Organizers: Jodie Rummer1 & Cecile Berthe2

Affiliations: 1/ ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia; 2/ CRIOBE – USR 3278 CNRS EPHE UPVD, PSL, Labex Corail, Moorea, French Polynesia.


Lead contact: Jodie Rummer

Description: Our current knowledge of marine life is due to the work of many passionate people around the world, male as well as female scientists that give their life to understand the oceans. Women have an increasing impact in this field making significant discoveries since the early XX century with Rachel Carson or more recently with Sylvia Earle being the first female chief scientist of the U.S NOAA in 1990. Many women have made significant contributions to marine biology. But perhaps today more than ever, the oceans need our attention, our expertise, and our research to improve our understanding and our strategies to ensure the long-term health of Indo-Pacific Fish resources in the face of global change.

According to UNESCO, only 23% of researchers (all disciplines combined) in the East Asia and Pacific regions are women, which is, unfortunately, the penultimate ranking of the 8 regions of the world. “While more women are enrolling in university, relatively few pursue careers in research. There are many leaks in the pipeline – from stereotypes encountered by girls to the family-caring responsibilities and bias women may face when choosing a career.

For 33 years the IPFC has facilitated international collaboration among scientists and managers in the field of ichthyology across the Indo-Pacific. Every four years, IPFC brings together more than 400 scientists from more than 30 countries to discuss important scientific findings and conservation priorities. Such conversations and collaborations are essential to move science forward. We want to increase the possibility for early career female scientists to participate in the next IPFC in Tahiti. Participation would give early career female scientists the opportunity to interact with leading females in their fields and benefit from their experience, advice, and mentorship.

Expected audience: All participants of IPFC, especially females, but we would like to acknowledge that gender equity in the STEM fields is an issue that is best solved by both genders.

Special note for this session: We hope that women who want to submit to this session can also submit an abstract to a session that fits their scientific specialty.