Meet the 500 Women Scientists Leadership

One year ago, 500 women scientists (and many more) signed a pledge to declare our support science and all minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA. That pledge grew into  a mission to make science open, inclusive, and accessible. As an organization, 500 Women Scientists is committed to providing opportunities for leadership and an inclusive space for all voices and points of view. So as we celebrate our 1 year anniversary, we invite you to meet some of our organization's leadership team and learn what inspired them to join the cause. We always welcome new ideas, voices, and energy, so please get in touch if you feel similarly inspired to step up and help lead our growing organization.

I am a soil ecologist, studying the response of microbes to climate change, and how those changes affect plant growth. I love the community we are building with 500 Women Scientists, our organization is supportive, forward thinking, creative and passionate. With each new connection we are able to amplify issues of inclusion in the sciences, and make the changes we all know need to happen.

— Dr. Kelly Ramirez., 500 Women Scientists Co-founder and National Leadership Team

I’m an ecosystem scientist studying the impacts of climate change. 500 Women Scientists brings me sanity and a clear purpose.

— Dr. Jane Zelikova, 500 Women Scientists Co-founder and National Leadership Team

I am using my experiences in infectious diseases and reproductive medicine to advance therapeutics on the market.  500 Women Scientists allows me to help others find their path in the scientific community.

— Dr. Philo Mbong, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I study earthquakes and landscape evolution. I’m passionate about 500WS because it’s connecting women all over the world and giving women in science a voice and a platform.

— Dr. Wendy Bohon, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a chemical engineer with expertise in energy, vehicle technologies, theoretical chemistry, and policy. 500 Women Scientists has introduced me to inspiring women who I now consider to be some of my best friends who I am working with to ensure that the scientific enterprise is inclusive of the population it should be serving.

— Dr. Kelly Fleming, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a molecular biologist and science communicator pursuing the world of science policy and advocacy. I joined 500 Women Scientists because it gave me a platform to listen to and learn from the diverse voices, perspectives, and insights that exist within the scientific community.

— Dr. Maryam Zaringhalam, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Member

I am an ecosystem scientist whose passion for studying carbon and nitrogen cycling has lead me from rainforests to mountainsides, and now to a network of research sites spanning the US. To me, 500 Women Scientists is where we work collectively to turn our anger and frustration into constructive actions that help build women leaders while promoting justice in society and the scientific enterprise.

— Dr. Samantha Weintraub, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am an entomologist, studying the Lepidoptera and their parasitoids of the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica. 500 Women Scientists has given me an opportunity to share science in my community, giving me a sense of purpose I did not realize I was lacking.

— Tanya Dapkey, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I'm a geomicrobiologist studying microbial dark matter within Arctic sediments. I'm interested in how these microbial communities will respond to environmental changes associated with a warming climate and what that means for carbon cycling in the Arctic. Just when I felt like I needed a sense of community the most, 500 Women Scientists was there. I am so excited to share my perspective on how to reach out to rural, underserved communities to show them that everyone needs science, and science needs everyone.

— Joy Buongiorno, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I pursue a common research theme of understanding how individuals perceive, respond to, and are impacted by the environments in which they exist. I study this in the context of plant and cyanobacterial responses to the environment and mentoring and leading of individuals in academia. I am strongly committed to the grassroots approach of 500 Women Scientists to promote community building and cultivation of diverse individuals in science.

— Dr. Beronda Montgomery, 500 Women Scientists Advisory Board

I am a disease ecologist and aquatic ecologist at the University of Michigan; my research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of disease outbreaks, especially in lakes. 500 Women Scientists is about working to make science more open, inclusive, and accessible, and about increasing science literacy through public engagement; these are areas that I care deeply about, and I'm proud to be part of this organization.

— Dr. Meghan Duffy, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am an ecologist focused on understanding and managing soils, a fundamental natural resource upon which society depends. The 500 WS community is fighting to expand the diversity of faces, voices, and minds in science in order to better reflect and serve society. This work is crucial and it is tough, just like the women who have made this their mission.

