Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Bias (IDEA)

About the Committee



  • Jesse Alston
  • Camilo Calderon-Acevedo
  • Noé de la Sancha
  • Laurie J. Dizney
  • Elizabeth A. Flaherty
  • Thomas C. Giarla
  • Dana Green
  • Anne-Marie Hodge
  • Marjorie D. Matocq
  • Kim Neil
  • Teri Orr
  • Link E. Olson
  • Kevin C. Rowe
  • Rebecca J. Rowe
  • Katie Smith
  • Rachel Stein
  • Katherine Thorington
  • Jessica Taing
  • Amanda Weller
  • Lisa Walsh
  • Laura Young

History and Mission

The Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-bias Committee was originally established as the ad hoc Committee on Women and Minority Issues (1992-1996), and underwent a name change to better reflect its goals (ad hoc Committee on Human Diversity in Mammalogy, 1996-1998). In 1998, as an indication of the importance of the committee’s goals to the ASM, it was elevated to a standing committee (first as the Committee on Human Diversity in Mammalogy) and was instituted as the Human Diversity Committee in 1999. The name was changed to the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Bias (IDEA) Committee in 2023. The mission of the IDEA Committee is to ensure the opportunity for active participation in the ASM by all members, regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, age, physical disabilities, or sexual orientation.


This committee serves the Society by working to encourage and facilitate an increase in the diversity of active participants of the Society by working to reduce barriers to participation, service, and governance (especially those associated with under-represented groups). Accordingly, the committee is examining approaches and efforts to increase diversity within the Society, especially the diversity of the participants in societal activities and functions. This committee also plans and conducts various workshops, symposia, and other activities associated with its mission.


The Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-bias Committee has hosted a number of forums, workshops, socials, surveys, and symposia since its inception. Forums have included “Women and Minorities in Science” (1992) and “Where do we go from here?” (1996). Social events have included luncheons like “Women and Minority Issues (What does ASM have to offer you?)” (1995) and the Member Mixer and Social for Diversity (2003). The committee helped survey annual meeting participants in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011. 

In the past year, the IDEA committee administered the Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award, selected and supported 4 undergraduate students to attend the annual meeting, held an LGBTQIA+ social event at the annual meeting, and developed and posted a guide to making conference oral presentations and posters more accessible. 

The IDEA committee is currently working to administer the Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award and J. Mary Taylor Award, organize affinity group socials, bring and support students from marginalized backgrounds to annual meetings, review and update society documentation as necessary, and conduct a survey of the safety issues facing field mammalogists. Our work takes a variety of skillsets, backgrounds, and interests to complete, ranging from organizing socials to evaluating applications to designing surveys. We have work for everyone! Please reach out to the committee chair if you are interested in joining these efforts. 


History of Human Diversity Committee Activities

Year Committee Activity Meeting Site for Activity
1992 Forum:  Women and Minorities in Science University of Utah, Salt Lake City
1993 Workshop:  So You Want to Be a Professor?  How Women & Minorities Succeed in the Tenure Mainstream Western Washington University, Bellingham
1994 Symposium:  Careers in Mammalogy:  Is There Life Outside the Ivory Tower? Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
1995 Luncheon:  Women and Minority Issues (What does ASM have to offer you?) University of Vermont, Burlington
1996 Special Feature:  Women in Mammalogy Journal of Mammalogy, 77:609-674
1996 Forum:  Where do we go from here? University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
1999 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants I University of Washington, Seattle
2003 Member Mixer and Social for Diversity Texas Tech University, Lubbock
2003 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants II Texas Tech University, Lubbock
2007 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants III University Of New Mexico, Albuquerque
2008 Symposium:  Human Diversity & Mammalogy in the 21st Century South Dakota State University, Brookings
2011 Survey of Annual Meeting Participants IV Portland State University, Portland, OR
2011 Poster:  The Changing Face of American Mammalogy:  The History and Status of Human Diversity Portland State University, Portland, OR

Award Information

J. Mary Taylor Award

The J. Mary Taylor Award was created in 2020 to recognize a person or group who has strengthened the mammalogy community by promoting inclusiveness, diversity, and multiculturalism in our field.

