Anson Mackay


I am gay and I am a geographer and palaeoecologist. //

I came out at university in the 1980s, at the time when a whole bunch of friends tumbled out of the closet at the same time. The AIDS crisis was in full flow and we were marching against Section 28, a piece of homophobic legislation in the UK. My degree in botany was invaluable for undertaking a PhD in palaeoecology and upland conservation. I think I struck lucky with my first post-doc, which took me to UCL (London) to work on Lake Baikal, Siberia, one of the world’s most iconic freshwater ecosystems. There I honed my skills in diatom taxonomy and isotope geochemistry, which I still use as the basis of my research today. Oh, and I like running. A lot!