Although Nature needs thousands or millions of years to create a new species, man needs only a few dozen years to destroy one.
Biology as a subject is an encompassing science course that helps us to understand the world we live in. In fact, biology is seen as a branch of science that is part of our daily lives. It encompasses everything starting from the investigation of far -way galaxies to the understanding of microscopic processes.
Biologists are science lovers that tend to seek not only to understand how things work but how these discoveries can be applied to our daily existence and to help us in our complex ecosystem. Studying an aspect of biology can be an intriguing and fascinating experience since it offers one the chance of discovering new things that will be of benefit to humanity.
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of biologists, continue reading as Superprof will take you through the basics of the different types of biologists such as forensic biologists, wildlife biologists, microbiologists, and biological engineering.
All You Need to Know About Forensic Biologists
Forensic biologic is the rave of the moment as most television programs and shows now focuses on some aspects of this study. Some of the famous forensic biology programs that you can watch on DSTV and GOTV channels are Crime Science Investigation, Bones, Law and Other, and other crime investigative shows on Discovery world.
Forensic biology is seen as the application of biology in solving crimes by investigating the biological components of the suspects or the victims. It also involves the application of biological science in investigating particles from crime scenes.
Forensic biology is divided into different sub-disciplines such as
- DNA Investigation: Forensic biology can be used in determining the real parents of a disputed child (paternity testing) and the identification of some unknown particles such as semen, sweets, and hair that might be connected to a crime suspect or victims.
- Forensic Entomology: This is a forensic expert or doctor that is best known for conducting autopsies. This forensic pathologist helps in determining the cause of death.
- Forensic Anthropology: These experts are needed in a situation where there is a need to determines the sex, age, race, and possible ailments of a decease or remaining of a long-buried corpse. These forensic experts determine that by looking at the skeletal structure of the remains.
- Forensic Toxicology: This is the application of the concept of chemistry and biochemistry in determining whether a death is caused by drug use or poisons.
- Forensic Odontology: These are dentists that are engaged to work in a crime lab. They help to identify degraded remains. These specialists compare the remains with the official medical records.
Due to the numerous working opportunities open to graduates of forensic biology, there is a great need for one to specialize in any of the above-listed sub-disciplines of the course. But the question in most prospective aspirant’s mouths is "where can they study forensic biology in Nigeria"?
The following are two highly recommended schools where one can study forensic biology in Nigeria
- Nigerian Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State: The Nigeria Police Academy is one of the best and practical oriented institutions where one can study Forensic Biology and other Forensic courses in Nigeria. The University boast of 100 percent employability, and up-to-date facilities, and accreditation from the Nigeria University Commission (NUC). Check out the Nigeria Police Academy Website to get more information on how to gain admission into the academy
- University of Ibadan, Oyo State: The University of Ibadan is one of the pioneer universities in Nigeria and among the first that commence the teaching of forensic sciences as a course in the university. University of Ibadan (UI) offers the course at a postgraduate level. Forensic Genetics, Crime Scene Search and Handling of Buried Remains, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Archaeology, Cadaver and Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Taphonomy, Forensic Pathology, and Law are the sub-disciplines of forensic sciences that the school offers:
With this forensic degree, you can work as A detective, A toxicologist, A biomedical scientist. A crime investigator. A paralegal, A solicitor, A police officer, or A university lecturer.
How to Become a Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife biology is the scientific study of the wild which includes animals and nature. Wildlife biologists are individuals that have dedicated their time and lives to the study of how animals live in the wild. These individuals are trained to understand the mechanism and behaviours of these wild animals. There also study how these animals interact with man and the ecosystem.
Some of the tasks and duties of a wildlife biologist include
- Data collection of biological specimens
- Analysis of these data and specimen
- Studying the animal's characteristics and their habitats
- Studying how animals socialize and interact with other animals
- Helping to conserve the ecosystem and the wildlife
- Researching the wildlife and writing research papers for academic journals
- Making presentations in conferences and to the public
With the innovations in technology in this 21st century, wildlife biologist now makes use of updated technologies to carry out their researches and work in volatile environments. To be able to work as a wildlife biologist, it’s important to possess some vital skills such as observation skills, communication skills, patients, interpersonal skills, and stamina.
