The world will always need botanists, and the study of plant biology will always be important, because plants are crucial components of our planet’s biodiversity:
- Due to their astonishing ability to make food using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide (photosynthesis), plants form the basis of food webs and energy cycles in every terrestrial ecosystem.
- Plants assimilate nitrogen and phosphorus (and others), providing the raw material for other organisms to build their own organic molecules and cells.
- The diversity of plants in a community is a major determinant of the other organisms present in the same community.
- Plants were pivotal in the development of human civilization, and remain major components of the global economy and human culture.
- Plants have evolved fascinating adaptations linked to their environments and associations with fungi, animals, and other organisms.
- Plants are the source of many valuable medicines.
- Plants are inspiringly beautiful!
See the Botanical Society of America’s spotlight page on botany students to read about how they got inspired to study plants.
Why study Botany at the University of Florida?
The Botanical Society of America provides a list of academic disciplines within Botany. The botany faculty at the University of Florida includes expertise in the areas of systematics, ecology, evolution, molecular and cellular biology, paleobotany, genetics, and computational biology. We hold organismal specialities in flowering plants, ferns, and bryophytes. See our research and faculty pages for more information about our program, and to find out how to get involved.
The botany program at UF has amazing resources to draw upon for teaching and research, including the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Botany Greenhouses, and the Herbarium. Please see our resources page for more information.