Lila Leatherman


I am queer and I am an ecologist. //

I am an ecologist, a remote senser, a biogeographer, a rock climber, and a non-binary trans person. Throughout my career in science, I have had six research mentors (undergrad, REU, three post-bac projects, grad school), all of whom are cis men married to women. As a queer, female-assigned, non-binary trans person (they/them pronouns!), it has been all but impossible to see myself—and feel welcome—in science, due to the lack of visibility and mentorship by people like me. I came out as non-binary during graduate school, and am passionate about helping to create queer visibility and promote gender equity in STEM. I procrastinate my PhD by climbing mountains and other tall things, cooing over wildflowers, and advocating for underrepresented genders and women in rock climbing through the organization Alpenglow Collective.