The critical role Animal Geneticists play in ensuring the survival of animal species across the board is critical to resolving the world’s fastest mass extinction of species.
Also Known As
- Clinical Geneticist
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Animal Geneticists do? An Animal Geneticist would typically need to:
- At the molecular, organismal, and population levels, investigate the genes and improve the heritability of desired traits in specific animal species.
- Plan biological research; isolate, synthesize, and analyze biological samples; and investigate how different substances affect animal tissues and biological processes.
- Assess, interpret, record, and disseminate research, operational data, and findings from a breeding program.
- Conduct disease resistance and parasite research; prepare scientific or technical reports, presentations, and recommendations.
- Assist in selection decisions and accelerate genetic differentiation among various breeds of a specific animal species
- Contribute to the mapping of various species’ genomes; investigate genetic characteristics or expression
- Compare the genetic makeup of various species to better understand and recommend healthy reproduction and growth.
- Train, manage, and monitor scientific and technical personnel; provide relevant information to college students
- Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists; create novel methods for evaluating animal traits.
- Animals are crossbred to obtain unique combinations of desirable characteristics.
- Inspect equipment to ensure accurate data; collaborate with technical experts to resolve design or development issues.
- Prepare grant applications and obtain funding; plan and carry out projects based on basic and applied research
Standard Work Environment
Animal geneticists typically conduct their research in a laboratory setting, though some may travel to animal production plants to personally observe and evaluate breeding stock.
Animal geneticists typically put in more than 40 hours per week. Those who work in laboratories have a more structured schedule than those who conduct field research.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Animal Geneticists can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting companies directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies.
Animal Geneticists are generally employed by:
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Animal Breeding Companies
- Universities & Colleges
- Government Agencies
- Large-Scale Farming Organisations
- Animal Nutrition Organisations
- Livestock Genetics Companies
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organizations, such as the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG), are essential for Animal Geneticist who wants to further their professional development or connect with other professionals in their industry or occupation.
Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Trends in the number, structure, and distribution of specific animal populations are being tracked in order to identify breeds at risk of extinction and prioritize conservation efforts.
- Identifying threats to animal genetic resources and evaluating their potential consequences so that action can be taken to combat them or reduce the threat they pose to Variety
Suggested Work Experience
Any academic program in which a potential Animal Geneticist enrolls should include a period of supervised experiences, such as an internship in industry or at a research facility. Some programs include a shorter work placement in addition to or instead of an internship.
When your tasks outside of the classroom perfectly align with your lessons inside, you will get the most out of them. When more experienced professionals manage to turn seemingly routine incidents into unique learning moments, you may be able to hear countless stories from them and gain valuable hands-on experience.
An applicant’s familiarity with computers and lab equipment will demonstrate his or her readiness for the job. Furthermore, you will gain a better understanding of the various techniques used in the profession. Employers prefer candidates who have gained much experience through field internships or shadowing qualified professionals in a lab.
Volunteering in organizations that focus on genetic research or providing support to those with inherited disorders will give you a better understanding of the profession’s inherent responsibilities and guide your decision to become an Animal Geneticist.
Any industry or academic experience will help you compare the two before deciding which is best for your needs. Temporary work in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital, may also help you make important career decisions.
Reading as much as you can about the profession, speaking with a high school counselor, and interviewing those who work in genetics are all important ways to explore your interest.
An associate degree or certificate program in veterinary or medical technology can lead to an entry-level position in a lab.
To work as an Animal Geneticist, however, a bachelor’s degree in genetics or a closely related field such as animal science, agriculture & biotechnology, dairy science, poultry science, biology, animal biology, agricultural animal breeding/behavior/nutrition, biochemistry, forest, entomology, or conservation biology is required.
Genetics, reproduction, laboratory science, livestock production, biology, chemistry, and statistics should all be included in your academic program. It is advantageous to have knowledge of research and quantitative methods, analytical/persuasive research, and systematic applications.
Complete master’s or doctoral programmes in a specialisation area involving extensive laboratory research and publication of a scientific thesis for fully qualified Animal Geneticists seeking academia or advanced research positions.
High school subjects that are recommended include animal science, biology, agricultural education, writing, English, computer science, and public speaking.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Voluntary certification in animal genetics will give you a better understanding of the various aspects of genetic inheritance, genetic improvement, and management programs, and the use of genetic principles to improve the health and productivity of livestock and domestic animals.
Accredited certification from a reputable and objective organization can help you stand out in a competitive job market and enable you to work as an independent consultant.
Projected Career Map
Animal Geneticists’ careers are driven by performance, significant experience in various aspects of the profession, and the acquisition of professional qualifications. As they advance up the career ladder, they can take on various roles.
An Animal Geneticist with a bachelor’s degree can work on a farm or in a lab for a pharmaceutical company or an agribusiness. It lays the groundwork for future advancements in veterinary medicine, education, conservation, medicine, biotechnology, and animal production.
A master’s degree could lead to employment as a university Animal Support Scientist, a high school Animal Science Teacher, an Animal Nutritionist, a Researcher, or a Farm Advisor.
A Ph.D. in animal sciences, with a focus on animal genetics, can lead to careers as an Animal Scientist, Biology Professor, or Research Geneticist.
Animal Geneticists with specialties in genetics, molecular biology, or microbiology are in high demand for laboratory work in universities and the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. With additional education and graduate degrees, you will have more opportunities in science, teaching, and veterinary medicine.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Animal Geneticist in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning.
Many Animal Geneticists who want to do basic research at the gene level get a master’s or Ph.D. in physiology, biochemistry, or biophysics. They consider computer science, math, and statistics if they are interested in bioinformatics or breeding.
You can take additional courses in livestock production, reproduction, chemistry, animal biology, behavior, breeding, or laboratory science in person or online. They will assist you in developing and sustaining a healthy and robust animal population by improving and increasing productivity.
Consider broadening your knowledge in other areas by enrolling in vocational courses in agriculture and biotechnology, animal nutrition, and research/experimental psychology.
Review professional literature, attend conferences and workshops, and continue your research to stay current in this ever-changing field.
Animal Geneticists make miraculous discoveries through dedicated research and unwavering effort, leading to genetic advancements with the much-needed potential to improve animal productivity in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Advice from the Wise
Hundreds of times, the same experiment can be carried out. What distinguishes those who succeed from those who fail is how well you recover from setbacks. Remember, we wouldn’t use the term “research” if we knew exactly what we were doing all of the time.
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