- Work as part of a team studying the history and biology of animal remains
- Exciting work that may involve travel to remote locations
- Spend part of your time in a university or research organisation and part of your time working out in the field
Paleozoology is a specialist field within zoology, that focuses in on the study of animal remains. Paleozoologists are different from palaeontologists in that they don't just study extinct and fossilised species, they study organic remains like bone, horn, hair and soft tissues, and they study the remains of animals that are not extinct.
For example, when the remains of a species are found with soft tissues, bone or hair intact, a paleozoologist would be involved in the recovery and study of the material.
- Collecting data and samples on field trips
- Managing volunteers on field trips
- Examining and testing samples in the lab
- Doing research and publishing your findings
- Planning and delivering lectures
- Developing courses and workshops
- Recording and classifying samples and collections
- Giving talks and managing displays and exhibitions
- Writing articles for scientific websites and magazines
- Providing expert advice for broadcasters on programmes
Your working environment may be physically demanding and involving frequent travel. This is a highly specialist role and many paleozoologists will work at universities or as freelance consultants who would be brought in to take part in a particular project.
Paleozoologists will often work as part of a team who have expertise across a range of areas on projects like archaeological digs or as part of survey teams.
For this role, you'll need knowledge of biology, excellent verbal and written communication skills, analytical thinking skills, the ability to use a computer confidently, and science skills.
To get started you could do a degree in palaeontology, or zoology. Most paleozoologists will then study for a specialist master's degree, and then for employers like universities or research institutions, you will be expected to have completed, or be working towards, a PhD in your specialist area of interest to get your first role.
Being able to speak a second language might be helpful as you'll often be working with colleagues from around the world.
This is an exciting role, with the potential to work on high-profile projects and to be part of discovering new possibilities and historical information related to the species who have lived on our planet.