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

/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.


78,779 Subscribers


What are some some cool communication concepts to explore between animals, insects, and plants?

Creating a small booklet to get middle schoolers interested in communication within Biology

A few examples I am already looking at include

-Prairie Dogs have different calls to describe prey

-Maybe Mycorrhizal Networks

-how Elephants Communicate below 20 hertz which is the lower limit of the frequency humans can hear and can communicate long distances

Looking for any interesting concepts both general and specific examples

02:17 UTC


Help with distance sampling and/or another abundance estimate method

Hello! I’d like to estimate abundance for red foxes from a camera trap network (18 cameras). We setup distance markers in case it was possible to use distance sampling method.

I could really use some help figuring out how to set all this up and run the model. I’m also interested in other methods for estimating abundance.

1 Comment
22:01 UTC


Better graduate lab to choose now in South Asia for future job/research prospects in Western countries?

14:09 UTC


Which ecosystems DON’T need protection?

We talk so much about ecological areas that are in dire need of conservation, but what are some that are currently thriving? I would imagine there are some desert ecosystems that are expanding pretty readily at the moment—are there any more productive environments that are seeing growth?

In general, I feel as if we often overlook the more “normal” environments because they feel safe and homely, but I think we should put the same amount of effort into them as we do exotic environments. Especially if their spread/decline could threaten these rarer places.

I think this could be an interesting topic to study in order to better understand how/where we can protect the less fortunate ecosystems on our planet. For example, we can ascertain which human disturbances can have positive (positive, not necessarily good) impacts on certain species, and better understand the dividing line between aggressively expanding and invasive species. Or, in a totally different vein, we could use these unthreatened lands as test areas for habitat reconstruction and other things of the like.

So, what are some of your favorite/familiar of these more “common” ecosystems? I would have to go with North American peat bogs, personally. They’re widespread but still kinda funky.

18:37 UTC


Artificial floating island cleans water, increases biodiversity

1 Comment
14:35 UTC


The updated Lizard Tier List - highlighting the evolutionary advantages of various species, and how these environmentally-developed traits/abilities compare

10:47 UTC


Any ideas for a master's thesis in applied statistics

Hi guys,
I'm currently doing my master's thesis in applied statistics and I want to conduct a meta-analysis in the field of ecology/environmental science. As a non-ecologist, I find it quite hard to find a research question.

Therefore I'm very thankful for any ideas about research questions that are feasible for a meta-analysis and also manageable to accomplish within the time frame of a master's thesis (half a year).

Thanks in advance!

07:28 UTC


Considering conservation biology as 2nd career... help!!

Howdy y'all! I'm so glad I found this community. I've been a social worker for the past 10+ years and am trying to figure out my next move. All I know is I love being in the natural world and I want to find solutions to protect, preserve and educate the public.

To be honest, I really struggled in math and science but I think it's because I haven't really flexed those muscles much as I haven't take classes in that area in about 15 yrs...ewww... My mind is much more skilled at analytical thinking and drawn to the social sciences. Is there any hope for me?! Haha

Also- would anyone working in the field be open to a quick informational interview?


03:32 UTC


Wanting to become ecologist but not sure on what degree path to follow.

I am currently attending community college and want to transfer to a 4 year university. My dream school has a BS Ecology and Conservation Biology program that I would love to be able to do. They also have a BS Environment Geoscience and I am unsure what to try and go for. I’ve heard that having a degree in geology makes it easier to get different jobs, even ones that fall under the umbrella of Ecology. Is there any advice you guys could share?

21:08 UTC


What is the transportation system with the least ecological impact?

I want to transport large amounts of resources from a to b.

It's not a one time thing, it needs to go on for a long time.

There is no infrastructure (roads etc.) but it can be built.

I want to have the least ecological impact while still being relatively efficient speed wise (no moving stuff on foot bit by bit).

No magic, teleportation or other sci fi stuff but if we could theoretically build it it's valid.

What is the best? Answer can be multiple things ranked or not and take into account different mediums like land/sea/air.

14:47 UTC


I have been assigned to create a guide or activity pamphlet for middle schoolers what would be an interesting topic?

  • Common animal behaviors
  • Plants, (trees especially) Animals, and insects and how they communicate
  • Nature input and output of information
  • Hunting
  • Food chains
  • Let butterflies come to you -build a habitat??
  • Build a habitat for…..
  • Bird noises or how birds communicate
  • Tracking
  • Rocks / minerals
  • Heat indexes and how they effect nature
  • Worms and nematodes
  • Deadwood / Deadwood illustration
  • Mycorrhizal Networks
13:14 UTC


How to transition my math undergrad degree to ecology career?

I (25) graduated with a math major, computer science minor in 2021. Now I'm basically the excel person for the purchasing department of a hotel.

