Becoming a Professional Botanist
Duties and Responsibilities of Botanists
Botanist Skills and Interests
Average Salaries for Botanists
Influential Professional Botanists
Professional Botany Organizations
Top Cities for Botanists
Other Careers of Interest
Botanists are a type of biologist and work mainly at higher education institutions, private research laboratories, and governmental agencies. Botanical research can lead to discoveries and insights that can improve our understanding of the environment and how to care for it, about the uses of certain plants, the discovery of new drugs, increasing crop productivity, etc. Within botany (aka phytology, or plant biology), there are multiple specializations, and botanists tend to become highly focused in their studies and expertise, concentrating on one particular environment type or group of plants or even a particular process that happens within plants.
Botanists are differentiated from horticulturalist, because horticulture is primarily the art and science of gardening, and sometimes, food production. Botany is by nature much more broad and less of an applied discipline as a purer science.
Botanists spend time both inside the lab and out in the field. If they work at a higher learning institution, they may also teach. In the field they may work alone or in teams, and may travel extensively in the course of their research.
Historically, there are many famous early figures in East Indian, Arabia, Greece, and China who hold the honor of being some of the world's first formal botanists. Some of their names are
Ibn al-Baitar (13th Century), Al-Dinawari (9th Century), Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati (13th Century), Huangdi Neijing and Zhang Zhongjing (3rd Century), and Theophrastus (4th Century). Interestingly, Leonardo da Vinci is also considered a key botanist for his time.
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