Members Panel

The Members Panel is a group of microbiologists from historically marginalised communities who convene to bring their perspectives to the Society’s efforts to ensure it is welcoming across all its activities.

The Members Panel enables us to expand the diversity of perspectives represented at decision-making level by providing a platform for members from minoritised ethnic and racial groups, Disabled members and members from other historically marginalised backgrounds to convene.

The Panel's co-Chairs work with the General Secretary’s Group to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion matters continue to be appropriately considered at the highest level of Society governance.


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      Edward Cunningham-Oakes

      Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Liverpool, UK

      As a Society member from both a working-class background and the Caribbean community, I understand the profound importance of cultural inclusion, both in the Microbiology Society and more widely, in science. One of my main aims as a researcher is to be an advocate for all disadvantaged communities whilst engaging in my research. I joined the Panel to enact this change.

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      Kevin Maringer

      Group Leader, The Pirbright Institute, UK

      I am passionate about building more inclusive research environments and over my career have worked across a number of diversity characteristics with a particular focus on the LGBTQ+ community, gender, socioeconomic background and race. Because of my lived experience I have an interest in learning more about and supporting people with invisible diversity characteristics, for example LGBTQ+, neurodiverse and first-in-family-to-university individuals.


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      Aisha Baba-Dikwa

      Quality Control Analyst, Instil Bio, UK

      I decided to join the Members Panel to be a voice for those from historically minoritised backgrounds and I hope to convey/provide advice and expertise to council via the General  Secretary’s Group regarding engagement through formally meeting virtually and/or in-person and via email.

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      Aliyah Debbonaire

      Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Aberystwyth University, UK

      I wanted to join the Members Panel to make it easier for parents to get the most out of their Microbiology Society membership.  Since joining, I've discovered great existing support for parents offered by the Society, and now I'm hoping to raise awareness of this.

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      Anjam Khan

      Principal Investigator, Newcastle University, UK

      I am very passionate and highly committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion within academia and beyond into society. We need to address inequality and systemic racism within organisations and societies across the globe, challenging established structures within organisations which inadvertently perpetuate systemic racism.

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      Arindam Mitra

      Professor, Adamas University, India

      I joined the Members Panel to help promote diversity and inclusivity in microbiology. Being a part of this group allows me to contribute meaningfully towards implementing positive changes.

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      Guerrino Macori

      Research Scientist, University College Dublin, Ireland

      I am delighted to contribute my expertise as a microbiologist trained in other European countries, including Italy, and as an academic based in the Republic of Ireland, having worked in a variety of professional settings, including industry, official controls laboratories, and regulatory agencies.

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      I'ah Donovan-Banfield

      PhD Student, University of Liverpool, UK

      I joined the Panel because I wanted to enact change that would see people like me feel more included. Being involved directly in the Society's equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives means I can have my voice heard and give nuance to issues that affect people for whom intersectionality isn't just a buzzword, it's their lived experience.

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      Kirsty Jones

      PhD Student, Staffordshire University, UK

      I joined the Panel because I am keen to make biology more accessible to historically marginalised groups, with a special interest in improving disability inclusivity. An individual's characteristics should not act as a barrier to pursuing the field. Biology should be open to everyone.

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      Prerna Vohra

      Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, UK

      As a woman, a person of colour and an immigrant, I feel very strongly about making the environment in academia more inclusive and equitable for people from all backgrounds. I am delighted to work with the Microbiology Society to make this happen.  

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      Roshan Nepal

      Postdoctoral Fellow, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

      My motivation for joining the Members Panel was to represent South Asia in the Microbiology Society and promote opportunities and events to the community. I was also keen to join the diverse team because it allows me to directly convey issues, ideas and suggestions from historically marginalised groups to the Society's Council.

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      Rowan Casey

      PhD Student, Cardiff University, UK

      Initially joining the Panel to represent undergraduate students, I am passionate about supporting future microbiologists.

Co-opted members

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      Bruno Francesco Rodrigues de Oliveira

      Assistant Professor of Bacteriology, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil

      I joined the Members Panel to support the development of its equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and bring more sense of belonging to historically marginalised groups in academia and research environments. In particular, I hope to represent members of the LGBTQ+ community and those from the Global South, to make their voices heard in the Society.

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      Blanca Perez Sepulveda

      Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Liverpool, UK 

      I joined the Members Panel because I strongly believe in the Microbiology Society’s role for changing research culture. I am committed to use my lived experience and what I’ve learnt as someone with invisible historically marginalised characteristics to support the Society become more inclusive.

Selection of Chair and Panel members

The Members Panel aims to represent the full breadth of our membership, bringing unheard voices to the fore. We sought representatives from Black and Asian members and those from other minoritised ethnic groups; members who identify as LGBTQ+ and Disabled members or those living with long-term illnesses that impact their experience working in microbiology. Members of the Panel are required to have an enthusiasm for inclusion and ideas for helping the Microbiology Society to be welcoming to anyone interested in microbes, their effects and their uses. The Terms of Reference for the Panel can be found below.

Members Panel Terms of Reference