American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

Diversity Committee

Mission

The ASN Diversity Committee aims to promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness to enhance the study of evolution, ecology, and behavior. A diverse and inclusive ASN will foster innovation, creativity, and inclusion at all professional levels.

Values

The fields of evolution, ecology, and behavior study diversity. The ASN Diversity committee’s goal is to celebrate and foster the inclusion of all social, racial, and economic groups in the society. Our goal is to promote the advancement of the study of ecology, evolution, and behavior among underrepresented groups by fomenting the inclusion and retention of individuals of all identity groups at all professional levels.

Our guiding principles are:

  • Inclusiveness:  Improving visibility of and support for marginalized scientists in the fields of evolution, ecology, and behavior. Working to break down barriers to participation in these fields to promote accessibility and the sustained inclusion of people of all backgrounds.
  • Retention: Devising and implementing strategies for the retention of underrepresented scientists within the scientific workforce.
  • Mentorship: Showing by example by pairing young scholars with mid-career and advanced career scientists.
  • Professional development: Supporting scientific and policy leaders through educational opportunities.
  • Informed decision making: Collecting data on diversity to inform our decision making.

Diversity Statement

The American Society of Naturalists (ASN) is dedicated to promoting a broader understanding of ecology, evolution, behavior, and their related subfields. We encourage the professional development of our members and support increasing participation and access. At the scientific core of the evolution and ecology fields are value for and appreciation of biological diversity and, reflective of this, we welcome, support, and celebrate the diversity of our members. We are sensitive to the ways that diversity changes and grows in modern society and acknowledge that diversity principles change through time. As a professional society we promote equity, inclusion, and diversity at all levels, and we encourage participation by individuals of all groups. We encourage an inclusive, supportive, and impartial work space free from sexual harassment, bigotry, or violence of any kind. We aim to promote ethical and inclusive practices during the conduct of research, specifically in regards to the use of cultural resources and professional and safe conduct during field work. Finally, we strive to facilitate the effective communication of evolutionary principles to the public to foster a broader understanding of evolutionary biology, biological diversity, and cultural inclusion.

Diversity Committee Members

  • Tracy Heath, PhD (Iowa State University, USA) -- My research focuses on the development of statistical phylogenetic methods for understanding macroevolution.
  • Vince Formica, PhD (Swarthmore College, USA) --The goal of my research program is to understand how the structure of animal societies shape and are shaped by multi-level selection.    
  • Deepa Agashe, PhD (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India) -- I am interested in understanding the molecular and ecological underpinnings of adaptation.
  • Nancy Chen, PhD (University of Rochester, USA) -- My research focuses on the genomic basis of contemporary evolution in natural populations.
  • Kate Eisen, PhD (Cornell University, USA) -- My research examines how species interactions shape the evolution of floral traits.
  • Regina Baucom, PhD (University of Michigan, USA) -- I examine plant adaptation through the lens of evolutionary ecology and ecological genetics.

Past/Ongoing Activities

  • Data collection and analysis of the demographic composition of the ASN
  • Creation of guidelines on best practices for awards procedures
  • Organizing events at Society meetings, including Story Collider (https://www.amnat.org/announcements/ANNCollider.html) and mixers to build community among LGBTQ+ biologists, biologists with disabilities, biologists of color, biologists at primarily undergraduate institutions, and parents (https://www.evolutionmeetings.org/diversity-at-evolution-2020.html)
  • Improving accessibility at Society meetings for scientists with disabilities, scientists of marginalized genders, and scientists who are nursing/caretaking
  • Creation of the Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Award (https://www.amnat.org/announcements/NomIDEAaward.html) to recognize individuals who have strengthened the ecology and evolutionary biology community by promoting inclusiveness and diversity in our fields