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2023 Candidate Alex Moore

Alex Moore
Assistant Professor
University of British Columbia

Candidate for: Member of the Governing Board

My name is Dr. Alex Moore, and I am an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC). I completed my BSc and MSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, followed by a PhD in Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. During my graduate studies, I conducted research at the intersection of ecology and conservation/restoration, while also serving in educational and community leadership positions to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) within academia. This included founding the Queer Womxn and Non-binary Grads Group, serving as a Diversity Fellow through the Yale Office of Graduate Student Development and Diversity, and acting as lead instructor for various ecology and environmental courses in the Yale Young Global Scholars and Yale Pathways to Science summer programs.

Following my graduate studies, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and subsequently held a postdoctoral position at Princeton University, conducting research focused on coastal wetland ecology and conservation at both institutions. While at AMNH, I was a member of the Inclusive Conservation Community Initiative, I co-lead efforts to revise ecology and conservation curriculum offered in after school programing, and co-managed the Science Research Mentoring Program, which offers a year-long research opportunity to NYC high school students.

In my current UBC position, I am building a research program that emphasizes community engagement and equity in ecology and conservation. This involves building relationships with community members, making research and skill-building opportunities broadly accessible, and conducting research that provides benefits to local communities and environments. I am also directly involved in UBC DEIJ efforts, including co-leading a cluster hire initiative for Black scholars, engaging in strategic planning processes for the Faculty of Forestry and the Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Solutions Collaboratory, and serving as a faculty representative on the Faculty of Science Sex and Gender Inclusivity Project.

What interests, experience or skills would you bring to this position?

Three primary interests motivate my research and engagement in ecology: 1. Expanding research conducted at the intersection of ecology and conservation, 2. Emphasizing the importance of applying interdisciplinary approaches to this work, and 3. Improving DEIJ and access to resources/opportunities within the discipline. As ESA continues to show a commitment to these areas, I would be eager to bring a queer, Black, and gender non-conforming perspective to this work and provide insight that may not be considered otherwise. Additionally, my experiences developing conservation-focused research projects, engaging in community-based education/research across various regional and cultural contexts, and emphasizing DEIJ in all aspects of my work would expand ESA’s capacity to thoughtfully meet its societal strategic goals. Skills I have developed that would be particularly relevant to this work include translating research to practice, integrating natural and social science methods/approaches, engaging in science communication, developing and facilitating collaborative working groups, building relationships with local communities, and applying a critical DEIJ lens to research, teaching, and engagement efforts. As a member of the Governing Board, I would leverage my experiences, skills, and perspectives to promote an ecology that reflects the values and needs of its current and future community members.

How would you support ESA’s mission? How would you plan to promote DEIJ in ESA membership and activities if elected?

ESA’s mission to advance the science and practice of ecology, while supporting ecologists throughout their careers strongly mirrors the objectives that have motivated choices made throughout my own career. I would therefore be eager to apply my perspectives/experiences in support of this mission, including through the development of a peer mentoring program that pairs early career researchers with experienced community members based on research interests and personal identities; expanding ESA Webinars to include workshops/training sessions on applying to and navigating graduate school, integrating natural and social science research methods, navigating the academic job market and building a research lab, and exploring careers outside of academia; and integrating the use of diverse approaches to science communication, such as creative writing and poetry, art, and audio/video media. These suggested initiatives have the potential to not only expand who has access to the field of ecology by providing guidance and support structures, but also to reshape how people are able to engage within it.