Genetics is becoming used in all fields of biology and geneticists often work with scientists in other fields. Research geneticists may specialize in a wide range of areas including:
- biomedical genetics - the study of normal and abnormal genetic factors at the level of chromosomes, biochemistry or molecules for the diagnosis and treatment of heritable genetic diseases
- developmental genetics - the study of the genetic control of cells and the processes by which they form multi-cellular organisms (as part of normal development or abnormally, as in cancer or neurodegenerative disease)
- molecular genetics - the study of the basis of gene activity, transmission and mutation, including the manipulation of genes and their transfer among species
- population genetics - the study of natural variation and the processes of inheritance and evolution in populations of organisms, for example, tracing human histories and genealogies
- agricultural genetics - the study of disease resistance in plants and animals and other genetic improvements in crops and stocks
- bioinformatics - production, comparison, and analysis of DNA sequences using computer algorithms
- phylogenetic research - taxonomists solve species identification and relationship problems
- forensic genetics - the use of genetic differences in human and other species for identification.
For information about geneticists involved in developing and improving industrial processes (for example, for the production of drugs, antibiotics or vaccines), see the Biotechnologist occupational profile.
Medical geneticists (technicians, genetic counsellors, and physicians) study the causes, prevention and treatment of human genetic conditions and are directly involved in patient care. Under the supervision of medical geneticists, genetic counsellors obtain family histories and provide advice regarding risks to unborn children of couples with a familial history of genetic disease.
Other geneticists may be involved in field biology or laboratory investigations with microbes, plants or animals. This usually involves working at a laboratory bench, but also can be based on field work collections, mathematical models or computer simulations.