Photograph via snooOG

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their biophysical environment.

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house"; -λογία, "study of") is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. This is the place to be when you want to discuss anything related to ecology!

If your submission is not related to ecological science or if it's not predominantly in English, expect it to be removed. In particular, environmental activism submissions belong in /r/environment or somewhere else.

Your post will probably be removed by the moderators if:

  • Is a /r/HomeworkHelp style question. If you are not a student then please state explicitly why you are asking the question

  • is a climate change post that is not focussed on one or more species. There are already numerous CC subreddits (that you can find in our sidebar), and also this sub would quickly get drowned out by this sort of content.

  • Your title does not adequately describe the content

  • Is a fundraising campaign/effort

  • Is a petition

  • Is a low effort image macro/meme post

What does ecology have to do with me?

Common Terms

Where Can I Go For More Information or Assistance?

Check out our Books about Ecology and Related Fields in the /r/ecology wiki books section

And view our Job Guides and Resources in the /r/ecology wiki jobs section

biscuitman76's guide to finding a job in ecology

/r/ecology supports the National Forest Foundation! Please share your support and DONATE HERE! If you have any questions regarding NFF, email Hannah: hettema AT nationalforests DOT org

Click here for a list of related subreddits!.

For updates to the wiki or the sidebar, or for anything else, please message the mods.


88,983 Subscribers


Book review – Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World

Fun, fascinating, and always with one eye firmly on the facts, Eat, Poop, Die shows how animals shape ecosystems through their everyday activities.

14:21 UTC


Feeling lost and jaded

I’m 21F and was originally a biology major with a pre-vet focus. However, I worked at a vet clinic and decided medical school would be better. Vet clinics are sorta dramatic and I didn’t really like that. I also don’t know if it’s worth my time financially. However, shortly after I came to that conclusion, I battled cancer and an autoimmune disorder from ages 17-20. During this time, I failed a lot of classes and lost a lot of relationships. It was the most emotional and loneliest times of my life. Im better now (for now…I didn’t really get the all clear from my doc yet, but the scans came back negative so that’s positive). I’m still a biology major because I love biology so much. I love nature, wildlife, ecology, genetics, and medicine. I have my associates degree and am now going to University to complete my bachelors. I got a scholarship to basically get a free bachelors degree so debt isn’t a concern of mine.

I considered going into medical school like I originally planned. However, I burned my gpa while going through cancer and it’s going to be an uphill battle to get in. Also, I don’t really care for treating people. I wanted to be a pathologist or radiologist. I like the study of medicine not helping people. All premed activities feel like a chore to me. I guess after cancer, I became sick and tired of doing stuff I don’t like for the sake of an application. I want to enjoy the journey the same as the destination. My dream job was always a wildlife biologist, but they make no money. So I never really explored that option. I just “live through” YouTubers who made it in the field.

The college I’m transferring to has biology but it has concentrations. One of those concentrations is environmental. Since I don’t have to worry about debt, part of me wants to do something I’m passionate about. I’m also jaded and traumatized by cancer and want to stop being so stressed/sad. Now don’t get me wrong, I love medicine, but nature/genetics was where it was at.

Idk what to do. I want to enjoy my life and my career and be passionate about my goals. However, I also want to be financially independent. I work retail and also as a lab technician for a water testing company. I tried applying to a park ranger job near my area but they never called back. I never want to work retail again. I’m so lost and idk what to do.

04:54 UTC


Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture (SECR) code assistance for thesis results

Hopefully I am posting in the right space and someone will be able to help- |

I am running a SECR analysis through the SECR package in R for the first time and trying to get an estimation of density and population size in the mammal population I am researching.
It has taken me SO LONG to get the code to run, but now that I finally have, the population estimate that it has given me is the same as the amount of animals that I trapped.

Any ideas or suggestions?

03:27 UTC


Should I take this internship?

I've been in the post grad jobsearch for a few months now, dozens upon dozens of applications with only a handful of interviews despite my certification, experience, high GPA, and so on but no luck. However, I recently got an offer for a 52 week entomology graduate intern position at a non-profit. The catch is its barely above minimum wage. Yeah. I know most of us get into this field making barely anything for jobs requiring at minimum bsc but do you think this is worth it? I have the potential to get my name on a published paper working here, and I specialize in entomology with plans to pursue a msc in the subject. The issue is housing prices/living costs and needing to move to a new town for this position. I would need to take on additional work for sure. I'm stuck in the mind that if I don't accept it when will I get this opportunity again vs knowing most other jobs I have and will apply to will pay better.

00:53 UTC


How to write a technical report

How do you write a technical report based on field surveys of endangered or targeted species?

22:48 UTC


Career Options

I (33m) have been working in a metal fabrication shop for the last 10 years as a way to get by after the military. I’d much rather be in a field that aligns with my personal values and am looking more into ecology/conservation.

Im currently looking at different degrees and programs available as I know it will most likely take a 4year degree to get into the field.

Wondering what’s out there and any of your experiences.

17:10 UTC


What would be the ecological affect of introducing beavers to the deserts of australia?

Would it have a poaitive or negative affect?

