The Byers Lab: Floral scent and other floral signals and their role in flowering plant evolution

Group Leader: Kelsey J.R.P. Byers

Three panels show photos of plants and their pollinators: a bumblebee visits a Lamiaceae plant, a hummingbird visits a Heliconia plant, and a skipper butterfly visits a Lantana plant

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and justice are important values in the Byers Lab. As a multiply-disabled, multiply-queer Group Leader, Kelsey believes strongly in maintaining a respectful, inclusive, and friendly working environment for all humans and their identities, as well as promoting the personal and career development of early career researchers in particular. Kelsey is a strong advocate for the success of currently and historically excluded groups in STEM, with a particular focus on disability and LGBTQIA+ inclusion in STEM. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Society for the Study of Evolution, where she focuses particularly on conference accessibility and inclusion. Kelsey has been awarded a DO-IT Trailblazer Award for her work mentoring disabled students in STEM at the University of Washington. At the John Innes Centre, Kelsey co-leads the JIC Accessibility Advocates Group, a staff and student networking group concerned with disability, chronic illness, and d/Deafness, and is a member of the NBI LGBTQ+ working group.

Kelsey has spoken at multiple institutions and events on the importance of the inclusion of disabled and LGBTQIA+ individuals in STEM, most recently at the University of Bristol School of Biological Sciences' celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Slides from this event are here. She also recently spoke at the Evolution 2022 "Field Safety and Ethics in Evolution and Ecology: Experiences and Tools for Inclusive Practices" symposium. Slides from this talk can be found here. Kelsey is a firm believer in the important role that intersectionality plays in the lived experiences of individuals from currently and historically excluded groups.

Kelsey's Twitter feed includes frequent discussion of DEI issues, particularly those around disability. She also runs a Slack group for disabled/chronically ill/d/Deaf scientists; drop her an email to join.

Kelsey is also featured in the Primary Science Teaching Trust's "A Scientist Just Like Me" series (see here for a teaching PDF), and has visited multiple primary schools, botanic gardens, and senior centres to deliver public lectures and question and answer sessions. She believes strongly that the public of all ages has a fundamental right to understand our science and that as STEM researchers one of our key responsibilities is to help in this understanding and discovery process.

The lab's current fieldwork takes place in Switzerland and Northern Italy. Nonetheless, Kelsey strongly supports the treaty rights of First Nations and other Indigenous peoples, including their right to self-determination; access and benefit sharing; and acknowledgments that traditional lands were not ceded.

As a white person, Kelsey does not have the lived experience of BIPOC/BAME/Latine/historically and currently excluded racial and ethnic group members, but supports their full participation and inclusion in STEM and all walks of life. Black Lives Matter. Microaggressions and microbehaviors are real.

Please note that slides and other materials shared on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Twitter logoKelsey on Twitter Reach Kelsey by email: Kelsey.Byers (at)
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