Black History Month 2023
We are excited to announce a new month-long series of blogs and podcasts across our journals. We intend to celebrate and profile the work of Black ecologists and ecological practitioners by sharing their stories. Like our 2022 series, these blogs are intended to open doors across our international community.
We want to provide more of a platform for Black ecologists, not just during Black History Month, but as part of our ongoing commitment to promote Black voices in our community. Thank you to all of our past and ongoing contributors, and, if you would like to participate yourself, please get in touch!
Be sure to check back throughout October – we will be publishing more posts every week. All links to published content will be added to this page.
Arleu Barbosa Viana-Junior
“We need to equalize power structures, especially in academia. More black ecological professors, more black biology and ecology students in postgraduate courses. We have to do this by improving exit and arrival opportunities for these most vulnerable people.”
“As rugged as it might be, we must pave the way not only for ourselves but for those who will follow us”
“Black ecologists do realize that we have a vibrant community to grow. This progress could start from our social circle, even if it is encouraging one person at a time.”
Blessing shares how growing up in the Niger Delta riverine cities inspired her research into bioremediation of polluted water using nature-based solutions in the Santa Barbara River.
Adaoyibo Denise Okpala
” I would like to see more Black ecologists actually practicing Ecology and being proud of this. This can be achieved by building awareness, capacity building and workshops to equip young Black Ecologists with skills they require to succeed.”
Nomthandazo Samantha Manqele
“As black people there is a psychological distance between us and nature.
If you develop an interest in studying or having a career in nature, growth for you may take time because you have to walk the distance first (e.g. deal with your fear of snakes because you didn’t grow up around these things).
I think we need to start eliminating this distance wherever possible.”
Mahlatse Fortunate Mashaphu : resilience, mentorship, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion
“As a Black woman in science, I have faced stereotypes and biases that sometimes made me doubt my abilities. Self-doubt crept in, especially when I compared myself to my peers who seemed to excel effortlessly.
However, I persevered and used these challenges as motivation to break down barriers.”
“As a black ecologist who conducts most of his field works in developing African countries, I face many challenges which I believe a colleague working in Europe may not experience.
I encourage all black ecologists who might face any of these challenges to never give up and look for various solutions to overcome them.”
Yoseph Araya on Nature, Role Models and Academia
Perpetra Akite on Entomology, Representation and Collaboration
Reuben Fakoya-Brooks on Academia, Barrier-Breaking and Creativity
Gideon Deme on his Journey, Barriers to Ecology, and Inspirations
Jhan Salazar on The Wonder of Nature and Importance of Representation
Like what we stand for?
Support our mission and help develop the next generation of ecologists by donating to the British Ecological Society.