Examine the shapes of living things like plants.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Morphologists do?

If you’ve ever looked at a plant under a microscope, or even just looked at a plant, you know that they’re complex and beautiful organisms full of pattern and symmetry. Morphologists study the form and shape of organisms, particularly plants. The Anatomists of the botany world, a Morphologist is concerned not so much about why things work the way they do, but how.

In your job as a Morphologist, the microscope is your trusty tool and the lab your realm as you join other Morphologists, Botanists, and Plant Taxonomists in the pursuit of leafy knowledge. Luckily, you don’t have to sit with your eye pressed up against a viewfinder nowadays. Instead, you work with digital microscopes, taking photos and video of the cellular world. Some of the kaleidoscopic images you come across are beautiful enough to be framed.

You have no moral qualms about dissecting a sunflower or opening up an oak sapling with your scalpel (both should be less disgusting and smelly than the frog you had to take apart in your biology class). Flowers and trees are complex species, and you eagerly study everything from the shapes of their leaves to their intricate root systems.

Some people may say that morphology is a finished science, but the work you do contributes to the scientific community, whether you research ordinary species or examine new, exciting plants. The way plants grow or their cells are arranged, and even the process of photosynthesis that a tulip goes through every day, provides models for ways we can build new architecture or clean the air of pollutants. As long as green things keep growing, you can keep learning from their fascinating system of life.

Should I be a Morphologist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Biological Morphologist, Phytopathologist

    How to become a Morphologist

    We recommend at least a Doctoral degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Morphologist-related education!
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