As an ecologist, you will be studying the interrelationship between different living organisms and between organisms and their environment.

What does an Ecologist do?

An ecologist surveys the diversity and behaviour of animal and plant populations in an ecosystem and studies the interrelationship of organisms with their physical and biological environment. Research areas of an ecologist includes the interaction of living organisms with others of their own kind and of a different kind. They also focus on how these organisms are affected by the physical environmental factors like availability of heat, light, water, nutrients and atmospheric conditions.

What does a typical day at work involve?

  • Checked Conduct field surveys
  • Checked Collect information about organisms
  • Checked Apply sampling strategies
  • Checked Employ survey techniques (Example: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)) to manage habitat areas
  • Checked Execute environmental impact assessments
  • Checked Analyse and interpret data
  • Checked Write reports
  • Checked Involve in teaching in schools or in field centres
  • Checked Engage in research

What are the areas where an ecologist can specialise in ?

It is the study of the interrelationships between humans, other organisms and the surroundings in an urban environment.
Study of the forest ecosystem which includes surveying and classifying plant and animal species and of the impact of climatic changes and human intervention on the forest soil and life.
Marine Ecology is the study of aquatic animals and plants in marine habitat, and interactions among the organisms and the biotic and abiotic factors in the surrounding environment.
Restoration ecology is the study of restoring ecosystems that have been damaged due to natural calamities like floods or cyclones or by human activities like forest encroachment or over grazing of cattle.
Environmental biology is the study of the biological aspects of an ecosystem and the impact of human interventions on the flora and fauna that inhabit the ecosystem.

How to become an Ecologist ?

Step 1
Take Science stream with Biology

Studying Biology and Chemistry at the 10+2 level is an essential requirement for doing an undergraduate degree in Ecology/Environmental Science. Admissions to good institutions require a good aggregate % in the 10+2 examinations

Step 2
Take BSc in Environmental Science/ Ecology/Biological Sciences

A Bachelor’s program in Ecology is rarely available in India. However Ecology is a component of the 3 year bachelor’s degree course in Bsc Environmental science/ BSc Biological Studies in Indian universities. BSc Ecology program is available in many foreign universities.

Step 3
Take MSc in Environmental Science/ Ecology/ Biological Sciences

Ecology is incorporated in postgraduate courses in Biological sciences and Environmental Science in India. MSc Ecology programs are available in foreign universities.

Note :
  • Ecology electives are offered in the BS MS (Science with Biology specialisation) dual degree program in IISER.
  • Integrated PhD in Biological Sciences at Centre for Ecological studies in IISc offers courses in Ecology.

Ecology Colleges

Name State District Type Website Course

Requirements for masters (MSc) in ecology

Requirements for admission into a PG course in one of the top institutions to help you get an overall picture

India (from Pondicherry University for MSc. Ecology and Environmental Science)

  • Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, with a minimum of 55% marks.
  • Should have studied Mathematics and Science subjects at higher secondary level.

Foreign (from University of Washington for MS Environmental & Forest Sciences)

  • Minimum 3.0/4.0 grade point average required for the last two years of study.
  • GRE score.

To see the entrance exams, scholarships and UG admission details, click here

Skills Required


An ecologist must have enthusiasm and fascination for animals and plants. It is necessary when they undertake fieldwork even in unfavourable conditions.


An ecologist must be an expert in one or more groups of living organisms and they should have the capacity to identify different species.

IT Skills

An ecologist should have the ability to use computer software for recording, analysing and presenting data and reports.

Communication Skills

An ecologist should have excellent communication skills in writing, speaking and in doing presentations.

Team skill

Teamwork and project-management skills are very essential for an ecologist during researches and field works.