Ecology is about ecosystems and how living organisms relate to each other and their environments.

An ecosystem is all the organisms living in a given area and the components of the area's environment such as soil, air and water.

The organisms could be plants, humans, other mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, etc.

Ecology is about how ecosystems are formed and how they function.

NZ university majors related to this area

Though in the same subject area, they may be very different.

Did you know?

Charles Darwin's (1809-82) theory of evolution was published in his book On the Origin of Species.

Modern theories of ecology were greatly influenced by the idea that organisms adapt to their environments.

Examples of career opportunities

Most entail additional learning (lifelong learning!).

  • Ecologist
  • Botanist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental policy analyst
  • Park ranger
  • Research scientist
  • Research assistant
  • Laboratory technician
  • Science teacher
  • Biology teacher
  • Academic

Income and employment prospects


130% of national
median earnings


Further study
Other or unknown

Figures based on young domestic graduates 5 years after graduation. Source: Ministry of Education.

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