Madeline Anderson

Role:

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer, 2020-2021

Contacts:

Background:

I am a fourth year MSci Marine Biology student at the University of Southampton (UoS), passionate about pursuing a career in polar research. As part of my degree I spent a semester abroad studying at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, Australia and worked as a visiting scientist in the plankton labs at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Since February 2020 I have been a part of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Polar Horizons Project. My masters project is on benthic mollusca in the Eastern Antarctic Peninsular with Dr Katrin Linse (BAS) and Dr Phil Fenberg (UoS) as my supervisors.

I have always kept my identity as part of the LGBTQIA+ community separate to my studies and career, feeling it irrelevant and thinking it would only hold me back. Since the start of the year however, my outlook on this has changed, partially as a result of the BAS Polar Horizons Project for LGBTQIA+, BAME and disabled early career scientists. Being a part of the Horizons Project, has given me a sense of welcoming and accepting to be who I am whilst pursuing my passion for polar marine science. The project was a wonderful opportunity to be completely myself and accepted for that in a group of diverse people from STEM backgrounds. It was the first time I have ever been in a group of people and felt totally unjudged, with no need to justify or explain myself and my identity, and this gave me a taste of what I hope will soon spread throughout the entire polar research community, into STEM, universities and beyond.

I can bring energy, drive and determination to the role, I enjoy working as a team and am confident in self-motivation and working independently. As EDI officer I would hope to increase the awareness of EDI throughout the UKPN. Creating the diversity network in universities would be an opportunity for me to help create that same feeling I had at BAS throughout higher education in the UK.

The opportunity to be the EDI officer for the UK Polar Network is an opportunity to reach out and welcome diverse students into the UK Polar Network, the wider polar community and into STEM. Polar research and STEM aren’t one group of people, they’re both collaborations between disciplines and backgrounds, throughout all areas of STEM and includes women, BAME and LGBTQIA+ communities and those with disabilities and I would love to be a part of making our field a more inclusive place for everyone.