Women are often overlooked, underappreciated, and brushed off in many different career pathways. Being a woman is hard in our society, as many women are criticized often and made to look inferior. However, some inspirational women have broken the sex barriers in science, and I chose to focus on zoologists that have inspired me for this exclusive women’s issue! These wonderful scientists have inspired me to follow my passion for animals and pursue a degree in zoology myself.
What is Zoology?
Zoology is a broad umbrella term used to describe the study of animals; zoology itself is a branch of biology. So, what makes zoology so important? Zoology can be broken down into several different subcategories that all specialize in something important. For example, a herpetologist is a specialist in reptiles and amphibians. A herpetologist will earn a degree in zoology and branch off to focus their work with reptiles and amphibians. Pursuing a degree in zoology can result in several different career pathways that all work towards one goal in mind—protecting our wildlife.
One of my favorite hobbies to do while passing time is learning—specifically biology. A huge interest of mine is marine biology. And, my favorite marine animal? Sharks! A marine biologist is someone who studies ichthyology, which is the study of fish. Dr. Eugine Clark, or
“the Shark Lady,” was a well known American ichthyologist. Like me, Dr. Clark had a burning, passionate interest in the dangerous animal from a young age. Dr. Clark dedicated her life to researching, studying, and scuba diving with sharks. Her research has led to incredible discoveries and many conservation efforts. One of her findings debunked that sharks need to move around in order to survive, which stemmed from her discovery of the sleeper shark. Dr. Clark unfortunately passed away in 2017, but her legacy still lives on.
My absolute favorite subcategory of zoology is herpetology. Hereptology is the study of reptiles and amphibians, such as snakes, lizards, and frogs. In fact, I love herpetology so much that I plan on specializing in herpetology! Someone who made a huge impact in the
herpetology community that I absolutely appreciate is Joan Beauchamp Procter. Proctor, born in 1987, was a young woman who shared a peculiar love for reptiles and amphibians as I do. But due to an illness, she was unable to attend University for a zoology degree. By reaching out to fellow herpetologists, she was able to assist others and advance a career in herpetology. She became a sensation in the reptile community by her knowledge and expertise. Her work made advances in medicine, health care, and reptile care. Unfortunately, her life was cut too short due to her health complications at age 34.
The biggest inspiration in my life is Emily Roberts. Roberts is best known for entertaining the public with educational programs and videos regarding reptiles, specifically, snakes.
Roberts is commonly known as Emily from Snake Discovery. Snake Discovery is a zoo in Minnesota that mainly houses reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates; they also have 2.6 million subscribers on Youtube. I stumbled upon a video of theirs, and I immediately fell in love with them and snakes; I was previously afraid of snakes. Roberts got a degree from University of Minnesota in fisheries, wildlife, and conservation biology. People with these types of degrees generally focus on conservation efforts to protect and save wildlife. They often hold teaching programs and rescue missions which is what Roberts does. Roberts and her husband take in several surrendered reptiles and amphibians, tend to all of their needs, and find them forever homes. Before discovering their channel, I never was interested in herpetology. I owe Roberts the biggest thanks for inspiring me to overcome my fear and fall in love with an incredible animal!
Each woman I mentioned helped inspire me to pursue my passion of working with animals. I love learning about different things related to life in general, as mentioned above. Zoology is the perfect way for me to expand my knowledge, and I’ll hopefully make use of it by advancing science even further. Zoology is the ultimate science, and I hope as a woman, I can make a difference in the world.
Just because this is a personal article, I had to show off my snake! Her name is Persephone and she is a normal show het pied ball python - if you know your snake genetics! Check up on my Instagram, I post her there sometimes!