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Explore the world of jellyfish, sea anemones, and similar creatures.

What does a Cnidariologist do?

A Cnidariologist studies the underwater world of cnidarians. This includes coral, anemones, sea pens, fire coral, and jellyfish. Belonging to the broader category of Zoologists, Cnidariologists work in a highly specialized area of zoology. Employed primarily by zoos, aquariums, and research or educational institutions, they’re experts on stinging underwater beings.

As a Cnidariologist, you’re charged with knowing all there is to know about these wondrous creatures. The name “cnidaria” has Greek roots: “cnidos,” which means stinging nettle. All of these creatures eject barbed threads that are covered in poison. Your job is to determine their lifespan, their environmental influences and threats, and the effect of their poison.

Courses in zoological sciences, biological sciences, marine biology, and other sciences prepare you well for your life in the laboratory. Combine that knowledge with English and communication classes and you’re ready to do the research and tell the world what you find.

For example, if you’re employed by a research institute, you’re tasked with determining an antidote for jellyfish stings. You begin with the collection of the poison to test. Based on your findings, you realize that the poison is typically not life-threatening, but is more of a painful inconvenience. Reporting your findings to your Supervisors and research-oriented peers comes next.

Attention to detail and patience are also essential for this position. Conducting experiments takes time, and in some cases, you may never find the information you seek. Patience is a virtue, and as a Cnidariologist, you may be forced to be virtuous often.

Discovering new underwater worlds and understanding those that are known all lie ahead. Get your lab coat ready and dive in!