Discover your career path


Experiment with worms to distinguish the bad ones from the good.

What does a Nematologist do?

Nematodes are small, worm-like creatures, some of which kill common garden pests. Other nematodes, however, kill the garden itself. As a Nematologist, you study these small worms, determining the best ways to grow the good types and kill off the bad ones.

The laboratory you work in as a Nematologist is probably stuffed full of nematodes of all shapes and sizes. These small worms are used for the experiments you design and conduct. In some experiments, as a Nematologist you might give the nematodes a slightly different soil chemistry to see if they thrive or die. In others, you might spray them with chemicals and watch how they enjoy those acrid baths.

Each study you perform must be carefully controlled to make sure the changes you’re making are the only changes the nematodes are feeling, and you write down all of your results in carefully composed reports.

Learning all you can about how nematodes live and work benefits your career immensely. Reading articles about nematodes can help, but conducting your own research on where the worms are found, what they eat, and what they avoid lets you develop new methods of controlling the nematode populations around the world.

Sometimes, you hop in your car and travel to troubled farms and fields to take soil samples. If you find a certain nematode in that soil, you call the Farmer to recommend treatments that can kill it. If you find no nematodes at all, you still call the Farmer to demand an apology on behalf of nematodes everywhere.