Quiz: Name That Academic Field, Smartypants.

Staff

4 Min Quiz

What field of study researches humankind?

Ancient Romans? Check. Modern-day Egyptians? Check. Anthropology is the study of all peoples and cultures in the past and present.

Advertisement

This academic field attempts to answer questions about ancient peoples by studying their fertility, movement and mortality patterns.

And it's far less annoying than ultra-persistent Census workers. Paleodemographers attempt to paint a picture of the demographics of ancient populations.

Advertisement

These scientists work on questions related to inland waters.

Don't worry -- your arms and legs are safe from these folks. Limnology is similar to hydrobiology and aquatic ecology, but it covers all aspects of inland waters, including chemistry, biology, geology and more.

Advertisement

This academic discipline focuses on old tropical hurricane activity.

It's an angry-sounding term for really angry-looking storms. Paleotempestology uses written records, as well as geological evidence, to gauge historical hurricane activity.

Advertisement

If you study the effects of cold temperatures on living creatures, you're a what?

It might seem kind of mean, but cryobiologists learn all sorts of interesting facts about organisms when they subject them to frigid temperatures.

Advertisement

You'd study this if you wanted to specialize in a field that would let you research ancient and modern spores and pollen.

Palynologists study pollen, spores and related subjects. Better load up on antihistamines for grad school.

Advertisement

In this field, scientists closely study the factors that affect the health of populations.

Public health studies rely very much on the work of epidemiologists, who pinpoint risk factors and suggest treatments.

Advertisement

Trees hold many keys to our planet's environmental past. What kind of scientist uses trees to understand more about historical climatic conditions?

The answers are in the leaves, or actually, the tree rings. Dendroclimatologists closely examine tree rings to get a better understanding of weather and climate changes in regions all over the world.

Advertisement

These scientists research plant diseases.

Ma'am, I'm afraid your orchid has athlete's foot. Phytopathologists identify the causes of plant diseases.

Advertisement

Occupying armies sometimes avail themselves of the expertise of these scientists to learn more about natives in the hopes of increasing security and safety for both civilians and soldiers.

“So how do you feel about these people pointing guns at you?” Anthropologists interview local citizens and report invaluable insights back to army commanders.

Advertisement

The work of finding and identifying animal remains from archaeological excavation sites is the primary focus of this kind of scientist.

And you thought dissecting animals in fourth grade was hard work! Paleozoologists have to pick apart fossilized and preserved animal remains to answer questions about ancient animal life.

Advertisement

In this pursuit, scientists study the development and potential future for life all over the universe.

There's still no sign of those ugly guys from “Aliens,” but when they arrive, all of these types of scientists will be the first to know.

Advertisement

If you specialize in one of the two main types of soil science, you're studying what?

You're definitely a grubbier, dirtier, scientist when you engage in edaphology, which focuses on the effects of soil conditions on plant life.

Advertisement

People who want to dedicate their research to the geologic history of ocean biology, sedimentation, chemistry and related subjects engage in this field.

Maybe you'll meet the great-great-grandpa of Jaws! In paleoceanography, scientists develop holistic theories and build our knowledge base about ancient seas.

Advertisement

In order to study diseases and their development intensively, you'd pick this field.

No idea where you got that nasty case of Ebola? A pathobiologist could probably figure it out.

Advertisement

Examining the life cycle and structure of mushrooms would make you this kind of scientist.

Fungi are one of the most common organisms on the planet, which gives mycologists a lot of potential research subjects.

Advertisement

This is a field of study that might work toward stopping the spread of the herpes virus.

Don't even think about kissing me! A virologist studies viruses and strives to find ways to slow down their spread.

Advertisement

This kind of scientist might combine knowledge of ancient material artifacts and DNA evidence from human remains to help reconstruct a prehistoric society.

We don't mean they bring a version of the Flintstones back to life. Bioarchaeologists use clues from human material and skeletal remains to piece together cultural, political and biological elements of an ancient community.

Advertisement

You want to know everything there is to know about land masses and the way they change, so you choose to study this subject.

The only thing that stays the same is change, even if you're a continent. No one knows this better than a geomorphologist, who studies landforms and their changes.

Advertisement

If you research microscopic organisms, you are most likely a what?

It's like biology in miniature -- microbiologists are keen on microscopic organisms and their interactions with other living creatures.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The "ologies" are coming! The "ologies" are coming! Academic disciplines such as anthropology, biology, paleontology and many others all cover specific intellectual subjects. Can you pick which "ology" matches the questions in our quiz?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!