Careers and Suggested Specializations
The School of Botany offers a major in Plant Sciences which will provide you with the skills and knowledge base required for a range of career opportunities.
Our core courses provide you with:
- Knowledge of plant structures and processes
- Relevance of plants to fields ranging from molecular biology and biotechnology to ecosystem sustainability
- Ability to process and synthesize scientific data
- Experience in analytic techniques, experimental design and data interpretation
- Communication and writing skills
- Knowledge of Australian and Victorian flora
The School of Botany, in offering the following specializations in a Bachelor of Science degree, opens up many diverse careers.
Click on the botany major of interest for a subject course plan.
Plant Ecology and Ecophysiology - as a plant ecologist, conservation biologist, environmental impact assessor, soil scientist, government policy writer and consultant.
"Sustainable use and management of Australian environments requires knowledge of how plants function, what processes are fundamental to ecosystems, what organisms are essential in soils, and how these and other factors affect the persistence of species and plant communities."
Evolutionary Plant Biology - as a plant or fungal taxonomist, flora resource manager, herbarium curator, palaeobotanist
"Optimal conservation, management and use of the Australian flora and vegetation resources depends on a detailed knowledge of species diversity, distributions, their evolutionary history and relationships and their genetic systems. Trained people are needed with skills in identification, computer data bases and DNA analysis. Palaeobotanists help interpret data for mineral exploration."
Marine Biology - as a marine taxonomist, ecologist, consultant/risk assessor involved in predicting and identifying algal blooms, and consultant for aquaculture
"Phytoplankton represent the major food source in oceans upon which all marine life depends. Our marine resources can be utilized and conserved only when we awedequately understand the complex microscopic and macroscopic flora that inhabit our oceans and coastal waters, including those few species becoming serious problems in creating poisonous blooms."
Plant Cell and Molecular Biology - as a cell or molecular biologist, biochemist, laboratory technician, parasitologist, evolutionary biologist, science journalist
" Knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of plant sexual reproduction is fundamental to overcoming breeding barriers for new crop production. Basic information on plant cell walls is relevant to many wood and paper products, and the quality of fruit, grains and vegetables. Discovering how cells divide and the evolutionary origin of cell organelles suggest new strategies in medical biology for combating cancer and human parasites."
Biotechnology - as a food scientist, agricultural scientist, plant pathologist, forensic scientist, patents expert.
"Design of new crop plants is based on knowledge of plant reproductive systems, disease resistance mechanisms and genetics. Plant compounds are the basis of many pharmaceutical products, including drugs, while polysaccharides are very important sources for industrial gums and stabilizers."