It’s important to understand that choosing a career in wildlife biology opens numerous doors and opportunities to travel around the world and have a close interaction with different fascinating animals. To study wildlife biology, the recommended university in Nigeria is
- American University of Nigeria (AUN): This is a private University that offers American style programs. The university offers courses in conservative biology which is a good alternative to wildlife biology. To study wildlife biology in this great institute of learning, one is expected to possess five SSCE credit passes in Mathematics, English, Biology, and two other science subjects. To know more about the course of study, visit the school website.
Remember that there are numerous job opportunities for wildlife biologists such as work at the zoo, a game warden, a biological scientist, and a university lecturer and professor.
Work Description of a Microbiologist
Microbiology is a very important biological science course that involves the study of all living organisms that are too miniature to be seen with one’s naked eye. These small microorganisms include viruses, bacteria, protozoa, algae, and fungi.
For one to study this course, the individual needs to have a strong passion for the scientific world. Some of the jobs for microbiologists includes
- Investigating how micro-organisms produce antibodies, vaccines, hormones, and other biotechnology products
- The use of molecular biology techniques in developing and testing new medicines and treatments for disease
- Monitoring, identifying, and helping to control infectious diseases
- Assessing the use of microbes in food production, soil fertility, and crop production
- Creating safer ways of waste disposals
- Developing new pharmaceutical products such as vaccines, medicines, and antiseptics
- Collecting samples of organic matter from a wide variety of locations
- Managing laboratories
- Working as a researcher and lecturer in a university or teaching hospital
A microbiologist can work in both private or public institutions such as food and drink companies and the healthcare sector. Some of the reasons for pursuing a career in the field of microbiology include the opportunity to understand our planet and the chance to conduct meaningful research that would be beneficial to society.
Some of the recommended Universities where one can study Microbiology for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Nigeria include
- Abia State University, Uturu: The department offers a four years degree program that leads to a B.sc Honor Degree in Microbiology and 2-3 years for a postgraduate study. The university program includes course works, practical, project reports, and industrial work experience.
- Covenant University: The University offers a degree in microbiology and boasts of up-to-date laboratories for students to conduct the experiment and practical. To be awarded a B.sc Honor Degree in Microbiology from this reputable University, the student is expected to register and pass a minimum of 165 units.
- University of Ilorin (Unilorin): The University teaches its students the concept of microbiology, medical microbiology, introductory biology, cell biology, applied biology, and epidemiology.
Other Nigeria Universities that one can study microbiology to Ph.D. level include the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), University of Port-Harcourt, the University of Ibadan (UI), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (OAU), Igbinedion University, Okada, etc.
The reason why this course is quite popular among students in Nigeria is that a Microbiologist can work or accept jobs in the following areas
- Biomedical scientist
- Food technologist
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Forensic scientist
- Medicinal chemist
- Marine biologist
- Technical brewer
- Clinical scientist, immunology
- Clinical research associate
- Water quality scientist
Concepts of Biological Engineering
Biological engineering is seen as an interdisciplinary course that makes use of the analysis of the biological system and the principles of engineering to develop biological systems and biomedical technologies. Biological engineering has helped in human-based genetic manipulation and building equipment that will make life easier for individuals that are handicapped.
Some unique devices and equipment developed by bioengineers include tissue engineering organs, medical imaging technology, disease diagnostic devices, and other life-saving machines. The duties of biological engineers include
- Making use of computer software in designing, developing, and testing new materials and healthcare devices.
- Conduct scientific research works for clinical issues
- Conducting clinical trials
- Conducting researches and presentations on the research work
A biological engineer can work in different places such as an office, a laboratory, a hospital, a workshop, or an office. Most people tend to study this course due to its employability and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
Due to the nature of the course, only a few universities presently offers the course in Nigeria which includes
- University of Ilorin: The department offers modern biological and engineering principles to its students. To be offered admission into the department, one is expected to have a minimum of five credits in Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) or its equivalent. These courses include English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. The department focuses its specialty on Biomedical Instrumentation and Micro/Nano Systems, Cell and Tissue Engineering and Computational Bioengineering
- The Technical University, Ibadan: The department teaches students the best ways to develop and fabricate clinically certified and translatable devices and equipment for medical applications.
Graduates of bioengineering are expected to work in different sectors such as business, research, and education.
So, what are you waiting for to select any of the biological science courses offered in Nigeria?
Check the Superprof website for private tutoring in the above biology fields, if you need help with your classes.