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Conservation Geneticist - Becoming A Conservation Biologist

biology research program level

To begin a career in conservation biology, a student should expect to carry out advanced study in one or more of the relevant sciences at the graduate level. Many researchers have completed doctorates in biology, genetics, or conservation, followed by several years of post doctoral training. Projects that are initiated as part of graduate work may develop into entire research programs in this field.

The key to success for a conservation geneticist goes far beyond designing and carrying out a research program. Equally important is how the program implements the results of that research, and it is often this implementation that is used as a benchmark in evaluating the program's value. Research in this discipline may be carried out at academic centers, museums, nongovernmental organizations, and government institutions.

The rewards of a career in conservation biology are many. First, the multidisciplinary approach affords a researcher the chance to develop a unique background and breadth of diverse skills. Second, the work has a direct and clearly visible value for biodiversity conservation programs. Salaries for a conservation geneticist depend on the researcher's level of education and the type of institution in which he or she works, but most are comparable to the salaries offered to biology professors teaching at the university level.

Howard C. Rosenbaum

and Rob DeSalle


Gerber, Leah R., Douglas P. DeMaster, and Simona P. Roberts. "Measuring Success in Conservation." American Scientist 88 (2000) 4: 316-324.

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