Our Board of Directors

Nikki Traylor-Knowles

President and Chief Financial Officer

Anjali D. Boyd

Professional Development Committee Chair

Karlisa Callwood

Vice President

Anamica Bedi de Silva

Science Programming Committee Chair

Alexandra Davis

Secretary

Chris Mantegna

Outreach, Mentorship, Social Committee Chair

Cinda Scott

Panel Programming Committee Chair

Giselle Hall

Outreach, Mentorship, Social Committee Chair

Tiara Moore

Communications & Social Media Committee Chair

Nikki Traylor-Knowles

President and Chief Financial Officer

BWEEMs was founded by Nikki Traylor-Knowles, an Assistant Professor in Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric 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!

Karlisa Callwood

Vice President

Dr. Karlisa Callwood is a marine scientist, informal science educator, and science communicator who focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to evaluating fisheries and conservation management. With over 15 years of experience developing and managing science education programming, her experience ranges from community engagement and partnership development to leading and implementing DEAI initiatives across several organizations. Her interests include establishing practices to enhance science education in underserved communities; understanding the socio-economic factors that influence fishers’ decisions and prompt behavior changes; enhancing strategies to better bridge the gaps that exist between scientists, policymakers, and the public; and developing tools to facilitate DEAI transformations in organizations. Dr. Callwood holds a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science and Policy from the University of Miami. As a BWEEMS Board member, she hopes to continue highlighting the work of Black women scientists and to provide a space where our members can learn, collaborate, share strategies, and support each other.

I am a marine spatial ecologist and an advocate for equity and diversity in conservation sciences. My postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta focuses on developing a interactive conservation tool to inform interventions for marine invasive species. I work with multiple partners and management agencies to develop spatial priorities and quantify economic costs for managing Indo-Pacific lionfish in US Caribbean and Tropical Western Atlantic territories and invasive European Green Crab in BC, Canada.

Alexandra Davis

Secretary

Anjali D. Boyd

Professional Development Committee Chair

Anjali Boyd is a Duke University Ph.D. Student and Dean's Graduate Fellow in the Nicholas School of the Environment. She received her B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College as a NOAA Hollings Scholar. Her research examines how species interactions (both intra and inter) and physical forces interact to regulate the recovery of foundation species to environmental stressors. Anjali aspires to develop novel ecosystem-based restoration and management practices to restore foundation species world-wide. She is fiercely committed to increasing representation of women and ethnic minorities’ in ocean sciences and elevating the voices and contributions of student and early career scientists. She has served as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ecological Society of America's Student Section, an appointed member of the Ecological Society of America's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice taskforce, Treasurer/Secretary of the Society of Wetland Scientists' Student Section, and member of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Broadening Participation Committee. Additionally, as the Director of iNviTechnology (iNviTECH), she works to combat the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields through educational entrepreneurial programs to engage young children ages 0-5 and K-12 students. Anjali also serves as an elected official in her hometown of Durham, N.C. as Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. As a member of the BWEEMS's Board of Directors, Anjali's work is focused creating a supportive and collaborative environment for Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science. In her role as Chair of the Professional Development Committee, she aims to create a space for BWEEMS members to develop essential skills, expand their professional and personal networks, and have honest conversations about navigating careers in the natural sciences, as a Black Women.

Anamica Bedi de Silva is a PhD candidate in the department of oceanography. Her research focuses on the interactions of phytoplankton with their viruses. She is originally from Minneapolis, MN and earned her Bachelor's Degree from New College of Florida. Trained originally as a forest ecologist, Anamica has done field projects in  the United States, South America, Africa and Asia. Her Brazilian and Indian heritage is extremely important to her and she tries to bring this into her research. Anamica endeavors to bring non-western science and scientists to the forefront as the BWEEMS Science Programming Committee Chair. 

Anamica Bedi de Silva

Science Programming Committee Chair

I’m Chris (she/her), a non-traditional student working on my second act a Marine Biology undergraduate at the University of Washington is Seattle, WA. As a former healthcare worker and sailor with the U.S. Navy I’ve already had a lifetime of amazing – but I’m not through yet. 

Chris Mantegna

Outreach, Mentorship, Social Committee Chair

Cinda Scott

Panel Programming Committee Chair

Cinda P. Scott received her Ph.D. in 2009 in Marine Biology and Fisheries with a focus in molecular evolutionary genomics from the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. Her work has included teaching and lecturing, administrative and grants management, and scientific research. Since 2014, she has led The School for Field Studies, Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies program in Bocas del Toro, Panamá where she currently serves as Center Director. She manages a team of faculty, staff and students who are dedicated to understanding anthropogenic impacts of tourism on the natural environment of Bocas del Toro. Her current research examines the health of mangrove ecosystems throughout the Bocas del Toro Archipelago in addition to maintaining interests in marine protected areas, coral reef ecology and conservation biology. Dr. Scott is thrilled to chair the Panel Programming Committee for BWEEMS and to be a member of the Outreach and Mentorship Committee. She is looking forward to developing inspiring panels for BWEEMS members at all stages in their careers and to mentor as many women as possible on their journey. You can learn more about her mission to build greater equity in ocean science on her website www.cindaseas.world and follow her adventures on social media @cindaseasworld.

Giselle Hall

Outreach, Mentorship, Social Committee Chair

Giselle has worked in the Caribbean for 6 years, being a core member of teams managing terrestrial and marine/ coastal conservation projects, with the cross-cutting themes of protection and rehabilitation of biodiversity, climate change and vulnerability assessments, ecosystem based disaster risk reduction (eco-DRR) planning initiatives, conservation financing, sustainable/alternative livelihoods, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and marine spatial planning. Her experience also includes supporting the establishment and operationalization of a sustainable financing architecture in the Caribbean with the Nature Conservancy, through the formation of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and nine national conservation trust funds. She is also a sustainable development and market research consultant.

Tiara is an environmental ecologist, with a background in marine science. She currently uses environmental DNA (eDNA) to conduct ecosystem biodiversity assessments. She is involved with BWEEMS to highlight Black excellence in ecology, evolution, and marine science while also supporting Black women. 

Tiara Moore

Communications & Social Media Committee Chair