Acarology is the study of ticks and mites, organisms classified in their own subclass under the more general class of arachnids. This subclass is large and very diverse, providing numerous opportunities for people interested in this field of the sciences. Acarologists can be found working all over the world, in settings from archaeological digs to laboratories. College and university degree programs in this field are available in numerous regions, and many people in this field hold advanced degrees.
From an evolutionary perspective, mites and ticks are a very interesting field of study. Acarologycovers the known evolutionary history of these organisms, many of which have evolved in tandem with organisms they prey on. Studying historic organisms can provide information about the evolution of arachnids as a whole, as well as providing insight into the development of various plants and animals and movement through various regions of the world.
Mites and ticks have also been a historic problem for humans. Some acarologists look specifically at species that live with humans, and study things like mite- and tick-associated diseases, evolutionary changes in these animals in response to population pressures, and related topics. A specialist in acarology can also be called upon in a medical consult, when a doctor wants more information about mites or ticks in a patient. Correct identification can require skills and training, and it is important to identify the organism correctly to prescribe the right treatment.