The thing is, I love ecology. I have always loved ecology. When I was in high school, I interned at a zoo, and it was the best job of my life. I've always loved animals and biology, and have a passion for the planet. I know that nothing I do will really have an impact on the climate crisis, but am having a hard time living with myself, knowing that I'm just sitting here contributing to the death of the planet that provides everything for us. And yet, I've read lots of posts in this reddit of people discouraging others from entering this field due to high competition, low wages, and low stability.

I want some advice or options on how to proceed. What are some good ways to use my current skill set to get a job in the field?

Some road blocks I have:

  • I will have to work full time throughout any additional schooling
  • My current job has an hour long commute each way, 5 days/week. This limits my time at home.
  • I don't have many people to use as references/letters of recommendation.
  • I'm not willing to make minimum wage (for long).

Some ideas I have:

  • Pursue an online BS in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University
  • Choose a university near me to pursue an MS in ecology. In order to get the letters of recommendation needed, I could take some of the pre-req classes at that university before applying to the MS program.
  • Job-hop into positions that have more and more to do with ecology data analysis.
  • Get an analyst position at the state university near me and take classes for free.

Thank you!

TL;DR: I could use some advice particularly on what fields of ecology would be easiest to transition to from a math/CS undergrad background, and what steps I'd need to take for those particular fields.

03:35 UTC


Intro to Ecology Project - Need Help

I'm in an Intro to Ecology class for a master's in Env. Policy and Mgmt and I'm feeling way over my head. Our final project, and the larger projects leading up to it, involve collecting data on a natural area and writing a paper that "resembles a Biological Analysis (BA) for an Environmental Assessment (EA) that's part of the NEPA process. For the purpose of this assignment, we are going to assume that an entity is proposing a change to the environment you are studying, for example adding park benches, public bathrooms, a playground, picnic tables, a bike path, installing a bird feeder, removing beaver dams, or removing invasive plants."

Our second weekly assignment asks us to determine which sampling methodologies we plan to use for our project and I have no idea where to begin. Firstly, I've yet to settle on my site to research (considering Rocky Mountain Arsenal Natural Reserve or Cherry Creek State Park, both in Denver). I then don't know which sampling methodologies would be best, what the pros and cons are, and what I need to be considering as I prepare for this final report. Just feeling a bit overwhelmed as I have not had much previous experience in this field (my UG degree was in Psych). I'm also a bit flustered knowing I'll have to do a lot of tables, charts, and data analysis which is not my strong suit and takes me a lot of time.

Does anyone have any guidance? I would just love some clarity around how to pick a site, which sampling methodologies to consider, things to keep in mind when writing a BA, and how to keep things simple. My professor has already declined to meet with me, so here I am.

Thank you all.

15:44 UTC


Himalayan balsam - pollinator interactions

I am carrying out some research on Himalayan balsam and the interactions it has with pollinators.

As Part of this Research I am carrying out an observational experiment where I will spend a certain amount of time noting which pollinators and how many of each type interact with the Himalayan balsam.

I have a few questions that I wondered if anyone here could answer to ensure my research is as valuable as possible.

Would it be best to choose individual Himalayan balsam plants at each site and count the number of pollinators over an allotted time (eg 10 mins) and do this for multiple individual plants at all sites, or would it be best to just look at all the pollinators going to the whole site over the allotted time?

What would be a good control site to use?

Should I use specified size for my sites, eg look at the pollinators in a 5m x 5m section, or use the whole bunch of plants in the location.

Thanks for any help and I can try to explain better if anything isn’t clear! :)

Any other advice is much appreciated too!

12:06 UTC


Is ecology a fulfilling choice for a career?

I'm a rising senior in college and a biology major. I've been heading down the medical path for the past few years, but recently I've been having some doubts about it, namely that I find the field quite uninteresting, and that I'm worried I don't have to drive to go through another 6+ years of education for a field I barely care about. I started taking some ecology classes last year, and I both excelled and found them far more interesting that my other more chemistry-related classes and classes related to human bio. After listening to a ecologist professor of mine speak, the idea of becoming an ecologist is sounding like something I might actually enjoy studying, as a person who lacks any major passions. Do you all find the field fulfilling? Thanks so much.

08:51 UTC


Transforming poor agricultural land, into thriving biodiverse conservation lake to encourage red listed species to use the habitat

10:50 UTC


Need reassurance about my M.S. Biology degree that is taking me 4 years to complete. Can someone help me see the positives??

Hello, I’m having a crisis because I started a Master’s in Biology program in 2019 when I was 22 and I’m still trying to finish now at 26. I completed all my classes a while ago and my thesis is what has been holding me back from finishing.

For some background, I jumped into a Master’s program without much consideration straight out of undergrad where I graduated with a B.A. in Biology (yes, the BA was another misguided mistake). I decided I was good at school and had heard how hard it was to find jobs in ecology, especially with a BA, so I figured it’d be good to get the masters out of the way while I was still in school mode. I thought I would have more job opportunities and a better shot at higher paying positions. No one at my undergrad tried to talk me out of it, and even said with my good grades and a bit of field experience, that I was a good fit for grad school (even though I had no independent research experience!!).

