From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: microbiologists

A scientist specializing in microbiology


Microbiologist is one whose specialty is the biology of microorganisms, i.e. microbiology. Microbiology is a branch of science that deals with microorganisms and their effects on other living things. Most of the works of microbiologists rely heavily on microbiological techniques, such as culture, staining, and microscopy, in laboratory. There are various fields of microbiology and they may be classified as either pure or applied. Pure microbiology may entail studies on bacteria (bacteriology), on viruses (virology), on fungi (mycology), on protozoa (protozoology), on algae (phycology), and on microscopic parasites (parasitology). Other pure microbiological disciplines are microbial ecology (i.e. studying the relationship between microorganisms and their environment), evolutionary microbiology (i.e. concerned with the evolution of microbes), molecular biology (i.e. deals mostly with the molecular principles of the physiological processes in microorganisms), and so on. As for applied microbiology, a microbiologist may be involved in medical microbiology, pharmaceutical microbiology, industrial microbiology, food microbiology, soil microbiology, water microbiology, air microbiology, and microbial biotechnology.

Notable microbiologists include Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology. He is known for his work on microbiology, particularly the series of experiments disproving the theory of spontaneous generation and pasteurization as a means to preserve food. Robert Koch is another notable microbiologist and is known as the father of medical microbiology. He is best known for his contributions to the germ theory of disease, Koch's postulates, and his isolation of different bacteria in pure culture.

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