Christine with quote: "From herring gulls to olive baboons to spotted hyenas to coyotes, my research species have reflected my own intersectionality, the blurring of boundaries, and the resulting experiences of struggling to navigate ... people"
Photo: Cell Press, Cell Signaling Technology, The Elsevier Foundation
Fellows in the News

Cell Press, Cell Signaling Technology, and the Elsevier Foundation honored Christine Wilkinson as one of four winners of the third annual Rising Black Scientists Awards. Winners were selected from an outstanding pool of over 300 applicants from across the life, physical, earth, environmental, health, and data sciences. Christine’s essay, “The coyote in the mirror: Embracing intersectionality to improve human-wildlife interactions”, won the post-graduate prize in the physical, earth, or data sciences category.

“Cell Press is proud to continue to support brilliant and inspiring Black scientists through these awards,” says Anne Kitson, Managing Director, Cell Press and the Lancet. “By expanding eligibility to all fields, we can now recognize a more inclusive community of scholars and advocates who are working every day to drive innovation and positive change.”

The awards were originally created in 2020 to break down barriers and create opportunities by providing visibility and funds to support talented Black scientists in the life or medical sciences on their career journey. By joining the awards partnership in 2022, the Elsevier Foundation now enables the selection of two additional winners each year, expanding the scope of the awards to include the physical, earth and environmental, and data sciences. In addition to publication of their essays in a Cell Press journal, winners also receive $10,000 to support their research and a $500 travel grant; honorable mentions each receive $500.

“Giving much needed visibility to Black scientists is an integral part of the Elsevier Foundation’s mission to encourage a more inclusive research ecosystem,” says Ylann Schemm, Executive Director, the Elsevier Foundation. “We are proud to celebrate their excellence and ambition during these critical phases in their journeys as scientists.”

Reflections of intersectionality in the wild

Conservation biologist and carnivore ecologist Christine Wilkinson (@ScrapNaturalist), PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley is the Rising Black Scientists Awards post-graduate winner in the physical, earth and environmental, or data sciences. Her essay, “The coyote in the mirror: Embracing intersectionality to improve human-wildlife interactions,” explores her intersectionality as “a Black, biracial, queer, and gender-queer kaleidoscopic being” as a way to relate to all kinds of stakeholders and to build connections and linkages between wildlife, human, and environmental health and wellbeing.

“Across my research career, I have studied the adaptations, behaviors, and ecology of animals that are widely misunderstood and often vilified,” she writes. “Like me, all of these species fail to fit into many of western science’s rigid boxes and are thus misunderstood, yet have developed adaptations, strategies, and resilience to navigate their worlds. We are cut of the same cloth.”

Learn more about the award and all the winners on the CellPress website, and read Christine’s essay here

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