Rainbow Research – Happy Pride Month!

Following the success of last year’s Rainbow Research series, we have again invited contributions for a series of blog posts to celebrate Pride Month 2022. Read on to find out about the research and lives of a diversity of ecologists from across the LGBTQ+ community.

Photo of a colourful chameleon

This series aims to promote visibility and inclusion of LGBTQ+ researchers with posts promoting them and their research. Each post is connected to a theme represented by one of the colours shown in the Progress Pride (a.k.a. Intersectional) Flag:

Progress Pride flag showing themes

Adrian Monthony: Life

“It still feels lonely to be lonely as a queer man in plant sciences, but if life in the last year has showed me anything, it’s that visibility and pride can go a long way!”

Read more


Daniel Trotter: Life

Photo of Daniel in a kayak

“Being seen also helped me be surer of who I want to be in my own life. I will, in all likelihood, continue to have a career with a non-inconsequential amount of otherness to it. And that’s okay.”

Read more


Kelsey Byers: Life & Healing

Photo of Kelsey Byers

“Even a simple step, like degendering a set of toilets at a conference or providing period supplies in every toilet (not just the ladies’), can go a long way towards signaling a safe environment for some of us.”

Read more


Lea Nightingale: Healing

“I truly believe that by addressing equity holistically in the work we do within the STEM sector, we can help shape that society…We need to be passionate about promoting STEM to under-represented communities.”

Read more


Douglas Cirino: Healing

Photo of Douglas at the top of a hill

“As a landscape ecologist, I apply my skills to research how ecosystems services are delivered in urban landscapes. This has a lot to do with my life story, bringing together my love for diverse nature and diverse people, so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable in large, global cities.”

Read more


John Kominoski: Sunlight

Photo of John and palm trees

“The world needs diverse ecologists who can work with different people to understand how to sustain nature for the environment and people, given the complexity of the modern world amidst a rapidly changing climate on planet Earth.”

Read more


Danielle Orrell: Sunlight

Danielle on the beach with sunset behind

“This group has offered queer students unified by a common interest in STEM a place to celebrate their identity and form relationships. In the future, I hope that others will find sunlight in their local community whether they are far from home, seeking chosen family or understanding their identity.”

Read more


Sara Blunk: Nature

“This is a note to all advisors out there who want to recruit more diverse students – have an active website that states your desire to recruit and support diverse students, as a lot of potential supervisors I looked into had no website or active social media, which ultimately dissuaded me from reaching out to them.”

Read more


Billy Wassell: Harmony

“I was able to collate the workplace experiences of fifty-five ecologists who are currently, or who have previously been, employed in the ecology sector. The results were illuminating.”

Read more


Kyle McCulloch: Harmony

Photo of Kyle McCullocch on a ski slope

“Studying the “simple” sea anemone with far more opsins than us forces us to question our self-centred idea of humans as the pinnacle of complexity. The humble, brainless sea anemone teaches us to drop our hubris and think about things from another perspective.”

Read more


Renske Jongen: Harmony

Remske in the lab

“I chose the colour ‘blue’ of the Pride Flag, which stands for ‘harmony’ as the best reflection of me and my research. In the end, everything in life is about combining all of our diverse and competing needs in such a way that the whole system works.”

Read more


Numair Masud: People of Colour

Photo of Numair

“It is fitting that for this Pride Month, which intersects with International Refugee Week, we consider some of the progress, challenges, and potential solutions faced by LGBTQ+ individuals….Higher education institutions can and should declare publicly that they will be institutions of sanctuary for those seeking it.”

Read more


Ash Brockwell: Transgender Pride

Ash Brockwell in a lab coat with students

“If we trace discipline-based education back to its roots, we find them inextricably intertwined with the roots of homophobia and transphobia. The common factor in all three is the colonial mindset of ‘divide and conquer’, which thrives on separation, imposed uniformity, rigid rules and boundaries, individualism, and linear thinking.”

Read more


Mees van Laanen: Transgender Pride

Photo of Mees van Laanen observing birds in the Dutch Wadden Sea

“If I had the power to change the world, I would make it so we can all be as free as these birds, independent of who we are or who we love.”

Read more


Bradley Neal: Transgender Pride & Healing

Bradley's hand with a Transgender Pride bracelet on the wrist

“It’s likely that you’ve faced discrimination too and probably had a rubbish support network growing up. Know that communities out there exist and speaking up to the right person can help you, as it did for me.”
Read more


Luiz Felipe Cordeiro Serigheli: A Colour Prism of Pride

Photo of Luiz

“Maybe that’s why studying ecology networks seems so interesting to me. I try to understand how the things out in the world connect and interact so I can use some of this knowledge to connect the nodes, understand a little more about myself as a non-binary trans, bisexual/panssexual person of colour.”
Read more

Lewis Bartlett: Introducing ALDER, the new BES LGBTQ+ Network

Rainbow chameleon

“We’ve also turned a new corner in the long, and at times winding, journey of BES LGBTQ+ advocacy and representation…to launch ALDER – Advancing LGBTQIA+ Diversity, Equality & Representation.”
Read more