photo by Kathryn Mercier
Breaking molds in Biogeography
A warm welcome to the Carnaval Lab! We come from multiple corners of the world to study the awe-inspiring biological diversity of our planet. We believe that documenting, understanding, and protecting global biodiversity is only possible if jointly led by scientists, stakeholders, and community members of all backgrounds, cultures, races, languages, and genders. As a lab, we value and base our work on mutual respect and support. We believe that the best biodiversity science builds from strong, rich cross-cultural and inter-racial collaborations, particularly in tropical, megadiverse countries.
Carnaval Lab Diversity Statement
Our research integrates multiple fields of study – Biology, Geography, Remote Sensing, and Computer Sciences. Racism, gender-bias, and discrimination remain in all of them. Everywhere we work – be it in the U.S., Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Australia, or elsewhere – has a legacy of white, cis male supremacy. In these countries, indigenous peoples have been massacred, Black people enslaved, and women excluded. These practices, or the legacy of these practices, continue to this day as Black people in multiple nations fear for their lives daily, as governments continue to exploit and destroy native territories, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and genderqueer (LGBTQ+) communities are harassed, as women struggle against wage gaps and glass ceilings, as Latinx immigrant children are detained apart from their families, and as Global South scientists continue to be undervalued. In our own institution, Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC), students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ members, immigrants and women still report barriers to professional and personal growth with detrimental mental health consequences.
We denounce racism, sexism, colonialism, and every type of discrimination or harassment along known axes of marginalization, including gender identity, religious affiliation, country of origin, neurodiversity, and disability status. To change the legacy of discrimination in biodiversity science and in our own institution, we commit:
To acknowledge, accommodate, and promote the inclusion of the multiple intersecting identities of our lab members, students and colleagues – on campus, in the field, and in professional events worldwide.
To acknowledge and condemn any type of discrimination, and racism – both historical and contemporary. We commit to provide a safe space for all of those who feel oppressed, undervalued or harassed, to be allies and advocates of minoritized groups, to collect, disseminate, and discuss data and information about racism and discrimination in our field of study and institution.
To empower those who have been historically excluded - from academia, STEM, and decision-making processes - to engage and to lead. We seek to remove barriers to opportunities by recruiting, welcoming, retaining, supporting, and empowering BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrant, international, disabled, and women scientists through our research, our teaching, and our service.
To enforce a community agreement that clearly articulates our values and how members are held accountable for their acts.