Chair: Anson Mackay
Anson Mackay (they/he) holds a BSc in Biological Sciences (Botany) from the University of Edinburgh, and a NERC-funded PhD in upland ecology and palaeoecology from the University of Manchester. Anson is a professor at UCL, where their main research interests are on freshwater ecosystems, and how they are impacted by climate change and human impact, especially over long timescales. Anson also works extensively on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in academia, and is currently Faculty Vice-Dean for EDI. In 2020, Anson won a UCL award for Diversity and Inclusion in Education.
Dr Nathalie Pettorelli is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, with a main research focus on global environmental change ecology. A climate change ecologist and rewilding expert, her scientific achievements include demonstrating how satellite data can be used to support vulnerability assessments of species and ecosystems to climate change, to pioneering social media as a source of data for species on the move due to climate change. She is a senior editor for Journal of Applied Ecology and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, a subject editor for Ecography, and the Editor in Chief of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. She co-founded Soapbox Science, a global science communication initiative now running events in >15 countries, including Tanzania.
Yasmin Benoit is a British model, award-winning asexual activist, writer, speaker and project consultant. At 18, she began modelling with the goal of diversifying the fashion industry and became one of the UK's most prominent Black alternative models. In late 2017, she publicly came out as aromantic-asexual and quickly became an unlikely face and voice for those communities. Her goal is to empower the aromantic and asexual people, bring those identities into the mainstream, fight for their social and legal inclusion, and dispel misconceptions about them in an intersectional, cross-sectional way. Yasmin created the popular #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike movement to show that there is no asexual way to look or dress, which has been embraced by asexual people worldwide. In 2019, she became a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and in 2020, an asexualities researcher at California State University and made her presenting debut with her 'Me and My Asexuality' BBC Sounds series. Her unconventional approach to activism has attracted the attention of international press, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour Magazine, British GQ, and Sky News. She has given talks and seminars at a range of companies, institutions, conferences and Pride events about asexuality and aromanticism, including Prague Pride 2020, Oslo Pride 2021, the LGBT Stem Conference, the University of Cambridge, King Ltd, Kings College London, Twitter HQ, and she has worked as a project consultant for Stonewall and some television projects. Yasmin has recently signed with literary agency, Gleam Titles, acting agency International Actors London, and made her literary debut in the LGBTQ+ anthology, 'We Can Do Better Than This.' (Penguin, June 2021) She also gave a TED Talk with the University of Arkansas on asexual representation in the media.Yasmin was one of the co-founders of International Asexuality Day, which was held for the first time on April 6, 2021 to much success. Soon after, she was included on the Attitude101 Influential Figures List as a "trailblazer" in "The Future: Under 25" category and made the Visible100 List as a Community Campaigner.In June 2021, Yasmin won an Attitude Pride Award for her activism, making her the first openly aromantic-asexual activist to win an LGBTQ+ award.
Professor Christopher Jackson is Chair in Sustainable Geoscience at the University of Manchester. Having completed his BSc (1998) and PhD (2002) at the University of Manchester, Chris was employed as an exploration research geologist in the Norsk Hydro (now Equinor) research centre, Bergen, Norway. He then moved to Imperial College in 2004, where his research focused on using traditional fieldwork techniques and seismic reflection data to study the tectono-stratigraphic analysis of sedimentary basins. Chris then returned to the University of Manchester in 2021, where he continues to work on a range of problems related to basin structure and evolution. When not studying rocks and the ways in which they deform, Chris gives geoscience lectures to the general public and in schools, having appeared on several, Earth Science-focused, television productions and podcasts. Chris is actively engaged in efforts to improve equality, diversity, and inclusivity in Earth Science in particular, and Higher Education in general.