Race Relations Task Force Internship

In February of 2021, the ASLO Race RelationsTask Force announced the establishment of a paid internship for a current graduate student, or recent grad, to support its activities. The intern works closely with Task Force members and the Communications and Program Manager to moderate the DEIJ Member Forum that serves as a platform for ASLO members to converse on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice topics. The intern also disseminates their experiences with the RRTF to the broader ASLO and aquatic science community through various communications channels, including blogs and social media.


This internship is available to current graduate students or individuals who have received a graduate degree within two years of application. The initial Call for Applicants was limited to US-based applicants due to time constraints.

Leslie Townsell

Leslie TownsellLeslie received her B.S. in Biology from Spelman College, and later completed her thesis research at The Georgia Institute of Technology and obtained her M.S. in Biology from Clark Atlanta University. After working for a few years, Leslie enrolled at the University of Georgia (UGA). Currently, Leslie’s research in the Department of Marine Science at UGA explores the impacts of climate change on oyster aquaculture along the Georgia coast focusing on coastal acidification. Leslie’s goal is to increase the sustainability of Georgia’s coastal fisheries and aquaculture and promote healthy coastal ecosystems. She enjoys marine science because she loves being on the water and investigating what’s underneath it. While at UGA Leslie noticed the lack of Black scientists and wanted to do something about it. Leslie is passionate about increasing diversity in marine science which she does through her leadership role in Black In Marine Science, a non-profit which promotes and amplifies the voices of Black Marine Scientist and shines a light on the lack of diversity in the field. She is also an active participant of the UGA, Department of Marine Science, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee.

“As the new Race Relations Task Force forum moderator for ASLO, I hope to positively impact conversations surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. I look forward to addressing the hard to talk about topics needed to navigate the waters of being actively anti-racist in the aquatic sciences on a global scale,” Leslie said.

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