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Thread: What can I work with? (Biology)

  1. #1 What can I work with? (Biology) 
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    Hi, I'll be starting university in approx. 2 years, and I was thinking of doing something along the lines of biology, evolutionary biology or biochemistry / cellular biology etc. I live in Denmark btw.

    But I have no clue how it all works, and what you do after you get your grades; is there enough work to get? If so, what kind would it most likely be? And where would it be? I would love to research and experiment, but does that not take a Ph.D?

    Can someone clear up my confusion, please? =)

    Thanks a lot


    PS: I really wouldn't like working for a company creating new types of food additives or the like. I was thinking of something perhaps a little more...important. Also, salary is not an issue e.


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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    I can't really speak as to the situation in Denmark as I live in the USA. Here in the US, however, you don't need a PhD to do research unless you want to start your own project. I've done research as an undergraduate, graduate student, and with a masters. The PhD program in my department is basically for those who want to teach or start their own research. If you want to work on current projects, you don't need more than a BS, but you will definitely find more work and more interesting work with a masters.

    As for biology, agrobio and new biotech initiatives mean there will probably be quite a lot of work in the coming decades. Like I said, this isn't tailored to Denmark as I don't know what the political or economic atmosphere is like there.


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  4. #3  
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    That sounds good. But can you elaborate a little? What did you do research in? Also, when did you start / finish your studies? (What age)?
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    I'm still doing research. Our study is estimated to be a 20 year project and we're only 5 years in and funded at half a million dollars. We're studying the hydrology of a local watershed and using computer software to model how to best go about restructuring local agriculture to mitigate the Gulf of Mexico polution from runoff. The first phase was gathering data from as many sites as possible, putting together a team, and starting on our Apex model. We're still in that phase, but it's very nearly at a close. Next, is public outreach to the local farmers. We have to convince them that a bunch of university snobs know more about agriculture than they do (not true, but that's how many perceive it). Finally, we're going to be building what we call BMPs (best management practice) on their lands to slow the erosion of soil and runoff of agricutural waste and fertilizer.

    As for school, I originally got a degree in computer graphics and worked doing some models for a few video game companies before I realized I wsn't talented enough to compete and I came back to get a BS in EnvSci and a master's in Geology with a specialization in hydrology (a big market here in Indiana).

    I could probably do compus research forever (especially if I got my PhD and taught, which I don't really want to do), but I'd like to work for the USGS or even a local consulting firm and maybe do some traveling.

    As that COULD relate to you, if you had your BS in my field you could do the leg work for a research project. Gather local samples, piece together data, build models with computer software, etc. A master's could let you take charge of those BS holders and set overall goals. You wuold also be more likely involved in the interaction with the public and making presentations for town hall groups interested in what you're doing sloggin across their fields. A PhD would mean you are in charge of the project. Our project lead has several degrees and was so smart they recruited her to University of Oregon (so jealous of her) so we're juggling a lot right now.

    Anyways, that's probably a lot to take in, but I'm kind of bored right now.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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