What is a Mammalogist?

Mammalogists are scientists who only study mammals. There are over 4,000 species of living mammals and many extinct species that a mammalogist could study.

Research can include the mammals' natural history, taxonomy and systematics, anatomy and physiology, as well as their behaviour, environment, actions, breeding, and all around surroundings.

What does a Mammalogist do?

A mammalogist reaching out and touching a monkey.

The study of mammals is incredibly diverse, and a mammalogist has many branches to choose from. The major subdivisions of mammalogy include: 

Taxonomy & Systematics - the study of the classification of animals and their biological relationship to extinct animals 

Natural History - the study of a mammal’s habitat, natural predators, social structure, and reproductive states 

Anatomy & Physiology - the study of the body and functions of mammal bodies 

Ecology - the study of how mammals interact and adapt to their environments

Ethology - the study of mammal behaviour and how that affects their reproduction and ability to survive

Management & Control - the study of how mammals and humans co-exist together

A mammalogist might specialize in one of these areas or they may combine aspects from two or more areas. Many scientists who study mammals do not consider themselves mammalogists, but rather as specialists in ethology or physiology, and happen to specialize in the study of animals.

Are you suited to be a mammalogist?

Mammalogists have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also realistic, meaning they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty.

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What is the workplace of a Mammalogist like?

Mammalogists work in a variety of settings including research facilities, parks, rescue centres, universities, aquariums, zoos, museums, and conservation organizations. They may work one-on-one with animals, or study them from afar.

Mammalogists can work alone or in teams. For the most part, they conduct their research alone but they will sometimes collaborate with others in their field. They will then report their research findings with colleagues and organizations.

Colleges and universities employ mammalogist professors that teach biology or zoology classes, and conduct research. University mammalogists often direct a staff or lab of technicians that help in their lab work. Besides conducting research, mammalogists may also write proposals for granting agencies, manage personnel, and write results of lab research.

Federal agencies employ mammalogists for a variety of work; they may be employed as ecologists, biologists, geneticists, physiologists, and husbanders. The type of agencies that hire these mammalogists might be the Public Health Service, National Park, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture. Mammalogists that work for State Fish and Game Agencies have direct interaction with wild mammals, as much of their work has them out in the field.

Mammalogists also work in museums where they work as curators. Their duties include preparation, acquisition, identification, and the cataloging of specimens so materials are available for researchers.

Mammalogists are also known as:
Marine Mammalogist Mammal Biologist Mammal Scientist