order to be successful in Biodiversity Informatics, you really need to have a good background in both Systematics and Informatics (the computerized management and manipulation of data). You have to bridge the gap between Systematists and Computer Scientists. Historically, a…

Plant Anatomy

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    • monocot stem
Plant anatomy is an old field, so should today's systematists be interested in it?  Yes, most of them should, to some extent.  For their own selfish reasons.  Having knowledge of plant anatomy, being able to make sections, being able to use an electron microscope, and being able to teach a plant…

Nongovernmental Organizations

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The reason most NGO’s hire scientists is that, to a greater or lesser degree, the organization is science-driven. That is, they rely on the best available science to set organizational priorities, design and implement programs, or strategically direct investments. To hire botanists, these organizations most often have biodiversity conservation as their…

Paleobotany

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Paleobotanists focus their studies on the biology of fossil plants.  Every subdiscipline of plant science from anatomy and developmental studies to molecular biology and systematics provide insights invaluable for interpreting the fossil record of plants.  It is not surprising that plant taxonomy and paleobotany have always been closely allied fields.  Just…

Forensics

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Forensic botany refers to the use of plant materials to help solve crimes or resolve other legal problems.  With the greater complexity and technological sophistication of  evidence now being presented, law enforcement and the courts have become increasingly more aware of how evidence from botany can provide important supporting, sometimes crucial,…

Systematics Conservation

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Through use of scientific principles, systematists have revealed the remarkable diversity of plants, their distribution, and their evolutionary relationships. The 18th and 19th century expeditions of discovery brought attention to a remarkable and fascinating global  diversity of living things. Specimens were collected, catalogued, and classified. Through the use of names and…

Plant Morphology

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The past 15 years have brought a revolution in biology with the wide application of molecular techniques in studies on the diversity and evolution of organisms. This catapulted us into a completely new era of biology. We now realize the need to know much more about the structure of plants. In…

Herbaria

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Herbaria - especially large ones - provide a variety of job opportunities for plant biologists.  Most research university and museum herbaria are led by one or more Ph.D. level scientists who have the title of curator or director.  Some of the larger herbaria, especially those associated with major museums, have numerous…

Molecular Phylogenetics

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Molecular phylogenetics is just one portion of a broader field of research known as phylogenetic systematics. Phylogenetic systematics deals with understanding the evolutionary relationships among all of the many different species of organisms on earth; as such, it involves the study of both living and extinct species. Ideally, the relationships determined…