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About

Our Team

Founders

 

Nyeema Harris

Yale School of the Environment

 

Portrait image of Dr. Senay Yitbarek

Senay Yitbarek

UNC at Chapel Hill

 

Jasmine Crumsey Forde

University of Georgia

Leadership

Chair

Portrait image of Dr. Matt McCary

Matt McCary

Rice University

Co-chair

Portrait image of Dr. Chris Schell

Chris Schell

UC Berkeley

Secretary

Zakiya Leggett

North Carolina State University

Social Media Manager

Portrait image of Dr. Karen Bailey

Karen Bailey

CU Boulder

Webmaster

Portrait image of Sudan Kariuki 

Sudan Kariuki

Cornell University

Grad Student Rep

Portrait image of Briana Sealey

Braina Sealey

UT Austin

 

Mission Statement

The birth of the Black Ecologists organization was sparked by the high-profile police shootings of Black people from 2014-2016. Inspired by the Movement for Black Lives, the Black Ecologists organization developed this section of ESA to serve as a safe space for its members to address the many challenges that we face in academia.

Across departments specializing in ecology and evolutionary biology, African Americans are severely under-represented, earning less than 1.8% of PhD’s in 2014, while representing 13% of the American people. A persistent feeling among Black Ecologists is a lack of belonging in their departments and institutions. We are also more likely to be harassed while engaging in outdoor activities.

Black Ecologists not only need representation, but tools and networks that facilitate their inclusion in scientific and professional activities that can benefit their careers. This section aims to promote activities that pave the way for Black Ecologists to succeed.