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Video What is an ecologist?

TLF ID M008895

This is a colour video clip in which marine ecologist Associate Professor Stephen Wing of the University of Otago talks about the work of ecologists. He gives an overview of the types of questions that are investigated by ecologists and explains why he enjoys his work. Photographs of marine organisms and ecologists at work are included.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Ecologists are scientists who study how living organisms relate to each other and their physical surroundings. They investigate populations and communities of organisms living together in complex ecosystems. Ecologists work in areas such as natural resource management, management of national parks and reserves, town planning, and environmental assessment and rehabilitation of mines.
  • An important aspect of the work of ecologists is the study of food webs, and how matter and energy flows through communities. Ecologists investigate how organisms are adapted to their environment and how they are distributed within ecosystems. Ecologists also look at how ecosystems develop (ecological succession) and the biodiversity within ecosystems.
  • Stephen Wing works with groups researching ecosystems in the fiords of the South Island of New Zealand and the Southern Ocean. He is particularly interested in conservation biology, food webs and the population structures of fish and invertebrates in those ecosystems. His work involves a great variety of activities such diving and other fieldwork, chemistry, mathematics, teaching and writing.
  • Ecologists, like most scientists, need to collaborate with experts in a variety of fields to complete their research projects. Some of the scientists they consult with include chemists, biogeochemists, earth scientists, climatologists, oceanographers, molecular biologists and computer modellers.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8; 9

Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Video
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd 2011 (except where otherwise indicated). You may copy, communicate and adapt this metadata for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.