Have humans ever introduced an invasive species that has had a positive affect on native species?

16:05 UTC


Data analysis suggestions?

I’m working on my masters thesis and have an unfortunately small dataset (can’t collect more data due to time constraints). In short we’re essentially trying to see the impact of on species presence/frequency in various locations using encounter rate data. I’ve run linear models using diversity index data we have from, and even ran linear models against other species data we have. Given the limited data and my inexperience with R I’m not too sure what else can be done. Fortunately, I think given what I have and my literature research I’ll be able to finish my thesis, just was hoping to do something more interesting with the data. Anyone have experience with species encounters on local biodiversity?

13:02 UTC


I need some advice/help with a project of mine.

Hi! I like to write original fictional characters and monsters. However, I'd like to get some things right in terms of the "evolution" of one of these creatures. I don't have a name for it, only a rough concept.

What I've come up with is a cave dwelling creature which uses thorns as its primary self-defense. These thorns would be grown on its back where the hide would be a lot tougher. I'm not sure if it'd be a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore since I don't really know a lot about animal diets related to their habitats/environment.

I'd also like to point out that I am NOT an ecologist, nor do I have any experience within this topic. This is just a hobby of mine, so I'll probably ask some follow up questions to your answers if I don't fully understand them.

Thank you for your help! :)

07:53 UTC


Writing a research paper as a highschooler

I'm a highschooler (going into 11th grade) and I'm very interested in ecology. I've done a little bit of ecological research and citizen science, and I wanted to learn about writing a paper and setting up my own experiments, as I see a lot of other people my age doing this in other fields (medicine, engineering etc.). I'm very passionate about wildlife, and I'd like to contribute to the field and better the planet.

I was wondering if I could get any advice on how to start this process, or any information or resources that would be helpful.

05:33 UTC


I’m someone who’s interested and planning to study ecology, any suggestions for how I can get more involved?

Hi I am going into college next year as an environmental sciences major, however I’d like to start getting involved in ecology and conservation now, are there any suggestions for how I can get involved in ecology in my own local community?

Im also look for suggestions on any books or resources that I should look into, thanks!

23:39 UTC


How to get started in wetland ecology

Hello, I am ecologist, I have a masters degree and years of experience in wetlands. However, my experience is in water quality data collection as a technician, and in ecotox.

I have been in an extended job search, I would like to specialize more specifically on wetlands as an ecosystem, but all the jobs seems to be exclusively requiring 5+ years of experience in wetland delineation. I am not sure I have seen any jobs that specifically advertise themselves as willing to train on these skills.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get started in this area of wetland ecology? Is someone willing to explain how the built their career?


1 Comment
13:48 UTC


I’m beginning a career in environmental journalism and would like book recommendations.

Ideally, I’d like books or resources that are approachable to a non-scientist.

06:45 UTC


What is an example of completed convergent evolution?

There are many, many examples of convergence in action through similar trait development, but are there any actual historical examples of convergence actually having resulted in an entirely new genetic organism (and possibly the extinction of the influencing species?)

02:22 UTC


Recommended field gear

My son is going to Northern Michigan in the fall majoring in biology with a focus in conservation. The program is field work heavy.

I would like it get him some nice footwear, a pack, layers and outerwear. I’ve browsed around on REI but it’s a shot in the dark. What do you recommend? Any other essentials?

Also wondering what emergency supplies do you recommend for deep woods exploration? The UP is very isolated and has some wicked weather in the winter. I’m tempted to sew an AirTag into his coat for peace of mind, jk but kinda serious.

00:10 UTC


I studied/worked with bears for 5 years, happy to answer any questions regarding bear ecology/behaviour/working in bear country!

I did my thesis on polar bears, and worked a summer around grizzly bears and black bears. Happy to answer any questions on these lovely animals! As a disclaimer, my work was in Canada so anything regarding employment in the US will probably be out of my scope.

23:44 UTC


Backpack reccs for the field

I work in ecological restoration. Usually out in the field with occasional meetings peppered in to prevent me from doing my job. I’m looking for any new bag recommendations. I have a small osprey I’ve been using, but prefer my 15 year old Gregory that is unfortunately falling apart and in need of replacement. Looking for outside pockets, water bottle holder, waist/ chest strap, water repellant, and bonus if it's got outside straps for tools.

20:23 UTC


Do you only wear field work clothes once?

This might be an odd question but I only have a few outfits for field work and was wondering if it would be bad or gross to rewear it maybe 2 or 3 times. I’ll be walking through mixed grasses, no bodies of water or anything like that. I plan on spraying the clothes to prevent ticks.

17:24 UTC


Why were rabbits disastrous only in Australia, when they were introduced to all parts of the world? Why weren’t that bad in NZ, Americas, Polynesia etc?

17:22 UTC


Grants/Scholarships For Undergraduate Students Doing Research Placements?

Hey all!
I've just been offered a summer research placement with the British Antarctic Survey (focusing on ecosystems/seabirds) and I've realised, since the job pays a national minimum wage stipend, I'd be making a loss (won't be gaining any money at all) from costs of relocation/accommodation/sustenance/etc.

