Women in Microbiome Research

TL:DR: List of Women in Microbiome Research  (Updated December 17, 2017).

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 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 Women in Microbiome Research 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, rhizosphere, microbial genomics, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. 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:

Adding Women in Microbiome Research to the list

This list is just a start – there are probably hundreds of names that should be here as well. So here is a simple form to nominate a new Woman in Microbiome Research. Please only nominate staff scientists (PhD level research associates), faculty, and CEO’s. Anyone you would like to see hold a great keynote speech at a conference. 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; I need to find a couple of hours to update this list, and I don’t always have that!