My boyfriend got a job in a particular city so I started looking into labs at universities in that city. To my surprise, an advisor at a state school accepted me, and without talking to any other potential advisors, I started the program with a tuition waiver (no debt from this experience, thank goodness). I was one of the youngest students in my cohort, and I wish I would have seen that as a red flag that I should get work/life experience first, but instead I saw it as a good thing that I was starting early.

I came in with an offer to work on a project with a government agency, but there were communication issues between them, myself, and my advisor, and that all fell through. I SO badly wish I would have quit right then and there in my first semester, because I didn’t have a clear direction for my thesis project. On top of that, Covid happened and I also suffered a field related injury later. I was so overwhelmed with teaching as a TA (little to no training in that either!!), classes, and trying to design a thesis project. But I pushed through it all and was so determined to get the degree done and not be a quitter, and I was terrified I would forever regret not finishing.

I guess what I’m looking for is reassurance that I did the right thing and that this degree will be worth it in the end. I’m so sad thinking about what could have been…I didn’t realize it until so much later that grad school was way too much independence way too fast, way too early, and just about destroyed my mental health and confidence (I made soo many mistakes due to so little experience and guidence), and I wish I would have looked harder at field tech jobs out of undergrad where I think I would’ve had way more oversight and training, or that I would have looked more into different advisors that would have given such a young grad student more intense oversight. I’m just feeling so so sad and beating myself up for not quitting after my first semester. I thought my determination was admirable but now I realize far too late that I was forcing a situation to work out that I was miserable in and I fell victim to the sunken time fallacy. I wish I would have found this thread earlier and realized grad school was wrong for me at the time.

I’m in a field tech job that I really like right now while I’m trying to finish up my thesis remotely, so that’s helped me a ton, but has also made me mourn what could have been…if only I had just been less afraid to find work right after school in the first place, this whole grad school nightmare could’ve been avoided. I think I’m finally on track to finish because I’m finally moving into data analysis, but I’m in a deep depression and am filled with so much regret, and any reassurance that this wasn’t a total waste of my life would be much appreciated. How do I make peace with myself over all this?? Thank you.

08:53 UTC


Book recommendations

Hi Eco-enthusiasts,

I’m wondering if anybody can recommend me a good book on ecology, which covers the basics and especially gives good insight into the harmony between living and non living things? Even philosophically inspired is a plus. Also if you could provide your take on why you thought it was a book worthy to recommend. Thank you.

06:21 UTC


A virus infecting the invasive plant Porcelain Berry (Ampelopsis glandulosa). I can’t find anything in the literature. If only we could use pathogens as biocontrols for invasive plants. I’ve seen a strain of Xanthomonas isolated from garlic mustard proposed as a biocontrol before

21:53 UTC


Is there a ecosystem/terrarium youtube channel thats not creepy/scary?

This Dr. Plants video is a good one


but I cant watch it because of the bugs and spiders.

21:42 UTC


Don’t all plants inherently have geotropism? Why would these roots grow like that?

17:11 UTC


Dilution is once again the solution to pollution?

Seems this concept is making a comeback—although all of my data is anecdotal. Anyone else experiencing similar trends in discussions with students, colleagues, normies (I say that lovingly), et al? Of course there isn’t a one size fits all approach to complex systems, but it seems to me (again, limited to my interactions with folks) that this has become increasingly acceptable. Just curious as to anyone else’s thoughts. Much appreciated.

14:08 UTC



Hello! I am currently taking a 300 level ecology class and I am struggling to understand the professors content. I feel like he is making it way harder to understand than it needs to be. I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me out and or tutor. Or if you have any resources to share that would be great too. I’m only 3 weeks in but this is the last class I need to graduate and I’m already worried I won’t pass. Thanks!

16:08 UTC


Picking mushrooms in a National Park is illegal, what's the scientific base for that?

After seeing people pick mushrooms in a National Park (where I hike atm) I feel a bit uneasy. Why on earth do people do that? It is clearly forbidden and you might get fined. However, this will not be a rant, I am more interested in: what is the scientific base for it being not allowed? what influence do these few people actually have? bonus question: what do you do when encountering someone picking mushrooms (or flowers) in aNational Park? thank you all!

edit: and apologies if that is a really dumb question, I am new to this :)

13:23 UTC


Favorite ecology textbook?

Hi, I am a 2nd year PhD student, getting ready to take my qualifying exam. When I asked my committee if they had any suggested materials, they said “read an ecology textbook”. Which is fair enough. I was just wondering if anyone has a favorite that is either really super informative (and ideally pleasant to read)


19:55 UTC

Back To Top