Ecologists are a diverse group of individuals. We at ESA recognise this and aim to promote equity and reflect the diversity of our membership.

This year at ESA we are hosting our first ever Queer mixer on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 from 6:00pm-6:30pm at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Queer people in science face particular challenges, whether that be working in locations that are unsafe and intolerant of LGBT+ individuals, or being in a work environment that is dominated by cis- and heteronormativity.

Come along to discuss your research, share stories and personal experiences and make new connections with fellow Queer ecologists over a few nibbles. This is also an opportunity for Queer allies to show support for the Queer community in ecology and their support for enhancing diversity and equity more broadly. So please come one and all for what is sure to be a fun event.

The Equity Working Group conducted a survey which coincided with ESA2018 in Brisbane. The survey had 79 respondents. One of the important outcomes from the survey was the around 30% of respondents did not identify as heterosexual or ‘straight’.

There is increasing awareness of the underrepresentation of minorities in the sciences. Recognising this inequality is the first step to meeting the challenge of enhancing diversity and inclusivity in science. A 2013 survey (Yoder and Mattheis 2016) of people in STEM fields found that 40% of LGBTQ+ identified respondents are not out to their colleagues. This is not the culture we strive for in ecology, and not within ESA. Enhancing the visibility of LGBTQ+ people (umbrella term for non-heterosexual or cisgender individuals: Queer) in ecology is important to enhancing the inclusive and diverse culture of the scientific field in Australia. ESA is in the position to influence the broader community of ecologists and ecology-related fields in Australia.

Modelling off of the success of the British Ecological Society (BES) LGBT+ network and mixers ( , we propose a Queer mixer at ESA2019 in Launceston. This event will run for one hour and will be a fun, informal event where people can chat and network over a drink in a welcoming and inclusive setting.