Ecology is the study of how living organisms interact with their environment and how that interaction affects both the living and nonliving parts of the environment. It is a broad field that encompasses many different topics, from the way that plants grow to how predators affect prey populations. It also covers human activities and how they may impact the ecology of the earth.

The first modern ecological scientist was Carl Friedrich Gauss, who wrote on the subject in the 1870s. His work led to the creation of the modern discipline of ecology and his ideas helped set it apart from zoology, botany and other life science disciplines. Since then, the field has continued to develop and evolve. The main focuses of ecology are biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) interactions in the environment.

There are many different subfields of ecology that focus on specific subjects. One of the most popular is conservation biology, which is concerned with protecting and preserving species and their habitats. Another subfield is behavioural ecology, which studies the relationship between animals and their environment. It is an important aspect of ecology that helps us understand how our natural world works and why certain species behave in the ways they do.

Other fields of ecology include landscape ecology, population ecology and ecosystem ecology. Landscape ecology looks at how the land changes over time and the impact that these changes have on the biological organisms living there. It also studies the extinction of animals and plants, including the possible ecological reasons for their disappearance from the landscape. Population ecology is a related field that studies the numbers of organisms in an area at one time, including the effects of their movement between areas. It is an important branch of ecology that can help us to understand the impact that humans have on the world around them.

Ecosystem ecology is a more broad field that studies how the whole of an environment, including its nonliving components, impacts the living organisms in it. This is a very important branch of ecology because it shows how the different parts of our planet influence each other and how all of them are interrelated. This information is very useful for understanding the impact of human activity on the environment and how we can improve our quality of life by reducing our environmental footprint.

To be an ecologist, you will need to have a strong background in the life sciences and in particular, zoology, botany and genetics. You will also need a good understanding of chemistry and physics. It is a field that involves a lot of practical work in the field, so getting experience with this before you start university can be very helpful. This could be done through volunteering in a college laboratory, taking part in a Research Experience for Undergraduates programme or working for a government agency on an internship. You will also need excellent communication skills as well as an interest in the world around you.