2015 Moderator Election

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!

This election ended Jun 23 '15 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

891 voters were eligible, 226 visited the site during the election, 119 visited the election page, and 55 voted

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.

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.

  • $\begingroup$ You certainly have contributed quite a bit over in Chem.SE and it is appreciated. $\endgroup$ – LordStryker Jun 15 '15 at 17:55

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.


  • $\begingroup$ While I appreciate the sentiment behind wanting the community to succeed, what do you offer over the other nominees, who are comparatively more active on the site? Privileges, gained as you amass more reputation, do provide increased control and moderation power over the community. You have 0 helpful flags, 0 reviews and only one post on meta. Why do you want ♦ privileges? $\endgroup$ – Luigi Jun 11 '15 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Luigi, the best moderators are not those who want the privileges the most, but the ones who will best use them. I wish to nominate myself to give people the option to choose a moderator with my moderating philosophy. While my activity here is less than other users, I have a lot of experience on the stack exchange network and my activity here has so far been as a consumer. I have enjoyed the high quality of the site and wish to help this site continue to flourish. $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Jun 12 '15 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ So why don't you try to use the tools which are available (flags for example) first and the apply for being a mod? I think this is a big step and you should have some idea what's going on. Plus (but this is not necessarily bad) you are a pretty inactive user. $\endgroup$ – Karolas Jun 15 '15 at 17:06

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!

  • $\begingroup$ I will try not to let the fact you went to Exeter (where I have just got my PhD) bias my voting! $\endgroup$ – Luke Jun 10 '15 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! At what is now the University of Exeter Medical School - what was the Peninsula Medical School. "Genomic epidemiology" with Prof David Melzer & Prof Lorna Harries. I have been here since 2006 (for my undergraduate degree) - and you? $\endgroup$ – Luke Jun 11 '15 at 10:32


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 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.
  • $\begingroup$ You are a pretty active user - would this change in the case you become a mod? $\endgroup$ – Karolas Jun 15 '15 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ No, it will not. I like answering questions and I like it as a way to learn new things. I also think that this community doesn't need to much moderation at all, so this wouldn't take too much time. $\endgroup$ – Chris Jun 15 '15 at 17:30

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.
  • $\begingroup$ The dynamic nature of biological information makes this stack unique. It's going to be a challenge to keep questions and answers objective. Existing posts will determine future posts. I like that you want to address personal questions, but I want to know how questions and answers will be refined. Biology should not just be a free answering service for interesting topics, it should encourage active learners. Good questions: Does it focus on mechanisms or care? Is it homework? How do we encourage post refinement over discouraging participation? $\endgroup$ – 12345678910111213 Jun 11 '15 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ @mattkaeo - With targeting personal questions I mean they have to be relevant for the community at large. The problem is that I see many questions based on anecdotes or too-specific question simply irrelevant for anyone else. I think it is a good thing to come to terms about 'what is (too) specific'. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 12 '15 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ You've done a phenomenal job on both Bio and CogSci in bolstering site content through answering questions, engaging users in comments, responsibly voting to close, as well as doing quite a bit of editing/reviewing. I think you have the enthusiasm and the motivation to do a great job as a mod. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Jun 12 '15 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca - I am honored! Truly, you are one of my prime examples of what a mod should be like. If you would nominate, you would have my vote. Thanks for your words! $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 12 '15 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ Not a problem! I think I'm going to sit this one out, though. There's more than enough great candidates here already. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Jun 12 '15 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ You have been welcoming, showing a willingness to help and guide new users, edit their post to make them more useful, and write great answers. I have seen what @jonsca has seen as well. I think you'd make a great mod. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Jun 12 '15 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse - hearing these words from a moderator and much-valued user like you is just awesome. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 15 '15 at 13:08

This election is complete.