Derrick Vaughn


I am gay and I am a biogeochemist.//


I am currently a post-doc at Florida State University in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Oceanic Sciences department. My research revolves around biogeochemistry with primary interests in organic carbon cycling along the land to sea continuum. To conduct my research, I use a suite of analytical, modeling, and experimental techniques, examining how anthropogenic impacts such as climate change and land-use change are impacting the carbon cycle and the movement of carbon between reservoirs. I also have interests in studying changes in the carbon cycle throughout Earth’s history through the use of organic biomarkers.

While I have recognized myself as gay since high school, I did not truly embrace my identity until recently. Growing up in Indiana, I didn’t know anyone that was like me and was constantly bombarded with messages that disparaged anyone from living their truth. My views all the way through grad school were that I did not need to express my identity; however, I now realize the importance of representation and that my story could encourage others to become whatever they want to be. I am committed to making sure that anyone can feel like they can be themselves and that they are supported and safe.