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Why study biology?

Biology helps us understand the big picture

The study of biology connects us to the world we are living in and reminds us of our interconnectedness with all other life forms. It develops awareness of the significance of New Zealand's unique fauna and flora and distinctive ecosystems. It provides opportunities to learn about the processes of all living things. What students learn is directly relevant to our species and environment.

Biology is at the heart of many social and economic issues

By studying biology, students learn to make more informed decisions about their own health and about significant biological issues such as genetically modified crops, the use of antibiotics, and the eradication of invasive species. Biology helps students to recognise the importance of agriculture and horticulture for New Zealand, and, potentially, to contribute to its future.

Biologists help New Zealand maintain its position as a leading breeder of new varieties and more efficient/productive plants and animals. Biologists contribute to medical and biotechnological advances.

Biology is at the forefront of ecological issues

Biologists are also at the cutting edge of ecological conservation research. By studying biology, students become much more aware of ecological issues, and better able to debate situations where exploitation of the environment (for example, for farming, mining, or energy production purposes) clashes with conservation objectives, or where we need to develop more sustainable ways of using our natural resources (for example, soil, land, or water).

Learning in biology opens up career opportunities

The following non-exhaustive list suggests the diversity of careers into which graduates in biological science go:

Agronomist, animal behaviour scientist, animal welfare officer, biochemist, biotechnologist, cheese production supervisor, conservation biologist, environmental analyst, environmental ecologist, environmental manager, environmental officer, fisheries scientist, food and drink technologist, forestry technician, genetics technician, marine biologist, meat biochemist, medical sciences technician, nursery grower, plant pathologist, plant physiologist, quarantine officer, research manager, secondary school science teacher, zoologist.

Last updated March 30, 2012