Mycologist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
As a biologist who studies fungi, mycologists can pursue a range of different jobs depending on what type of fungi interests him or her. In addition, the nature of the specific fungi and its various purposes provide yet another series of study possibilities. As an agriculturalist or yeast maker, an academic or herbalist, mycologists can seek employment in a wide range of industries.
Job Description of a Mycology Professor
A mycology professor is a university or college teacher whose job is two-fold. First, he or she must instruct students about the study of fungi, either as a separate field or within the field of biology. In addition, the mycology professor is expected to pursue novel research in some aspect of fungi, with an eye towards publishing unique, yet testable results.
Duties of a Mycology Professor
In addition to teaching students and conducting research, mycology professors are expected to participate in committee meetings, oversee student organizations and participate in other activities to help within their department. However, the most important part of their jobs is dedicated to education about and research of mushrooms, molds and yeast.
Requirements of a Mycology Professor
As with other professors, a professor of mycology is expected to have earned his or her Ph.D., specializing in some aspect of mycology. In order to prepare for this task, the mycologist is required to have a college degree, often in biology or a similar science. In addition, he or she is expected to have pursued extensive academic study of chemistry, environmental sciences, biology, plant sciences, scientific taxonomy and, depending on the area of expertise, pharmacology or nutritional science.
Job Description of a Pharmacological Mycologist
A pharmacological mycologist studies fungi to discover if specific types of mushrooms, yeasts or molds contain anything biomedically useful. By extracting elements of the fungi or applying the entire fungi to various strains of diseases or types of food products, pharmacological mycologists can discover anything helpful or harmful about the fungi.
Duties of a Pharmacological Mycologist
Pharmacological mycologists are expected to pursue research that can benefit the companies and industries for which they work. The work on fungi that pharmacological mycologists perform allows the companies to discover new and novel uses for these relatively cheap forms of life. In obtaining patents, improving technology, and introducing new products by utilizing fungi, pharmacological mycologists attempt to better lives while assisting their companies economically.
Requirements of a Pharmacological Mycologist
Pharmacological mycologists are expected to have pursued advanced studies in biology, plant and agricultural sciences, microbiology, bioinformatics and even pharmacy studies. Typically, they hold a Ph.D. in some specialized component or field of mycology.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 2012 annual median salaries of $66,260 for microbiologists, including mycologists, and $74,180 for post-secondary biological science teachers. From 2012-2022, microbiologists could expect 7% employment growth, while post-secondary teachers in general would enjoy 19% expansion in job opportunities, per the BLS.
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