The J. Mary Taylor Award was developed collaboratively by the Human Diversity Committee and the ASM Office of the Ombudspersons, and honors our first female president, Dr. J. Mary Taylor (President 1982–1984). Mary’s leadership for the Society and the institutions she led exemplifies our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equity within the field of mammalogy. This award recognizes the impact of an individual or a team through contributions that promote and improve the accessibility, inclusivity, diversity, and multiculturalism of our discipline or of our Society.

Mary Taylor (1931–2019) broke barriers throughout her career. She was a consummate mammalogist and deeply committed to both the ASM and to her students, graduate and undergraduate alike. She was noted for her groundbreaking research as a field and museum biologist. Among her positions, she served as Professor of Zoology and Director of the Cowan Vertebrate Museum at the University of British Columbia, Executive Director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Chairperson of the IUCN Rodent Specialist Committee, and Vice President of the Association of Science Museum Directors. We remember her fondly for her leadership, her “can do” personality, and friendship within the ASM. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was awarded Honorary Membership in 2001. For additional details on Mary’s life and accomplishments see Horner et al. (1996) and Woolley (2021).

Donate to the J. Mary Taylor Award here.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria:

  • Nominee(s) must be active ASM members in good standing, and must adhere to the ASM Code of Conduct.
  • Nominations must come from an ASM member in good standing; self-nominations are acceptable.
  • Nominees may be individuals or teams, and may be at any career stage or level of experience.
  • Individuals may only receive the award one time.
  • Awards will be given only in years when compelling and suitable nominations are available.

Application Requirements:

  • Name and contact details of the nominator(s).
  • Name and contact details of the nominee(s).
  • Nomination Letter: A single letter of support (1-2 pages) including biographical information (name, title, organization) of the person or group being nominated, highlighting how the nominee(s) has strengthened the mammalogy community. The letter must include a description of the nature of impact the person or group has had on inclusivity, diversity, multiculturalism, and equity in the field of mammalogy or the American Society of Mammalogists.
  • Biosketch: A brief biosketch or list of activities (maximum 3 pages) for the person/group nominated.
  • Optional supplementary material that supports the nominees’ efforts to strengthen the mammalogy community following the objectives of the J Mary Taylor Award: any material (for example: syllabi, webpages, publications, informational documentation, etc.) you believe clarifies the activities of the nominee relevant to this award (maximum 3 pages). 

The selection committee will be considering factors such as breadth and scale of impact, nominee growth and commitment, timeliness of initiatives, and how the nominee is assessing their impact.

The application period for the 2023 J. Mary Taylor Award has closed. The application for the 2024 award will open in spring 2024.

To Apply

Sumbit your nomination here. Nominations are due March 15.

Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award

This was award developed through the efforts of leadership in Black Mammalogists Week, which was created in 2020 to raise awareness of the global community of Black mammalogists, to illuminate the historical and present-day contributions of Black mammalogists to the field of Mammalogy, and to provide opportunities for current and aspiring Black mammalogists across the Diaspora to form conscious, fruitful, forward-viewing connections.  The ASM shares with originators of Black Mammalogists Week a vision of a future where young people of all backgrounds will realize that they are not only welcome, but indeed are needed and vital parts of a fully grounded science of mammalogy.  Reflecting our shared desire to realize this goal, ASM and Black Mammalogists Week leadership have worked closely to help promote this vision – to ensure that a future of equality and inclusivity is the only future for us all.

Donate to the Black & Indigenous Scholars award here.

Terms of award.

The Black and Indigenous Scholars award is targeted at research and activities related to mammals. There are no thematic limits to this award; research on ecology, behavior, biogeography, genomics, physiology, taxonomy, or any other arena is acceptable. The only taxonomic limit is that this is not intended to support research on humans (although research on how humans impact non-human mammals could be acceptable). Applicant will be a current, potential, or aspiring Mammalogist from or residing in North or South America who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous, as outlined in the United Nations guidelines for identifying Indigenous peoples.

