Our vision is to establish a Black women-led community that elevates and supports Black women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science. We are cultivating our own narrative -- one where we can be our authentic selves, embracing our diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives while leading, thriving, and innovating.
We encourage the autonomy of Black women in order to push boundaries, drive innovation, and elevate our voices in evolution, ecology and marine science.
we're just gettingstarted
The Catalyst for a Community of Black Women in EEMS
Beginning in the midst of a global pandemic in 2020, and at the height of conversations about Black Lives Matter and issues that continue to impact Black community; Nikki Traylor-Knowles put out a call to the world seeking Black women marine scientists. After feeling frustrated of being the one of the only Black women in this area of academia, Nikki was able to host an event and capture contacts of dozens of women from various countries doing work in ecology, evolution and marine science fields.
Following a successful event, many wanted to continue having events that offered space for community and knowledge exchange. Realizing that everyone had also been feeling similarly, it became empowering for Nikki and important to offer an opportunity to uplift Black women scientists looking for a community. With a need and desire so grand, BWEEMS has become a beacon in equipping its members and continuing to be a supportive community, driving innovation, and championing disruptors of pervasive white supremacy culture in science.
What motivates us:
Elevating Black Women’s Voices and Innovations
Inspiring Sisterhood Through Community and Collaboration
Driving Equitable Spaces, Leadership, and Science
Catalyzing a Paradigm Shift in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science Spaces
BWEEMS Founder, Director and Chief Financial Officer
BWEEMs was founded by Nikki Traylor-Knowles, an Associate Professor in Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Sciences. Nikki leads the Cnidarian Immunity Laboratory, which investigates the mechanisms of immune function in corals.
Her lab is particularly focused on developing novel strategies for saving coral reefs. Prior to starting her assistant professorship, she earned her B.S. and M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University, her PhD. in Biology from Boston University, and her postdoctoral studies through Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University.
Nikki started BWEEMS as a way to develop community, share science, and promote innovative thinking. She was tired of hearing that Black women in ecology, evolution and marine science didn't exist. They do!