About Us

BWEEMS was developed to be your supportive community, championing unique perspectives, and innovation. 

We're here to push science boundaries, foster mentorship, and create new narratives. It's why we've facilitated a community for those who have been historically overlooked and excluded. 

We'd love you to join us! Help us expand our global network of Black women scientists and promote retention, creativity, and excellence in STEM.


Photo credit: L Tuttle-Raz

Our Mission

Our mission is simple, and we'll never shy away from it. We want to provide a network for creativity that embraces diverse perspectives and equitable collaboration.

We want to drive scientific innovation and excellence for Black women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science. 

Our Vision

We see a future where every Black woman scientist never doubts her own abilities, where she never feels like she's an imposter when applying for a new job or a place at a prestigious college.

Our vision is to create a crucial platform that offers Black women scientists mentors and role models. We want to inspire and lead. We want every young girl who dreams of a STEM career to know her aspirations are possible because we're paving the way for her. 

Our Founder


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. She is passionate about our oceans and have been fascinated by the innovative conservation solutions the industry is creating. Nikki leads the Cnidarian Immunity Laboratory, which investigates the mechanisms of immune function in corals. Her lab is particularly focused on developing revolutionary actions for saving coral reefs.

Coral reefs celebrate diversity, but sadly the world of science and academia is still a pretty exclusive club. That's why she founded the Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science - to give people a community and let the world know that Black women in science are here. We exist.

Through hard word and support from others, she earned her B.S. and M.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University, and her PhD. in Biology from Boston University. Now she wants to see others afforded the same opportunities.

Our Leadership

We have a strong and diverse leadership team who help keep BWEEMS running for our community. Click below to see our Board of Directors and our Committee Members!