I'll probably discuss this with them - but does anyone know about any grants or funding opportunities for students like myself doing temporary/summer placements? I'm a physics & computer science student but have (as you may be able to tell) a side specialism in ecology and ornithology, and the role itself is very much computational biology/ecology heavy.

The Royal Society of Biology, for example, offers grants to people like myself but only if you're focusing on plant biology - which is unfortunate. British Ecological Society doesn't seem to offer anything oriented towards undergrads, so now I'm not sure.

Just so worried I'll blow it - I'm a first year who's somehow beat finalists to this job - so it'd suck if I just can't afford to undergo the placement due to lack of dosh.

Thanks in advance all.

22:12 UTC


Civil and Environmental Engineering VS Earth and Environmental Sciences: What should I choose?

the title is basically my question. next year is my final year in high school, and i really want to work with the environment in the future. like, trying to solve our ecological problems and stuff like that. i don't know exactly what i want to do, but the more i'll be able to do for our planet, the better. i've read the information on the uni's website but im quite confused about what i should choose and focus on :((

15:06 UTC


Deer species in the boreal forest

Hi I just want to know if deer live in the boreal forest? When I say deer I mean deer and not caribou, moose or elk. I asked a similar question in r/alaska and everyone said that they didn't but then I looked up some sites and they say that white tail deer are moving up north in the boreal forest and species of roe deer live in the siberian taiga. I'm just looking for the accurate info. Thanks.

00:43 UTC


Did you know the Sea Turtles are 'feminizing' due to climate change? This story covers efforts in Malaysia to save the species from extinction as sea & sand temperatures rise. Unfortunately it's a worldwide issue as discussed in the video.

19:28 UTC


Tree classification by shape and genus

round tree lod2


As a university project are developing a software to mesh cities with terrain, vegetation, buildings, etc.
In order to have some diversity in the different tree models and to be more realistic we're using 3 base models depending on the tree shape (for now, round, oval, conical). We get our tree metadata from Openstreetmap. The issue is how to chose a shape for a tree when all we know is the genus or the species. Is there a database for tree shape somewhere ? I couldn't find one and i can be quite long to do it manually.
Thanks guys.

1 Comment
09:24 UTC


Laptop recs?

Hey! I’m graduating next year in ecology conservation and currently In GIS classes. My MacBook crapped out with a bad battery and won’t run any programs for my GIS classes. I need a new laptop for school and potentially for my work after , field work , data uploading and GIS. For that kind of work and more , what’s the best laptop to use. Trying to set up even google earth in Mac was hell. I’m not that tech savvy. I want to be able to take my laptop with me in my car or comfortably in a bag to a coffee shop. Not sure exactly what programs I will be using after graduation but I need something strong. My budget is okay because I’m a college student but I can make sacrifices on a pricey laptop if it’s worth it. If it last for a few years in the work force. My current laptop is a MacBook Air 2020 for reference .

04:24 UTC


Arizona: the most biodiverse inland state

Tons of people think of my home state as an arid wasteland devoid of much life, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Thanks to its variety of habitats, millions of acres of undeveloped and unfragmented public land, local climates (e.g. sky islands, elevation ranges from 72 feet to 12,637 feet) and various other factors over the course of billions of years, Arizona finds itself with the third highest number of species out of the 50 U.S. states and the highest number of species for an inland state. It constantly amazes me how life flourishes here.


23:02 UTC


How to find Master’s Positions

Hello, I am casting a large net for any tips on finding Masters positions in the US. I recently graduated with a degree in Fisheries Science and am looking at doing my Masters in something river related (preferably restoration) here soon. I am wondering what the most effective, non time consuming approach would be. Should I cold email labs? Are there boards where people post job listings? Any and all tips are highly appreciated!!!

17:36 UTC


If a piece of land was for sale and I wanted to use it for conservation how would I do it?

There is a section of a heavily polluted river for sale by my house. Sadly it is very expensive. Is there a collective I could contact that would purchase the land for this purpose or a grant I could use to make it cheaper?

15:03 UTC


I can't decide which field to pursue: Restoration Ecology vs Plant Pathology

Hi all, I have two competing job offers and I'm having the hardest time making a choice between the two.

The first is at a Fed agency studying restoration ecology, particularly plant restoration of dryland ecosystems. This one pays more and is more congruent with my academic experience, and I do love this part of the US (Colorado Plateau). Its pretty cushy. Downsides are that it's mostly lab work, in the very same lab space I did my MS research.

The other is in a university lab studying fungal pathogens of forest and crop trees. This one would be more new to me, which is exciting (Ive always wanted to study fungi), and likewise involve a move to a new city and part of the country. They use a wider variety of molecular techniques (such as transcriptomics) and I would do more greenhouse and field work. It pays a decent amount less.

Anyway, I know this is ultimately something I'll have to decide myself, but I figure it's worth posting about to see if anyone has any perspective on how to make my decision. I've had both offers open for over a month and I've been agonizing over it. The deadline to accept either is days away and I feel no more sure about that I did initially.

09:04 UTC

Back To Top