The 3 types of biologists (object of study and intervention) - medical - 2023



Biology is the branch of science that is responsible for study the natural processes of living beings taking into account their anatomy, physiology, development, evolution, distribution and interactions both with other entities and with the environment. Studies estimate that there are about 8.7 million animal species on the planet (of which "only" a million have been described), so it is normal to assume that the average biologist has work for a while.

One of the most common preconceptions in the collective imagination is that all biologists are professionals who are responsible for the study of nature and ecosystems, but nothing could be further from reality. It must be borne in mind that the study of living beings also encompasses the human species, and therefore, many biological specialties are closer to medicine than zoology.

In addition, the study of living beings not only covers where they eat or how they reproduce, but it is necessary to describe processes from the smallest chemical molecule, through cells, tissues and all structural levels that lead to the almost miraculous formation that is a living system. So that, there are as many branches of biology as there are structural levels and types of living beings on the planet.

Today we are going to introduce you to three types of biologists, who, although they do not represent the totality of this current of knowledge, perfectly exemplify why it is such an interdisciplinary science. We hope that this space will put into perspective the preconception that biology is only the study of animals.

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Three examples of biologists

Biology is composed of a series of subdisciplines that go from the most microscopic element to the study of the universe itself. Four general study groups are considered:

  • The first comprises the disciplines that study the basic structures of living systems: cells, genes and chromosomes, for example.
  • The second group advances a step, since it considers the functioning of these basic structures in an integrated way in tissues, organs and systems.
  • The third level takes into account the organisms, anatomically and evolutionarily speaking.
  • The last group is in charge of describing the relationships between organisms.

Therefore, it is the task of a biologist both to describe how the hormone oxytocin affects the cells of the sexual tissues of rats and to try to elucidate whether dolphins are self-conscious and capable of recognizing themselves in a mirror. Of course, we are facing two fields that have little to do with each other, right? Hence the need for student specialization during the training period as well as the emphasis on always emphasizing the interdisciplinarity of many of the branches of biological study.

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Once this topic has been introduced, here are 3 types of biologists who perform invaluable functions in today's society.

1. Biochemist

Biochemistry is the branch of science that is responsible for the study of the chemical composition of living being, especially proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids, that is, the organic molecules that support the physiology and functions of all living beings.

Biochemistry goes much further than describing the effect of hormone X on a rat with cholesterol, since it has allowed to cement various bases of clinical diagnosis in humans, which is said soon.This discipline allows us to know all the chemical processes that develop in living beings (including humans) when forming proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids, so that any abnormality of a pathological nature can be registered thanks to this knowledge. .

Biochemistry, therefore, is a branch widely linked to medicine, pharmacology, biotechnology and agri-food. Its application is almost infinite, since it ranges from the description of ATP synthesis in a cell to the biochemical processes carried out by bacteria in ecosystems.

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2. Zoologist

The zoologist is the biologist who studies animals, that is, the first professional that a person thinks of who does not come into contact in the usual way with biology and its multiple meanings. Zoology is a discipline that is responsible for studying various fields, such as physiology, morphology, characteristics and distribution of animals on Earth.

Zoology is based on a descriptive process, since it is about registering, knowing and storing knowledge about the living beings that surround us. It is an essential pillar for the maintenance of life on the planet. Zoologists rely on statistical, genetic, biogeographic methods, and various experimental studies to describe the foundations on which the life of animals is built.

Every time a reader obtains information such as "this living being inhabits humid environments", a team of zoologists has had to document this information on multiple occasions both in nature and in laboratory conditions.

The description of the requirements of living beings in their natural world is not anecdotal, since when a species is in danger of extinction, the baseline knowledge collected before their decline is of essential importance to promote their breeding in captive environments. Something as simple as knowing in what humidity range a species of toad develops can save the lives of its entire lineage in times of population decline. Almost nothing.

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3. Parasitologist

Parasitology is a discipline that few people would directly link with the work of a biologist, since it is an approach that is almost medical. Parasitologists study the distribution, epidemiology, morphology and pathogenesis generated by parasites eukaryotes on humans and other species of animals and plants.

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Beyond describing the shape of the "worms" and their eggs, a parasitologist also answers the following questions: which population group is most vulnerable to being infected by a specific helminth? Which hosts are predisposed to harbor more parasite loads? What is the cycle of this parasitic agent? What are the most common sources of infection?

In contrast to the study of eukaryotic parasites (that is, with cells with a true nucleus) and in a similar way, microbiologists and virologists answer the above questions with infectious agents belonging to the bacterial and viral groups, respectively.

Other disciplines

We see a bit useless to make a "shopping list" with all the existing biological disciplines summarized in two lines each. In the end, those who cover a lot know little, and we believe that it is better to reflect this interdisciplinarity in the biological field with specific occupations, dedicating a few lines to each professional to understand their role in society.

This does not mean, far from it, that we forget ethologists, mycologists, embryologists, ecologists, cell biologists and many other specialized professionals more. Depending on how fine we want to spin we can have more than 60 types of biologists, some encompassed under a common umbrella (such as systematics) and others that have almost nothing to do with each other. All biologists are equally essential, since describing life in all its meanings will never be an outdated question.


After highlighting the importance of the types of biologists in society, and on a sour note, it is shocking to learn that almost 30% of biologists are unemployed. Sadly, professions that do not report an immediate reward are often dismissed, as "money will be diverted to this cause when possible."

If the COVID-19 virus has taught us anything, it is that the collection of baseline information by zoologists, virologists, cell biologists and many other professionals is essential, not only to obtain knowledge and wisdom, but also for Save lives when times of biological imbalance come on Earth.