Expert Women in Microbiology

TL:DR #1: List of Women in Microbiology Research  (Updated March 2022)

TL:DR #2: Form to nominate a new woman (or edit an existing one).

Lack of Women in Keynotes and Forums

Most of us have been to scientific conferences where the audience was a roughly equal mix of men and women, but where the majority of the invited/keynote speakers or panelists were male. This is a problem not only in microbiology, but in all scientific and tech fields. Conference organizers will often tell you that they tried really hard to find a woman to speak, but they could not find any. Often heard excuses are:

  • “we could not find any good woman speaker”
  • “we wanted to invited the best, and those happen to be male”
  •  “we asked a woman to make our speaker line-up look good, but she said no”
  • “we asked a woman but she wanted us to pay for her flight (and we don’t have money left because we already paid the flights of the 9 male speakers)”

There have been many others who have also written about this problem, why inviting more women and people of color would be beneficial for both conference organizers and participants (hint: as often in microbial ecology, more diversity is good), and what we can do to have more diversity at conferences. See for example here:

A list with Expert Women in Microbiology to ask as Keynote Speaker or Forum Panelist

So here is a list to solve this problem. A list of hundreds of awesome women in the fields of microbial ecology, microbiome, pathogenesis, microbial genomics, bioinformatics, probiotics etc.. It’s far from complete (see below to nominate more women), but it’s a good start!

This list was compiled with the help of many of my Twitter buddies after I asked to nominate Women in Microbiome in September 2016. Thank you all so much! The list contains mainly professors and staff scientists, because I wanted to focus on potential speakers for a keynote lecture.

Other great lists or resources with Women in Microbiology

Similar lists can be found here (updated July 2019)

Adding Expert Women in Microbiology to the list

A list like this is never perfect – there are probably hundreds of names that should be here as well, people change affiliations and research topics, etc.

So here is a simple form to nominate a new Expert Woman in Microbiology, or to edit an existing one. It is meant as a list of anyone who could give a great keynote or invited lecture at a conference, or who could be a great panelist, so I am currently restricting this to senior PhD level scientists, lecturers, faculty, and specialists. Self-nominations are totally acceptable and encouraged.

You can also contact me if you want your name removed; all information was taken from public websites, but if you don’t want to be a part of this, I’ll take your name off. Also, please be patient once you have submitted your form; I need to find a couple of hours to update this list, so it might take a couple of days or weeks before the new / edited names show up on the list!


Elisabeth Bik