A black and white photo of Sara Middleton, she has long curly hair and is wearing round earings, leggings and a t-shirt and is sitting in the grass smiling and covered in seed pods.
Me at my field site at Wytham Woods!

Sara Lil Middleton

Hi, I am Sara (she/her) a plant (functional) ecologist and PhD student at the Univeristy of Oxford’s Biology Department. My research is funded by a Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) studentship.

I am interested in questions like: How will climate change-driven droughts affect UK grassland communities? Can we use functional traits as a shortcut to understanding plant community under environmental change? Is there a uniform definition of a (functional) trait?

When I am not at my desk or in the field trying to answer those questions, I am running my Black British Biology Project, a photography project: Human Nature Stories and coordinating a documentary film project called Bananageddon. In between my studies I have worked in different schools as a teaching assistant, where I also ran science and gardening clubs.

I am also an advocate for Open Science and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in science. I am a member of Reproducible Research Oxford (RROx) and Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training (FORRT). My EDI work mostly focuses on race, neurodiversity, disability and their intersections. I am the co-founder of the award-winning BIPOC STEM Network at Oxford University and member of the British Ecology Society Racial & Ethnic Equality & Diversity (REED) Network. I have written about and facilitated discussions on decolonising science with organisations such as British Ecological Society and WWF.

For fun I like to hike, play Korfball, cook veggie/vegan food, draw and take nature pictures.

See my CV for more info

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