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A nematologist specifically studies nematodes and their interaction with plants. Nematodes are microscopic rounds worms that can transmit diseases and/or attack soil, water and insects. 



What responsibilities will I have?

  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative soil samples containing nematodes, and for isolating, mounting, counting, and identifying specimens
  • Investigate and develop pest management and control measures, such as chemical, hot water and steam treatments, soil fumigation, biological crop rotations, and cultural practices
  • Develop microbial nematicide products including various types of soil applications and seed treatments that will measure efficacy against nematodes
  • Determine the mode of action of our nematicides – effects on eggs, egg laying, juveniles, adults, etc.  Direct or indirect effects, prevention of gall formation or feeding, and others
  • Monitor literature and maintain academic and industry contacts
  • Contribute to writing of patents, grants and collaborative research agreements
  • Maintain an accurate and up-to-date, witnessed written account of experimental protocols and results
  • Maintain a high level of scientific skills and knowledge of new technologies and research
  • Supervise lab assistants and interns
  • Provide expertise and research learnings about nematodes to farmers
  • Look at potential nematode resistant genes that could possibly be incorporated into crops


What education and training is required?

A variety of undergraduate degrees are acceptable for a future as a nematologist including biology, entomology, or ecology.  


To pursue a career as a nematologist:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, horticulture, mathematics, biology, chemistry and environmental sciences


Where can I work?

The wok environment of a nematologist can be in a laboratory, greenhouse and field. Universities, agricultural seed and chemical companies and government agencies hire nematologists.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for a nematologist will be good over the next five years.


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Soil Science Society of America
  • Entomological Association of America 
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