— Dr. Rachel Gallery, 500 Women Scientists Advisory Board

I am a environmental political scientist who studies the effect of climate variability and drought on public lands outdoor recreation. I currently research how climate science and monitoring can be incorporated into planning and managing under conditions of water shortage, using mixed methods and stakeholder engagement. 500WS is an outgrowth of my passion for understanding how to solve old problems in new ways. The critical, feminist dimension of the group embodies my values to a T.

— Dr. Theresa Jedd, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am astrophysicist who studies clusters of galaxies and cares about making science inclusive and open to girls and women of all backgrounds. I am a part of 500WS because I believe that together we can transform science --  in who gets to participate and be successful, and the role of science in society.

— Dr. Rukmani Vijayaraghavan, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a PhD candidate in biology currently researching the biomechanics of burrowing rodents. In the past, I’ve worked on the muscle architecture of badgers, groundhogs, and opossums. Working with 500 Women Scientists has been a source of hope and motivation for me to keep fighting.

— Lexi Moore Crisp, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I study the microscopic life that live in and on us, our surroundings, and nearly everything else on earth. Nearly one year ago, I felt an unprecedented level of disappointment, betrayal, and paralysis as my eyes were opened to how so many view someone like me--someone who is a woman, an immigrant, a scientist.  500 Women Scientists was a much-needed light of hope and taking part in this organization is my way to help forge change and leave a positive legacy for the women of tomorrow.

— Dr. Se Jin Song, 500 Women Scientists Community Outreach Team

I am a plant ecophysiologist who studies how plants respond to changes in climate. I am lucky to have been supported by incredible male and female mentors my entire life; however, I know that this is not the case for most women in science. More than ever we need a group like 500 Women Scientists to advocate for underrepresented groups. I am also a mom to two incredible kids who I want to teach that we judge people by their words and actions, and not by their gender, skin color, or sexual orientation.

— Dr. Jia Hu, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a soil biogeochemist. Broadly speaking, I study role of soils in maintaining the earth's climate. Specifically my work focuses on furthering our understanding of how physical perturbations in the environment (due to erosion, fire, changes in climate, etc) affect biogeochemical cycling of essential elements and mechanisms of soil organic matter stabilization. I am part of the advisory board of 500WS because I think it is very important for women to organize and get ourselves heard in the political process.

— Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, 500 Women Scientists Advisory Board

I am an evolutionary biologist studying host-microbe interactions. 500 Women Scientists has connected me with an an international network of women who continue to motivate and inspire me on a daily basis.

— Dr. Emily Lescak, 500 Women Scientists Leadership Team

I am a climate and atmospheric scientist studying the hydrologic cycle and how it can change. 500 Women Scientists have shown me what can happen when you unleash the power of many coming together, and it inspires me every day.

— Dr. Angie Pendergrass, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a plant ecophysiologist who studies how plant parasitism effects host physiology and ecology, including effects on soil microbial communities. I am passionate about both science and diversity and inclusion, which why I became involved in 500 Women Scientists. I am excited to be a part of this group of women who share the vision of making science more inclusive and accessible and changing the face of science to represent true diversity.

— Dr. Kristy Duran, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am an ocean and climate scientist. I am also a woman. 500 Women Scientists has demonstrated to me the power and necessity of speaking from both of those places simultaneously. Feminism is necessary right now - to heal our culture and our world - and science can be a feminist endeavor. Because, indeed, people of all intersections of identity, orientation, race, class, gender, and ability find a calling in science. Those people, as well as their science and contributions to humanity, matter. Science and human rights, including women’s rights, are inseparable.

— Dr. Sarah E Myhre, 500 Women Scientists National Leadership Team

I am a microbiome scientist working on projects that span the fields of health, forensics, and animal science. 500 Women Scientists has brought me back to grassroots activism. It has been really fun putting together the Take Action Tuesdays every week. Also, I love how women scientists are so good at organizing and logistics.

— Dr. Jessica Metcalf, 500 Women Scientists Leadership Team