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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