Individuals at any level of experience may apply, including high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, early professionals (within 5 years of terminal degree), and established professionals. High school-level applicants are invited to apply, but must be asking for funding for a formal course, program, or training related to Mammalogy. To maximize the gains of this award, applications from students and early-career professionals will be given priority over established professionals. The award may be used to support the cost of equipment or supplies; field assistants; travel to/from research sites, museums, or other venues for research or coursework; meeting registration cost and travel to meetings; publishing costs; course or training fees; or per diem, as justified by the applicant. The award may not be used for “pay to play” or other exploitative “volunteer” opportunities. Applicants do not need to be affiliated with academic institutions. Applicants do not need to be current members of the American Society of Mammalogists.

Selection criteria.

The review committee will emphasize the quality of efforts and impact of the applicant over more traditional quantitative measures. The following general themes will be emphasized:

  1. The applicant will be a scholar from or residing in the Western Hemisphere who is Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous. 
  2. Career status of high school level and above; there is no age limit.
  3. Ability to speak to how the award will help the applicant professionally. It is implicit that this will relate to the field of mammalogy in some way.
  4. Ability to speak to how the applicant’s identity has contributed to their career goals, interests, and hopes. 
  5. Proposals that have broad impacts and where the funds can go further than the applicant’s specific project.


In recognition of the innumerable contributions that Black/African American, African, and Indigenous mammalogists have contributed to Mammalogy in the past, present, and future, the American Society of Mammalogists and Black Mammalogists Week are collaborating to offer awards of up to $1500 to support the further development of Mammalogy by Black/African American, African, and Indigenous people.

Application Process

  1. Name, email, address, and phone number of the applicant.
  2. Application materials shall include:
    1. An itemized budget of proposed activities (including matching funds, if appropriate), ranging from $200 to a maximum of $1,500. Indicate whether you are applying for other funding, and the sources you are applying to.
    2. A supporting statement with responses to each of the questions listed below. Responses should be 100-500 words each. Responses should be compiled into a single document (PDF or Word document acceptable), with 1” margins, single-spaced, and Arial/Times New Roman/Calibri fonts.
      • What are your goals, interests, and hopes for your future career?
      • How will this award help you to achieve your career goals, interests, and hopes?
      • How has being Black/African American, African, and/or Indigenous brought you to where you are now, and how do you see your identities influencing your future career?
      • How do you see this award benefiting you, as well as your colleagues, friends, mentees, discipline, or community?
      • If you receive partial funding from this grant that is lower than your submitted budget, how will you use the partial funding?
  3. A reference letter from a professional who can speak to 1) the applicant’s current and future work in Mammalogy, 2) how much the applicant has been pursuing alternative funding sources, and 3) how the funds from this award would benefit the applicant’s lab, department, or discipline more broadly. A reference letter is required, and should be submitted by 11:59 pm PST on the day the application is due. 


Awards are solicited each fall. Autumn applications will open on September 1 and close at 11:59 pm PST on October 15; award recipients will be notified by November 15. Any questions about the application process or the award itself can be directed to Rhiannon Jakopak at

To Apply

The webform for applications is here and available during periods where we are accepting applications

*We follow UN guidelines in defining indigenous peoples.  See, for example, “The concept of indigenous peoples”, pp. 4-7 in United Nations 2009.  See also the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples factsheet.


Award Recipients

Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award

  • 2023—Ilana Mosley, Texas A&M University
  • 2023—Tommy Herrera, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2022—Veronarindra Ramananjato, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2022—Ingrid Beatriz Ferreira Paixão, Federal University of Uberlândia
  • 2022—Juann Abreu, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

J. Mary Taylor Award

  • 2023—Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, University of Alberta
  • 2022—Dr. Jesus Maldonado, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute