INTRODUCTION:Botany is the scientific study of plants. "Plants," to most people, means a wide range of living organisms from the smallest bacteria to the largest of living things - the giant sequoia trees. By this definition plants include: algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Today scientists believe bacteria, algae and fungi are in their own distinct kingdoms, but most general botany courses, and most Botany Departments at colleges and universities, still teach about these groups.
Because the field is so broad, there are many kinds of plant biologists and many different career and study opportunities available. Botanists interested in ecology study interactions of plants with other organisms and the environment. Other field botanists search to find new species or do experiments to discover how plants grow under different conditions. Some botanists study the structure of plants. They may work in the field, concentrating on the pattern of the whole plant. Others use microscopes to study the most detailed fine structure of individual cells. Many botanists do experiments to determine how plants convert simple chemical compounds into more complex chemicals. They may even study how genetic information in DNA controls plant development. Botanists study processes that occur on a time scale ranging from fractions of a second in individual cells to those that unfold over eons of evolutionary time.
Areas of Specialization in Botany
Plant Anatomy: The study of plant and cells and tissue.
Biophysics: The study of the application of Physics to plant life process.
Cytology: The study of the structure, function, and life history of plant cells.
Ecology: The study of the relationships between plants and the world in which they live, both individually and in communities.
Genetics:The study of plant heredity and variation. Plant geneticists analyze genes and gene function in plants.
Microbiology: The study of microorganisms. Microbiologists may be specialized by organism (for example, microbiologists that study bacteria) of by a branch of biology (for example, Microbial Ecology).
Molecular Biology: The study of the structure and function of biological macromolecules in plants, including biochemical and molecular aspects of genetics.