BotanistCommonly, there is a notion that Botanists only study plants that have stems, roots, flowers and leaves but it would also fall on the domain of Botanists to study lichens, molds, protozoa, fungi, algae and everything else not classified under the kingdom Animalia. Botanists, in general, study plants and everything else that has a direct contact with plants like climate, soil conditions, pathogenic agents and their relative environment. Specifically, they study the structure of plants from the root system to the stem up to the canopy of the leaves. To classify a newly discovered plant, Botanists need to completely map out the plant from the apex of the leaves down to its roots. Let’s say, if the plant is a shrub, has a fleshy fruit, has pinnate leaves and everything else resemble a common tomato except that the fruit has a somewhat elongated shape, most likely, the Botanist studying this newly discovered plant would classify the plant as belonging to the family Solanaceae but would assign it a different scientific name.
Nothing thrills a Botanist like discovering an unclassified plant. Apart from assigning a scientific name to the new plant, it would give the Botanist to exercise his scientific nature and on the side achieve fame and glory. Discovering a new plant would mean years of research so that the plant would be fully understood and assess if the plant will have an impact to man and the environment and maybe that’s why these scientists continue to embark journeys on the Amazon or other dense forests just to get the credit of naming them.
There are many kinds of specialization in studying plants. Truly, there’s not one Botanist who can boast that he mapped out a single plant completely from the plant’s anatomy down to its cell membranes and diseases and other factors that may affect them. Probably, a botanist, depending on his field, would limit his study to his area of expertise. Some Botanists are interested only on plants used as commercial plants either for food or for industrial use, some are interested only on pathogens attaching themselves to plants, some are only interested in environmental factors that affect plants while some are interested only on the genetic mapping of plants but whatever interest they have, a working knowledge of plants can only be beneficial to man.
Botanists are among those scientists that have contributed so much to the good of mankind. Although, there has been botanists studying plants for hundreds of years, all the species of plants would perhaps never be completely studied as some plants would just get extinct without being probed and for sure there would be new plants that would evolve for study, as like humans and animals, plants can adapt to environmental changes too.
Botanist for some time became a not so popular course as computer science and robotics took the world by storm and are currently the best paying jobs but until recently, a few years back, interests in botany and plant science sparked anew as biotechnology is churning out useful innovations in the field of nutritional supplements and medicines.