Education, Early Career, Outreach

What do ASLO Scientists Do?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘scientists’?  Biologists, botanists, chemists, ecologists, geneticists, geologists, physicists?  ASLO scientists might study any of these topics, and more, but share one thing in common – water!  The environments, ecosystems and organisms studied by ASLO scientists are all based in or around water. For example, a physical oceanographer may study how ocean waves are formed, a marine biologist might study the breeding behavior of elephant seals, and a paleolimnologist might reconstruct the past environments of lakes as a way to understand the effect of climate change in the future.  While aquatic scientists each may study very different things, their discoveries add to our overall understanding of the Earth’s water and the life in it.

Common Sub-Disciplines in Aquatic Science


Biological Oceanography



Climate Science



Evolutionary Biology




Marine Biology

Molecular Biology

Natural History



Physical Oceanography

Polar Biology

Wetland Ecology


      A collage of limnology and oceanography

ASLO members have jobs at universities, government agencies, and in the private sector.  In addition to basic or fundamental research, ASLO scientists may work in more applied roles such as policy, science communication, conservation and wildlife management, or public education. The diverse roles ASLO members fill are critical to our understanding and protection of aquatic systems.  

Learn more about ASLO and its aquatic scientists by visiting our Youtube page.