News Release

New ESA journal collection spotlights Black scholarship in ecology

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Ecological Society of America

This week, the Ecological Society of America highlights the contributions of Black scholars to 21st-century ecology in a virtual collection of papers: “Advancing ecology through Black voices.”

The authors of the articles in the virtual collection address the exclusionary history of the natural sciences, explore ideologies that perpetuate disparities in environmental engagement, and confront public health injustices that have harmed communities of color.

The idea for the collection sprang from ESA’s Black Ecologists Section, with members seeking to promote the contributions of Black Ecologists to the discipline. “This initiative stemmed from my time as co-chair of the Black Ecologist Section, as we brainstormed on how to elevate our contributions to the rapidly expanding and increasingly relevant field of ecology in society,” said Nyeema Harris, Ph.D., an associate professor of wildlife and land conservation at Yale University.

“We recognized that by combating the historic erasure of Black scholars and disciplinary whitewashing, we could build a more inclusive community of a practice. These efforts also highlighted that our identities directly influence our scholarship and that warrants explicit celebration,” Harris said. “So, this collection is a triumphant union of past, present, and future; acknowledgement of foundational principles that get scrutinized in new ways; contemporary Black thought-leaders melding theories and approaches to advance ecology and the future outcomes resultant for our innovations.” 

The collection features papers published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and Ecological Applications. All of the articles in the collection are open access and have been published under Creative Commons licenses.


The public health implications of gentrification: tick-borne disease risks for communities of color
Samniqueka J. Halsey, Meredith C. VanAcker, Nyeema C. Harris, Kaleea R. Lewis, Lisette Perez, Genee S. Smith

The history of natural history and race: Decolonizing human dimensions of ecology
Maria N. Miriti, Ariel J. Rawson, Becky Mansfield

Redefining American conservation for equitable and inclusive social-environmental management
Nia Morales, Jordan Lee, Milton Newberry, Karen Bailey

Responsibility, equity, justice, and inclusion in dynamic human–wildlife interactions
Nyeema C. Harris, Christine E. Wilkinson, Gabriela Fleury, Zoliswa N. Nhleko


The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 9,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at

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