Button to scroll to the top of the page.


Mission Statement:

In the Department of Integrative Biology, we embrace and encourage diversity in many forms and are committed to inclusivity among our community members, including all students, staff, and faculty. We define diversity as people of different backgrounds, races, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, beliefs, religions, socio-economic statuses, and more, and inclusivity as an approach where we respect, welcome, encourage, and engage diverse perspectives. Our strength and success as a department, graduate program, and university, is built on the foundation of a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

Additional resources and information can be found on the College's Diversity & Inclusion website


Diversity and Inclusivity Committee:

Role of the committee: The committee engages in two main efforts (1) to address concerns or complaints about isolation, bias, harassment, mentor-student conflict, or any other inclusivity-related challenge, and (2) to assist in the support of prospective, incoming, and current graduate students through mentorship and community-building.  All graduate students are encouraged to speak with one or more committee members, and/or the GSC Chair (David Hillis), Graduate Advisor (Mike Ryan) or Grad Coordinator (Tamra Rogers) about any concerns. The committee will hold all concerns in confidence and will coordinate with students on how to proceed.

Campus Resources: The Diversity and Inclusivity committee utilizes university level resources to navigate the challenges of equity and discrimination through the Office for Inclusion and Equity (http://equity.utexas.edu/) and the Campus Climate Response Team (http://diversity.utexas.edu/ccrt/) at UT, both of which investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination. Specifically, we interact with UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (http://diversity.utexas.edu/), which provides more than 40 programs and initiatives to support diversity and inclusivity on campus and within our community.

Faculty representatives:

Shalene Jha (sjha@austin.utexas.edu)

Norma Fowler (nfowler@austin.utexas.edu)

Steve Phelps (sphelps@austin.utexas.edu)

Mike Ryan (mryan@utexas.edu)

Postdoctoral representatives:

Tobin Hammer (tobin.hammer@utexas.edu)

Graduate Student representatives:

Kelly Wallace (kwallace@utexas.edu)

Julia York (juliayork@utexas.edu)

Analisa Shields-Estrada (ashieldsestrada@utexas.edu)

Christopher Peterson 


Equity and Inclusion Discussion Group:

The Department of Integrative Biology holds monthly meetings of the Equity and Inclusion discussion group. The goal of this group is not to provide diversity training, but to examine barriers and solutions to departmental diversity and equity concerns. The E&I Discussion Group exists to address the marginalization of people in our community. We aim to support the professional growth, esteem, health, resilience, and recognition of our colleagues who are at risk based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. Our main focus is to promote the participation, support, visibility and success of the most vulnerable in our department.

This discussion group has a cross-hierarchical leadership team. Currently, it is led by Professor Steve Phelps, postdoc Marian Schmidt, and EEB graduate students Mackenzie Johnson and Analisa Shields-Estrada.

If you are affiliated with our department, we invite you to attend the meetings. In order to do so, please:
1) Familiarize yourself with the Ground Rules which can be downloaded here
2) Sign up for the ib_diversity listserv on UT lists which can be accessed  here


Graduate Program Diversity and Inclusivity:

Several graduate programs are associated with the Department of Integrative Biology. You can read about program-specific efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity at the following links: 

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Plant Biology


Graduate program representatives

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Mackenzie Johnson (mmjohn@utmail.utexas.edu)


Plant Biology

Whitney Behr (whitney.behr@utexas.edu)


Family-friendly workplace resources:

We have compiled information on the current policies for parents in the College of Natural Sciences. For more information or details, please contact us. 


Lactation and Quiet Rooms:

All rooms are on a first come, first serve basis.
PAT 339 - First come, first serve. Contact theresa.kelly@austin.utexas.edu  with any questions

NHB 1.320 - You will need to pick up a key from NHB 1.406
EER 2.856 south level - You do not need to check in/pick up a key. Since the room is labeled as a "quiet room" sometimes students use the room to study. If you come across students in the space, you may politely ask them to leave and explain the purpose of the room.FAC 312 - If you have questions or difficulty accessing this room, please contact the FAC reception desk or call 232-9610.
More locations and information on Lactation and Quiet rooms can be found at the HR website: https://hr.utexas.edu/current/services/lactation-quiet-rooms

Gender neutral restrooms:

We have gender neutral restrooms in both Patterson (1st floor) and Biology Laboratory (3rd floor) buildings. The College of Natural Sciences policy is that all single stall restrooms be labeled gender neutral.