"Bionomics" is derived from the comprehensive study of an organism and its relation to its environment. The term "ecology" could be considered a a subset. The same would be valid for the term "Ecological Economics", a more specific subdiscipline. An example of studies of this type is Richard B. Selander's Bionomics, Systematics and Phylogeny of Lytta, a Genus of Blister Beetles (Coleoptera, Meloidae), Illinois Biological Monographs: number 28, 1960. Michael Rothschild used the term in his book, but does not make reference to prior uses.
Bionomics has been defined in different ways:
- as an economic discipline which studies economy as a self organized evolving ecosystem (Michael Rothschild);
- as a biological discipline which studies the economic species (living organisms having economic nature), relations between them and relations between them and their environment (Igor Flor).
When thinking about biological relationships in terms of bionomics, the following phrase coined by John Muir comes to mind: " when you pull on a worm, you need to remember that a whole planet is attached".
One method for applied bionomics is the comparative bioeconomic analysis based on the universal system of bioeconomic analogies (parallels). Bionomics is considered by some as one of the best ways to build green economy and to avoid ecocatastrophe (International Bionomics Institute).