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2015 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jun 8, 2015 at 20:00
election began
Jun 15, 2015 at 20:00
election ended
Jun 23, 2015 at 20:00

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!


I am known in this community as WYSIWYG. I have worked in different aspects of biology which include molecular and cell biology, bioinformatics and computational biology (mathematical modeling). So, I just call myself a biologist. I joined this site by chance when I was looking for a forum for Q/A about biology. Since then, I have been an active user. I am applying for the position of a moderator because I wish to play my part in maintaining as well as improving the quality of our forum.

Why would I be a good moderator?

  1. I have been an active user for about two years now
  2. I have also been active in meta discussions about how to ensure quality
  3. My interdisciplinary background would let me judge diverse topics

What do I wish to to implement as a moderator?

I wish to see this site grow to the level of StackOverflow, which in my opinion will happen only if we get good quality questions and answers. My primary focus therefore would be quality control. I also would want to decide a general policy, based on a meta discussion, about our community's stand on homework, personal and creationism related questions (and other issues which have remained unresolved).

Hello, I am Rob (aka: GriffinEvo and rg255), currently in the last few weeks of a PhD in Evolutionary Genetics at Uppsala University. I also have a BSc in Conservation Biology and Ecology, and MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology, both from the University of Exeter, along with 7 years experience in active research.

I have been involved with Biology SE for over 2 and a half years, visiting several times on most days, and use a few other stack exchange sites. While I have not been active in posting questions and answers of late, I have been devoting a lot of effort to other quality control type duties (e.g. flagging, commenting, voting, editing etc.) - being so close to the end of a PhD I haven't had much time to give but still wanted to contribute.

As of next month it's all over and it will be great to get back to Biology SE - and I would love for that to be in the role of a moderator! Given the experiences I have had in my time here and the lessons I've learned along the way, I think I can make a useful contribution as a moderator. I am so impressed by the work we do as a community here and want to help push Biology SE to be the best it can!

Hello, I am Chris, and a biochemist by training. I discovered this community about 1.5 years ago and have been hooked on to it since then. I have been actively participating during that time (and will in the future). For me Biology.SE is a very interesting way to get into contact with new topics in biology. Also it is a great platform to help other people with the knowledge I have.

I wasn't sure at first if I should participate in this election or not but eventually I decided it is a very good way to participate in this community (besides answering questions) and help to bring on and develop this community.

Why I think I am a good candidate:

  • I have been an active participant for quite a while now and know the community quite well.

  • I am a moderator for other forums as well, so I know how to handle problematic cases and spam and I am usually a calm person.

Why I think I'm not a good candidate:

  • Since I work actively in biomedical research, there are times when I cannot participate too much, due to time constraints. I don't think this is too much of a problem as I will be able to find time for moderation purposes.

Hi All! If anyone hasn't encountered me yet I'm Rory, a third year medical student from the UK and one of the three pro tempore moderators throughout the beta period of Biology Stack Exchange.

During this time I have become well versed in using the moderation tools provided by Stack Exchange to help resolve any of the unusual situations that are not taken care of by our excellent group of higher reputation users.

One of my main focusses is to try and assist new users who may not be used to how Stack Exchange sites work (rather than wielding the mod-hammer in the first instance). I very often leave comments when taking moderator-specific actions with the aim of educating new users as I'm sure it can be very disheartening when a well-intentioned post is rapidly downvoted and closed without much explanation. I feel this is something we could work to improve as a community.

I would be delighted to continue as a permanent community moderator after this election in order to help Biology keep growing past its graduation.

I've been a moderator for more than three years on this site, and for more than four years on Skeptics. I know the SE network and software pretty well, and I'm very active on the main Stack Exchange Meta.

My moderation style focuses on catching problems early, and on avoiding escalating minor issues. Resolving issues quietly, if possible, without drawing attention is important, as is stopping discussions in comments that are getting a bit too heated.

I often let the community deal with issues like closing questions, especially if the issue is a bit more fuzzy and not clear-cut. But we moderators have binding votes for a reason and I don't hesitate to use them in clear cases.

The site is working well in my opinion, but there's still a lot to do, especially with regards to defining the borders of our scope. But this is something moderators don't do alone, but discuss together with the community on meta.

Hi, I'm fileunderwater, a researcher in ecology from Sweden. I've been visiting Biology SE for about two years, during a time when the community and the site has grown quite a bit.

I have been an active user of the site by answering questions, commenting, voting and flagging, but also by being relatively active at our Meta site under the discussion and support tags. I think moderation should be rather light and non-confrontational, and that issues such as closing should be resolved by the community if possible.

For the future, I would like for Biology-SE to grow and become more established, with a much wider professional user base. At the moment, a quite small number of users answer most of the questions, and we lack expertise in many areas. Therefore, I think it is important that we clarify out scope further (e.g. on homework and poorly researched content) and closely monitor the quality of questions. Otherwise, we run the risk of alienating new expert users, which are essential for the long-term success of the site. Questions are of course essential as well, since they lead to new answers and content, but without a knowledgeable user-base they cannot be answered.

I am Chris, better known as AliceD, and a postdoc with a passion for sensory systems and Neuroscience.

First off, the current moderators are awesome and there are other giants at Biology.SE who surpass me in experience. However, while I might be relatively new, I have actively participated in the efforts in the last 7 months leading to this site's graduation and I have identified many great things and also some bottle necks that need attention.

A few of the many great things to keep:

  • Overall, the current vigor on keeping this site's quality as set by the most active users is awesome and should be sustained;
  • The general tone, most notably towards new users has been great of late.

Things to change:

  • Closing questions is one thing; editing questions and making them suitable for this site is where the challenge is;
  • Personal and/or very specific questions are a worthy target, because questions should be interesting and understandable to the community at large;
  • Overlap between sites, most notably Cognitive Sciences (where I am also active), as well as Skeptics and Health could be more explicitly defined.

I am very eager to see this site succeed and I would therefore be willing to be involved in moderating this site.

I subscribe to the philosophy of minimal moderator intervention allowing the community to shape the site's development, but at the same time I believe in maintaining the strict quality standards for questions and answers characteristic of the stack exchange network.

While the volume of my questions and answers is not as great as many of the other candidates, I try to ensure that my questions and answers are of the highest quality. I have found this site to be extremely useful in helping me understand biology and therefore I am very eager to ensure the site continues to be successful, allowing the site to continue to help many others too.

This election is over.