Some Types of Scientists

Updated April 2, 2021 | Factmonster Staff

Scientists of all sorts

There are many different types of scientists, who work on different types of science. Now, when we say "scientist" we usually mean someone who studies the natural sciences. Scientists can also study formal sciences like math, or social sciences like psychology.

What is a scientist?

A scientist is someone who studies the physical world, using the scientific method. The scientific method means:

  • observing something
  • offering a theory or explanation for it
  • testing the theory in a way that can be repeated and disproven

What are the big categories?

  • Physical sciences study matter and energy weight. This includes physics and chemistry.
  • Earth sciences, which explain the phenomena of Earth, its atmosphere, and the solar system to which it belongs.
  • Life sciences, which describe living organisms, including plant life, and how they relate to their environment.

Common types of scientist

  • An agronomist specializes in soil and crops.
  • An astronomer studies outer space, stars, planets and galaxies.
  • A botanist specializes in botany, the study plants.
  • A chemist specializes in chemistry. They probably study a specific field of biology like biochemistry, which is about the chemical properties of living things.
  • A cytologist specializes in the study of cells.
  • An ecologist studies ecosystems, or the environment that we live in.
  • An epidemiologist studies the spread of diseases.
  • An ethologist studies animal behavior.
  • A geneticist studies how traits are inherited.
  • A geologist specializes in the history of Earth.
  • A geographer studies Earth's surface.
  • A marine biologist studies ocean plants and animals.
  • A meteorologist studies weather and climate.
  • A microbiologist studies microscopic plants and animals. Microbiology doesn't tend to include the cells of bigger animals, just microorganisms that live by themselves.
  • A paleontologist specializes in fossils.
  • A physicist studies matter, energy, and how they are related.
  • A seismologist studies earthquakes.
  • A zoologist studies zoology, the study of animals.