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The major employers of plant biologists are:
Educational Institutions range from community colleges to universities.
Smaller colleges offer teaching positions in general plant biology. Universities employ
faculty in general and specialized areas of plant biology as well as providing opportunity
for more extensive research activity.
Federal and State Agencies employ plant biologists in many fields.
hold positions in various branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Department
of the Interior employs botanists/plant biologists to work in the National Park Service and
the U.S. Geological Survey. Plant scientists are also employed by the Public Health Service,
State Department, NASA, Smithsonian Institution, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Similar positions are available in each of the 50 state governments.
Industry employs plant biologists in pharmaceutical companies, petrochemical
industry, agri-chemical industry, lumber and paper industries, seed and nursery companies,
fruit growers, food companies, biological supply houses, and biotechnology firms. Some of
these include Syngenta, Monsanto, DuPont, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
Private Foundations and Organizations, such as the S. R. Noble Foundation,
employ botanists/plant biologists in the biotechnology field who primarily are engaged in
research. Ecologists and taxonomists are also employed by private foundations and organizations,
such as The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Heritage Inventory, and the Missouri Botanical
Some examples for plant biology-related careers:
study interactions of plants with other organisms and the
• Study ecosystems of various plants and animals
• Work to protect native wildlife, plants and ecosystems
• Educate students at the university and high school level and also educate
the public at museums and nature centers
• Apply ecological knowledge to solve environmental problems
• Advise private organizations and local, state and federal governments
For more information: Ecological Society
study individual plants and group them into species and then
further organize species into more categories. These categories are based on similarities,
which are established to represent theories as to the evolutionary relationships of the
• Describe new species
• Study existing species for their origins and their distinctiveness in nature
• Curate or work in a herbarium
• Identify plants for research, for education, and for the public
For more information: American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Cell and Molecular Biologists
study the structure and function of genes
and their specialized products.
• Explore the foundations of plant biology
• Improve classical breeding strategies
• Introduce new genes into plants to improve growth characteristics, protect
plants from diseases and stresses
• Introduce new genes into plants to produce new products for medicinal or
For more information: American Society of Plant Biologists
Websites for Jobs and Internships: