Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 1Contributions
Virtual Scientific Conferences: Benefits and How to Support Underrepresented
Cesar O. Estien1, Eli B. Myron1, Callie A. Oldﬁeld2, Ajisha Alwin3, and
Ecological Society of America Student Section
1Department of Biological Sciences, Florida State University, 319 Stadium Drive,
Tallahassee, Florida 32306, USA
2Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences,
Athens, Georgia 30602, USA
3Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 1600 SW
Archer Road, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA
Ecological conferences provide a unique opportunity for scientists in the ﬁeld of ecology to develop
meaningful connections and exchange research in a rapid, multi- day, in- person format. For students
and early- career researchers, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, in- person con-
ferences are challenging to attend due to the burdens on ﬁnances and time. However, as COVID- 19
continues to restrict scientiﬁc societies’ abilities to host large, in- person conferences, virtual con-
ferences have increased in prevalence. For students and early- career researchers, virtual conferences
present a multitude of beneﬁts, including reduced attendance costs, increased accessibility to a
wider range of conference resources, and reduced levels of anxiety. These factors make virtual
conferences more accessible to those historically excluded from science. Further, microcommunities,
which we deﬁne as a small network of individuals in the same career stage, can provide additional
support for students via interacting closely with peers of the same identity, constructing workshops,
and fostering belongingness in STEM. In this paper, we discuss the beneﬁts associated with virtual
conferences (focusing on students of underrepresented backgrounds), and we suggest methods to
continue increasing inclusivity in STEM and scientiﬁc conferences as the world continues to adapt
in response to the COVID- 19 pandemic.
© 2021 The Authors The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Ecological Society of America.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Estien, C. O., E. B. Myron, C. A. Oldﬁeld, and A. Alwin; Ecological Society of America Student Section. 2021. Virtual Scientiﬁc Conferences: Beneﬁts and
How to Support Underrepresented Students. Bull Ecol Soc Am 00(00):e01859. https://doi.org/10.1002/bes2.1859
2 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
Key words: accessibility; COVID- 19; STEM inclusivity; virtual conferences.
Due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, scientists worldwide are changing how they communicate, work,
and live. Before the pandemic, virtually presenting new research to the scientiﬁc community was unusual
and considered less than ideal. However, shifting to an online platform has opened many doors for
budding scientists and has established a path toward inclusivity. For example, virtual conferences and
conferencing platforms offer more ﬂexible involvement options and new opportunities for undergraduate
students to engage with research professionals without the need for travel. Academic conferences
represent an opportunity for students to network, form research collaborations, and explore new ﬁelds.
Attending conference workshops allows students to build new skills and meet prominent professionals
in the ﬁeld of ecology. Prior to the pandemic, attending a research conference typically required setting
aside days for travel, securing funding for conference expenses, and seeking external support (e.g.,
childcare). Even students with university funding must often pay for the conference’s costs upfront
and then be reimbursed, sometimes months later. These inconveniences are usually justiﬁed because
conferences represent a unique opportunity for researchers and early- career professionals to exchange
cutting- edge ideas and results (Harrison 2010, Potter et al. 2010, Hall 2015, Little 2020), but the many
barriers associated with attending a scientiﬁc conference limit opportunities for engagement, especially
for those from historically excluded backgrounds.
Individuals from historically excluded groups (e.g., Black, Indigenous, and people of color [BIPOC]),
particularly low- income and ﬁrst- generation students, lack the resources and ﬁnancial stability to attend
and afford the expenses associated with scientiﬁc conferences. Further, in academic spaces, BIPOC
face systemic racism, implicit biases, “weed- out” courses, and biased standardized testing, all of which
limit the capacity for BIPOC, especially those from lower income backgrounds, to move forward
professionally in academia. As a result, non- white academics in the sciences, speciﬁcally the natural
sciences, are incredibly rare (Evangelista et al. 2020). Dramatic changes to institutional policies, such
as changes in tenure and promoting hiring guidelines that focus on valuing community engagement
opportunities, will be necessary to increase representation in the STEM workplace (Schell et al. 2020).
For instance, training professors and other mentors in anti- racism policies and inclusive actions will
provide a template for these mentors to train their graduate students (Schell et al. 2020). These changes
will lead to underrepresented students being better served as they become cutting- edge researchers/
scientists who ultimately become future mentors and role models in academic spaces.
BIPOC and other underrepresented groups of students and researchers are crucial to moving science
forward, as a diverse workplace with a mosaic of ideas leads to more productive and innovative research
(Hong and Page 2004, Woolley et al. 2010, Nielsen et al. 2017, AlShebli et al. 2018). However, BIPOC
and other historically excluded groups (e.g., LGBTQIA+, ﬁrst- generation, or low- income groups) in
academia do not have sufﬁcient access to, or knowledge of, resources that are geared toward retaining
them in academia (such as mentorships, networks, funding, and accessible information) (Schwartz
et al. 2016). Gaps in accessibility force these groups to navigate higher education with minimal support
or individuals end up dismissing academia as a career path. Because students from underrepresented
backgrounds lack the knowledge of, or equal access to, these resources, there must be a substantial
increase in the number of opportunities for these students to connect with and learn from experts in
Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 3Contributions
their ﬁeld of interest. As worldwide scientiﬁc collaboration becomes more accessible virtually, online
conferences present an opportunity for students who are members of underrepresented groups to ﬁnd
mentorship and research opportunities.
During the summer of 2020, two prominent ecology organizations, the Ecological Society of America
and Animal Behavior Society, transitioned from in- person conferences to an online format due to the
COVID- 19 pandemic. The sudden rise of virtual conferences, which have effectively transferred the
most valuable aspects of in- person conferences into a virtual space, has presented unique challenges both
logistically and mentally. The transition to an online conference format can be incredibly overwhelming
to undergraduate students and early- career professionals new to these spaces.
This paper explores the participation of ecology students who actively disseminate their results
via traditional academic routes as they transition to virtual conferences. We focus on these students’
experiences at the Ecological Society of America (hereafter ESA) and Animal Behavior Society
(hereafter ABS) Virtual Conferences. In this article, we discuss the beneﬁts associated with virtual
conferences, with the goal of providing recommendations to conference organizers that may result in
high- value experiences for underrepresented students.
Virtual conference beneﬁts
Conferences give students a unique opportunity to engage with scientists from different institutions
and various ﬁelds. Many scientists participate in conferences to promote new research, advertise for
or search for jobs, and connect with other professionals. For new student attendees, a conference can
provide the opportunity to explore a wide breadth of research topics by engaging with talks and posters.
Students can take advantage of beneﬁcial opportunities at conferences such as workshops on topics
like science education, science communication, and career trajectories. In addition, many conferences
feature an exhibit hall, showcasing the newest books, technologies, and crafts in the ﬁeld.
Online conferences have many of the same opportunities as in- person conferences, but time- conﬂicts
and travel times between events are signiﬁcantly reduced. Rather than traveling through a conference
venue, the next talk is available at the click of a button, and it is easy to switch between sessions of
interest quickly. On an online platform, attendees can fully immerse in the conference, consume the
material at their own pace, and engage with presentations via live Q&A sessions and panels.
Costs associated with a four- day conference can easily become incredibly expensive with travel,
lodging, food, and registration (Welch et al. 2010). For instance, to attend the ESA 2019 conference
in Louisville, Kentucky, one author paid $1,400 upfront for registration, travel, hotel, and meal costs,
which was later reimbursed by their university. For many students and early- career professionals who
lack research funding, these expenses must be paid via a scholarship or personal funds. By eliminating or
signiﬁcantly reducing travel expenses, virtual conferences remove this ﬁnancial barrier for students and
early- career professionals and increase the number of potential attendees who can afford to attend both from
the United States and internationally. As a result, virtual conferences have seen an increase in participation
from international scientists, further increasing the diversity of speakers and attendees (Sarabipour 2020).
With more scientists able to participate as a result of the inclusivity of virtual conferences, more exciting
research and ideas are exchanged, leading to stronger research discussions and collaborations.
4 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
While the limited face- to- face interaction of online conferences may initially seem less engaging, this
format allows individuals who may feel uncomfortable or intimidated by in- person meetings to further
engage in conversations by posing questions and discussion points in a non- confrontational manner.
The format provides space for attendees to contribute more to the conversation (by using the chat and
comment features) than a traditional conference format. Additionally, in a virtual setting, presenters are
pushed to articulate themselves in new ways (Fig. 1), as traditional 15- minute talks may be reduced to a
six- minute talk or a “lightning” three- minute talk. This challenges presenters to refocus their presentation
on vital information about the project and sparks interesting questions for discussion. Some presenters
have adapted to the virtual format by developing graphical depictions of their research, video content,
and interactive features within presentations.
At both ESA and ABS Virtual Conferences, we also observed an increased dependence on Twitter
for engagement in virtual conferences. Twitter has been historically used to promote conferences and
highlight talks, resulting in a plethora of interactions (Caravaggi and James 2017). A particular function
that was used to amplify student presentations during the 2020 ESA and ABS Annual Meeting was
Twitter “threads.” Threads allow the user to link tweets together, providing an efﬁcient way to describe
slides and other information from their presentation in a digestible manner (Fig. 2). Twitter threads
were used to give the story behind students’ research while also sharing transcripts and slides from their
conference presentations. This allowed their presentations to reach a larger audience while making it
more accessible. While sharing their presentations, students also tagged their collaborators and funding
sources and used ﬁeld- speciﬁc hashtags to reach a targeted audience. Additional outcomes from using
Twitter included students being able to use these “thread presentations” to network within and beyond
the conference attendees by using Twitter’s large platform. Thus, we see more opportunities to engage
with the audience, boost presentation publicity, and extend networks and connections with scientists
following the conference.
There are many beneﬁts to virtual networking (Fig. 3), but having the opportunity to professionally
connect with individuals in- person is an unmatched networking opportunity provided by in- person
conferences. However, virtual conferences have developed innovative opportunities for networking in
an online setting. For example, ESA hosted numerous virtual networking sessions for subsections of the
ESA member body, creating smaller, welcoming spaces for conversation between ecologists with similar
interests. In addition, the ESA SEEDS Program hosted daily “check- ins” facilitated by the Diversity
Programs manager, creating a safe space to connect with fellow ecology students. From our experience,
these networking events, along with various virtual workshops, live Q&As, and panels offered by the ESA
virtual conference, gave the opportunity for students to generate meaningful professional connections in
an online setting (2020 ESA Annual Meeting [August 3– 6]).
Establishing microcommunities in a virtual space
Navigating academia can be daunting, particularly for ﬁrst- generation and BIPOC students. Scientiﬁc
conferences are vital for early- career scientists and students, allowing them to share their ﬁndings
and learn about new research. However, new attendees may ﬁnd them overwhelming. The desire to
share research and connect with potential colleagues can be overshadowed by “impostor syndrome,”
a condition characterized by anxiety and fear of appearing “unintelligent” to peers and other scientists
(Kolligian and Sternberg 1991). These fears that undergraduates and ﬁrst- time attendees face in these
Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 5Contributions
Fig. 1. A graphical illustration of research using comic panels, presented by Callie Oldﬁeld at ESA 2020.
6 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
spaces can be alleviated with microcommunities. We deﬁne a microcommunity as a small network of
individuals who are in a similar career stage and who share the goal of helping each other meet their
goals. Microcommunities at conferences provide a space to support, encourage, and guide individuals
through the unique challenges of a conference setting. Ideally, microcommunities should aim to satisfy
Kelman’s (2006) processes for fully integrating an individual into a community: (1) rule orientation
(students are provided with the necessary skills to succeed in science); (2) role orientation (students
Fig. 2. Example of student twitter thread presentations during the 2020 ESA Annual Meeting. This image shows
an excerpt from a thread presentation by contributing presenter Ajisha Alwin for her talk on undergraduate ﬁeld
research programs. Extracted from Twitter: https://twitt er.com/Ajish aAlwi n/statu s/12903 56429 74074 4705.
Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 7Contributions
engage with the microcommunity and maintain these relationships, thus allowing students to see
themselves as scientists); and (3) value orientation (students establish a desire to improve science and
those that experience it) (Ahern- Dodson et al. 2020). Here, we will discuss how microcommunities
within larger organizations (the Ecological Society of America’s Student Section, SEEDS Program, and
the Animal Behavior Society’s Charles Turner Program) meet these processes and support scientists
from historically excluded backgrounds, especially those in the early stages of their career as they attend
their ﬁrst large conference.
Fig. 3. A conceptual ﬁgure on the beneﬁts and costs of virtual conferences.
8 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
Ecological Society of America Student Section at the 2020 Meeting
The ESA Student Section is the largest section within the society and caters to the needs of the large
student community. The Student Section has a long- standing history of supporting the work done by
underrepresented students and addressing important student issues in the larger professional society
(Boyd et al. 2020). ESA Annual Meetings serves as a large platform where the Student Section hosts
several events and workshops targeted at helping students succeed in their career paths. The Student
Section offers travel grant awards to selected students to offset some costs of attending ESA Annual
Meetings. In 2019, the Section was only able to award 21.8% of applicants with travel grants (applicants:
119; recipients: 26). This year, due to lower costs of the virtual conference, the Student Section was able
to award all 98 applicants with registration grants. This allowed students from diverse backgrounds,
and who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference, to gain the experience of participating in
this large professional meeting. Recipients ranged from high school students to graduate students, and
59.8% were non- members of the Section.
The Student Section also awards extraordinary students in ecology and related ﬁelds for their
contributions to different areas: research, publication, diversity and outreach, ecology education, and
science communication. These Trailblazing Awards come with a registration grant to the conference,
membership to ESA, and a cash award. Award applications are shortlisted based on criteria that include
a diversity score multiplied by their composite scores from judges. This initiative is meant to enhance
the work done by underrepresented students (Boyd et al. 2020). Although this year’s Annual Meeting
was virtual, the Section continued the tradition of these awards by hosting a virtual award ceremony and
highlighting recipients that were unable to present their work at the Meeting.
The Section revised its Student Highlight Program, which is meant to amplify excellent student
presentations and other student- run events. This year’s highlighted students included recipients of
Trailblazing Awards. The events were conducted as virtual interviews that were streamed live on the
Student Section’s Facebook page. The Section also used its social media platforms to provide virtual
spaces for networking with other attendees at the conference and to highlight student presentations.
This allowed students a larger platform to share their work and helped other attendees ﬁnd students’
presentations. Daily live Q&A sessions were also conducted to assist students as they navigated the
conference and provided a space to share interesting sessions and to network.
SEEDS Virtual Cohort within the Ecological Society of America’s 2020 Meeting
At the 2020 Virtual ESA Annual Meeting, the Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and
Sustainability (SEEDS) Program allowed 50 students to virtually attend the conference, forming a
microcommunity with mentoring built in. The SEEDS Program aims to diversify ecology by providing
mentorship and presenting underrepresented groups with diverse opportunities they would typically
not have access to, including fully funded REU opportunities through their SPUR (SEEDS Partnership
for Undergraduate Research) fellowship opportunities (Mourad et al. 2018). These are accessible to
all students enrolled in US institutions, and they help students from underrepresented and low- income
backgrounds gain valuable research experiences integral to their training as scientists. At the ESA
Annual Meetings, SEEDS students are given an exclusive, all- paid experience and the opportunity to
work with a mentor to help them navigate the meeting and plan their conference experience to further
Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 9Contributions
their career. Another highlight of the SEEDS Program is that it provides its students with safe spaces
and other regular check- in style networking events to cater to its diverse student body. These networking
opportunities also allow students to meet other mentors and professionals from a diverse range of ﬁelds,
which ultimately aids in the students’ career development. SEEDS student presentations are further
ampliﬁed during the conference through other sections within ESA, particularly the ESA Student
Section. These sections highlight student events and presentations through their social media platforms.
At this year’s meeting, two SEEDS SPUR fellowship recipients were selected and interviewed as part of
the ESA Student Section’s Highlight Program. The interviews were uploaded on the Student Section’s
When asked how the SEEDS Program supported the 2020 cohort as individuals and scientists,
Overall, SEEDS was especially helpful in facilitating networking. I deﬁnitely feel more conﬁdent
about my place as a scientist in the ESA, having developed a stronger network of connections with
other scientists. The mentorship program was especially helpful in that regard. SEEDS made
me feel safer in conference spaces by demonstrating that administration in ESA cared about
DEIJ [diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice] issues in a meaningful and less superﬁcial way. By
frequently having admins and committee members in SEEDS calls, I got the feeling that if an issue
did arise in which I felt unsafe, I would have the support of the society.
I was not anticipating to have such an amazing personality and enthusiasm match with my
mentor. She has been so invested in my success and growth, even after only knowing me for a
week. I felt very comfortable expressing my fears and insecurities regarding grad school/ecology/
Charles H. Turner Award within the Animal Behavior Society
Every year, ABS offers undergraduate students and recently graduated individuals the chance to
“become a Turner.” The Turner Award was created in memoriam of Charles H. Turner, one of the
ﬁrst African- American researchers in animal behavior and a pioneer in physiology, animal behavior,
and entomology (Lee 2020). A Turner Fellow receives ﬁnancial support to attend the conference and
become a part of a Turner cohort for that year. This program, and the resulting cohort, further supports
students, fostering “belongingness” and encouraging individuals to see themselves as scientists. Turner
fellows attend professional and identity- centered workshops comprised of development activities.
Additionally, each Turner awardee is assigned a mentor to meet one- on- one to discuss graduate school,
career development, and conference content.
In addition to providing resources that are often difﬁcult to locate as an underrepresented individual,
this award also provides individuals with a group of supportive peers. Following the annual meeting,
awardees are encouraged to stay connected to their peers in virtual peer- mentoring groups, facilitated
by the ABS diversity committee. In these groups, a safe and supportive space is created for individuals
to receive feedback on ongoing projects and discuss career prospects, academia, and the difﬁculties
10 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
The setting and space created in this microcommunity allow for optimal identity expression in spaces
(e.g., conferences) that were not always welcoming.
Turner Program participants said:
The Turner program allowed me to learn more about my identity within STEM and how crucial
it was for me to incorporate every part of me into my work in order to help those that come after
me. The level of support I received from my Turner mentor and fellow cohort on knowledge about
graduate school and fellowship applications is something I wouldn’t have received elsewhere.
The program made me feel included in science, stronger as a scientist, reassured me that I can
become a scientist in a ﬁeld that doesn’t reﬂect my identity.
Participating in the ABS Turner Program made attending a virtual conference less overwhelming
by providing guidance on how to make the most of the meeting. The program created a support
network of people with backgrounds and career goals similar to mine. The challenges I faced as an
URM [underrepresented minority] were not only my struggles but that of my peers and mentors. I
felt comfortable asking the “obvious” questions and voicing my thoughts on the science presented.
Although some individuals may cultivate an interest in the sciences before attending college, access
to research opportunities and conferences is key to stimulating interests in this career path. These
opportunities, and the skills developed from them, are crucial for students to see themselves as conﬁdent
researchers who can succeed in ecology (Little 2020). Further, conferences provide a myriad of
opportunities that can lead to graduate, post- doctoral, and faculty positions (Sarabipour 2020). In a study
conducted with African- American students in the ESA SEEDS Program, Armstrong et al. (2007) noted
that research experience was a prominent factor in a student’s decision to pursue a career in ecology.
Additional contributing factors included family support, early exposure to the natural environment
and ecology professionals, and a positive view of ecology (Armstrong et al. 2007). These factors can
become particularly important for reassuring belongingness during conferences typically dominated by
individuals who do not reﬂect any of their identities.
Despite non- ideal conditions, virtual conferences are a big step toward increasing inclusivity in STEM.
Additionally, virtual conferences reduce the environmental repercussions associated with an in- person
conference (e.g., reduction in carbon footprint) and are signiﬁcantly cheaper, increasing the number of
attendees via lower registration costs (Sarabipour 2020). Virtual conferences, especially those that have
constructed microcommunities for student attendees, allow undergraduate students and early- career
scientists to feel safe, conﬁdent, seen, and respected. Microcommunities, like SEEDS and the Turner
Program, give individuals from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to connect with others from
similar backgrounds and discuss hardships, aspirations, and how they envision the future of their ﬁeld.
A virtual platform pushes scientists to think further about inclusivity and critically evaluate past
conferences. Previously, those attending in- person conferences were limited by time, ﬁnancial, and
geographic barriers. We observed virtual conferences dissolve many of these barriers and show us
the potential for virtual professional events. Hence, we see a strong case being made for a transition
Article e01859 Xxxxx 2021 11Contributions
toward hybrid conferences. Hybrid conferences, having both an in- person and online component, will
increase the visibility of those actively working and pursuing science, thereby improving inclusivity
and representation. Opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage in conferences are crucial to
diversifying and making STEM more inclusive.
Virtual conferences have been successful amidst the COVID- 19 pandemic despite having little
preparation time. While these conferences have dissolved many of the barriers associated with traditional
scientiﬁc conferences, we push scientists and organizers to critically think about how these spaces
can be further inclusive. We must ask how scientiﬁc societies can offer more inclusive options for
professional development, research opportunities, and broadly accessing science. For example, all talks
given at conferences can be recorded and uploaded to society websites with provided closed captions to
accommodate those that are hard- of- hearing.
With the potential for the COVID- 19 pandemic to have lasting effects on the ability to host large
public gatherings, hybrid conferences will likely continue to be encouraged and perhaps become the
new norm. For ecology and STEM as a whole, to continue moving forward with innovative ideas and
novel perspectives, we must continue to diversify the ﬁeld and create equitable opportunities. Hybrid
conferences have a unique opportunity to contribute to this goal and reach all scientists interested in
presenting and/or attending the conferences. In order to maximize this potential for fostering inclusivity,
we propose: (1) Creating microcommunities for undergraduate students/early- career researchers that
satisfy the three processes outlined by Kelman (2006); (2) Diverting money saved on conference costs
to hire JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) professionals for panels and workshops; (3)
Including closed captions on all presentations and hiring American Sign Language translators for all
major keynote speakers; (4) Strongly encouraging all speakers to upload their talks to an accessible
platform (e.g., YouTube); and (5) Conducting a pre- and post- conference surveys to receive anonymous
feedback in order to improve the attendee experience.
We would like to thank Fred Abbott and the SEEDS Program of the Ecological Society of America.
We would like to thank Damian Elias, Jennifer Hamel, and those who are a part of the ABS diversity
committee and supervise the Turner Award. We would also like to thank those who provided us with
their experiences within their respective microcommunity.
Ahern- Dodson, J., C. R. Clark, T. Mourad, and J. A. Reynolds. 2020. Beyond the numbers: understanding
how a diversity mentoring program welcomes students into a scientiﬁc community. Ecosphere
AlShebli, B. K., T. Rahwan, and W. L. Woon. 2018. The preeminence of ethnic diversity in scientiﬁc
collaboration. Nature Communications 9:5163.
Armstrong, M. J., A. R. Berkowitz, L. A. Dyer, and J. Taylor. 2007. Understanding why underrepresented students
pursue ecology careers: a preliminary case study. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5:415– 420.
12 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 0(0) Article e01859
Boyd, A., K. E. Fisher, L. Lamb- Wotton, and R. Crystal- Ornelas. 2020. Human dimensions: The ESA
Student Section. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 102:e01812.
Caravaggi, A., and K. James. 2017. Conferencing in 140 characters. Nature 549:458.
Evangelista, D. A., A. Goodman, M. K. Kohli, S. S. T. B. Maﬂamills, M. Samuel- Foo, M. S. Herrera, J.
L. Ware, and M. Wilson. 2020. Why diversity matters among those who study diversity. American
Entomologist 66:42– 49.
Hall, N. 2015. Delineating the learning process in generating a research culture among undergraduate
social work students: A case study of student participation in an Academic Conference. Social Work
Education 34:829– 845.
Harrison, R. 2010. Unique beneﬁts of conference attendance as a method of professional development
for LIS professionals. The Serials Librarian 59:263– 270.
Hong, L., and S. E. Page. 2004. Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-
ability problem solvers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101:16385– 16389.
Kelman, H. C. 2006. Interests, relationships, identities: three central issues for individuals and groups in
negotiating their social environment. Annual Review of Psychology 57:1– 26.
Kolligian Jr., J., and R. J. Sternberg. 1991. Perceived fraudulence in young adults: Is there an “Imposter
syndrome”? Journal of Personality Assessment 56:308– 326.
Lee, D. N. 2020. Diversity and inclusion activisms in animal behaviour and the ABS: a historical view
from the U.S.A. Animal Behaviour 164:273– 280.
Little, C. 2020. Undergraduate research as a student engagement springboard: Exploring the longer- term
reported beneﬁts of participation in a research conference. Educational Research 62:229– 245.
Mourad, T. M., A. F. McNulty, D. Liwosz, K. Tice, F. Abbott, G. C. Williams, and J. A. Reynolds.
2018. The role of a professional society in broadening participation in science: A national model for
increasing persistence. BioScience 68:715– 721.
Nielsen, M. W., S. Alegria, L. Börjeson, H. Etzkowitz, H. J. Falk- Krzesinski, A. Joshi, E. Leahey, L.
Smith- Doerr, A. W. Woolley, and L. Schiebinger. 2017. Opinion: gender diversity leads to better
science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114:1740– 1742.
Potter, S., E. Abrams, L. Townson, C. Wake, and J. E. Williams. 2010. Intellectual growth for
undergraduate students: Evaluation results from an undergraduate research conference. Journal of
College Teaching and Learning 7:25– 34.
Sarabipour, S. 2020. Research culture: Virtual conferences raise standards for accessibility and
interactions. eLife 9:e62668.
Schell, C. J., C. Guy, D. S. Shelton, S. C. Campbell- Staton, B. A. Sealey, D. N. Lee, and N. C. Harris.
2020. Recreating Wakanda by promoting Black excellence in ecology and evolution. Nature Ecology
and Evolution 4:1285– 1287.
Schwartz, S. E. O., S. S. Kanchewa, J. E. Rhodes, E. Cutler, and J. L. Cunningham. 2016. “I didn’t know
you could just ask:” Empowering underrepresented college- bound students to recruit academic and
career mentors. Children and Youth Services Review 64:51– 59.
Welch, C., S. Ray, J. Melendez, T. Fare, and M. Leach. 2010. Virtual conferences becoming a reality.
Nature Chemistry 2:148– 152.
Woolley, A. W., C. F. Chabris, A. Pentland, N. Hashmi, and T. W. Malone. 2010. Evidence for a
collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science 330:686– 688.
Co- ﬁrst author: Eli B. Myron.
Co- second author: Callie A. Oldﬁeld and Ajisha Alwin.