Careers in Botany

Careers in
Would you study plants?
• Think about it for a minute
– Would it be of interest to you?
– Would it be of any importance to the world?
– What can we learn from studying plants?
– Write down as many possible careers in the area
of plants as you can think of
Think about the importance of plants
to the world overall
• Food & Beverages
• Medicines
• Textiles
• Perfumes
• Herbal remedies
• Shelter
• Fuel
Careers in Plants
• Food Security
– Current population: 7 billion
– Predicted for 2075: 9.5 billion
– We therefore need to ensure we can feed this
increased population
– However, space is decreasing due to urbanisation
of land
– We need space to grow plants!
– What can studying plants tell us?
Science Researcher
• Currently, researchers are investigating ways
of encouraging plants to grow better, larger
crops, in less space, potentially with less water
• Since the 1960’s the global average food
consumption has increased by 1/3
• These studies are needed now more than ever
– we need to be able to feed an increased
Plants in the Economy
• Ted Arnold (CEO Concern)
– 1970: 24% of the worlds population were hungry
– 2010-12: 12.5% were hungry
– Much of this improvement can be credited to the
study of plants and how to improve their crop
• Farming community rely on quality food types
to provide to animals  in turn these animals
are used for food / dairy products
• The quality of produce from farmers has a
knock on effect on the economy
Climate Change
• Increased levels of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are
leading to global warming.
• These new conditions over time are leading to
changed climates
– Plants grown in some areas may no longer thrive
there, having an effect on the use of plants in that
Science Research: Climate Change
• It is important that the effects are studied in
detail so we can forecast what is to come in
the future
– How can we manage our plants to get the best
from them?
– What can we do now with the current
• This involves studying fossil plants from
millions of years ago with a view to
understanding their evolution based on
different climates, increased levels of CO2
– Experiments can be set up simulating these
– is an
example of such a research project currently
taking place
• The scientific study of the traditional
knowledge and customs of a people
concerning plants and their medical, religious
and other uses
• Studies are constantly being carried out,
striving to understand what use plants can be
to humans
Plants in Medicine
• Morphine and codeine – analgesics from the
opium poppy Papaver somniferum
• Serpentine – reduces hypertension
Ajmalicine – tranquilizer
(from Catharanthus roseus)
• All these drugs need to be studied and tested
Plants in Medicine
• There are many species of plants that provide
us with drugs necessary for life
– What if all the other species that haven’t been
studied yet could provide us with life saving
– We need people in the field researching these
• “Horticulture is the study and practice of
growing plants” (
• This covers several areas of employment
– Growing & cultivating of plants
– Landscaping
– Many options within the field!
Horticulture: Amenity Purposes
• This covers the design, construction and
management of living, recreational and leisure
areas such as parks, public gardens,
cemeteries and sports facilities
Plants & the law!
• A study has shown that
greener areas see less
– Relaxed atmosphere
with reduced aggression
– People tend to gather
outdoors, increasing
– A green, groomed area
shows a caring,
concerned community
Plants and the Law
• See the full article here
Why might an area
like this prevent a
Careers in Plants
• These are only some of the options in plant
• Almost every field you can think of will include
plants at some stage
• Consider the ones mentioned and discuss with
a classmate: which one would you do and
• “Feeding the World in 2050” A Policy
– Dr. Tom Arnold CEO Concern
– Professor Shane Ward (UCD)
• Personal Communications
– Dr. Caroline Elliott-Kingston (UCD)
E. Nertney 2013