DEI Webinar: Intentionally Building Inclusive Spaces for Queer Scientists

You are invited
to a webinar on
Intentionally Building Inclusive Spaces for Queer Scientists

Co-hosted by the SMM and Absolutely Smashing Event and Consulting’s Mindful Conservation
on Thursday, 18 November 2021
12 PM–2 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time

About the Event
To highlight matters of diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) within the SMM, the ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee are organising four DEI-related webinars. The first two can be found here.

The advancement of ocean science and marine conservation success ultimately relies on the well-being of the scientists involved. This well-being largely depends on our scientific community providing a safe and supportive space for scientists and conservation practitioners to work in. There are large number of LGBTQ+ scientists within our community that often face prejudice, exclusion, and discrimination. Success of the whole community depends on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this webinar we seek to promote understanding of the issues and struggles our LGBTQ+ scientists face, and work towards solutions to problems and barriers that they face.

Join us by learning how to create intentional inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ scientists

This webinar will first start with a short primer on what is meant by the LGBTQ+ community, followed by talks and discussions from our panelists, highlighting important issues and topics, and sharing experiences.

Speakers and Panelists

Zeke Gonzalez (he/him/his)
Zeke Gonzalez is a queer graduate student in the Carleton lab at the University of Maryland studying cichlid color vision and reproductive behavior. Besides his passion for sexual selection, Zeke is also a swim coach and gives talks at local schools with arthropod specimens from the UMD Insect Zoo. He spends his free time hosting horror movie night with his friends and colleagues, trying out new games, and training for a triathlon.
Daniel M. Palacios (he/him/his)
Dr. Daniel Palacios is an Associate Professor with the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, where he leads the Whale Habitat, Ecology & Telemetry Lab. He hails originally from Colombia, and his research addresses questions dealing with the large-scale (“seascape”) ecology of top marine predators in relation to ocean processes, including interactions with the environment, with other species, and with human activities.
Annabel Gong (they/them)
Annabel Gong is a master’s student at the University of San Diego studying the movement of the shovelnose guitarfish and California bat ray along the Southern California coast. Annabel is also the co-host of the podcast LGBTQ+ STEM Cast, a podcast where they interview LGBTQ+ identifying STEM professionals from around the world. Annabel is a huge shark enthusiast and is currently applying to PhD positions to continue their work in shark and ray movement ecology.

Panel Planners and Moderators

  • Dr. Heather Penney, Memorial University, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Ashley Scarlett, Founder of Absolutely Smashing Events and Consulting

Registration is free and all are welcome.

Zoom Registration:

For those unable to attend live, this event will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel after the event. It will also be streamed live on the SMM Facebook page.

Please help to inform and guide our discussion!
Registrants will be invited to submit questions before the meeting and may also ask questions live during the session.

Please direct any questions about the webinar to SMM Ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-chair, Eric Archer, at

Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

Eric Archer and Tara Cox
Co-Chairs, SMM Ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee

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