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2019 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 Mar 5 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. 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


2,019 voters were eligible, 503 visited the site during the election, 388 visited the election page, and 203 voted

Hello all, I'm De Novo. I'm a semi-retired academic physician. Relevant to Biology.SE, in addition to my clinical background, I have a fairly broad background in basic sciences. I spent my early career in an infectious disease research laboratory and have taught various physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology and immunology sections to medical students. I enjoy sharing what I know and helping other people learn, and have particularly enjoyed contributing to this community since I happened upon it about 8 months ago while on medical leave.

I haven't been a contributing member of this community for very long, but believe I have shared a good number of quality posts. I have spent a fair amount of effort reading meta posts and trying to understand the rules and norms. This seems to be a strong, successful, and welcoming stack exchange community. I'm proud to be part of it.

As a community member, I tend to vote or flag based on my own knowledge, experience, and opinions regarding the best directions for this community. As a moderator, I would see my role as supporting community norms and decisions.

Hi everyone, I'm Bryan.

I've been an active user here for just over 2 years, and I am also active on Academia.SE, Psych&Neuro.SE, MedicalSciences.SE, and occasionally a couple other stacks.

I have a PhD in neuroscience and currently work as an academic scientist and statistician, studying states of consciousness and the network mechanisms that underlie our experiences of the world.

I like to teach people, and get a lot of opportunities to mentor junior colleagues of mine (and sometimes senior ones too...) in my work, but I'm not in the classroom. I like StackExchange and Biology.SE in particular because it gives me an opportunity to get that little rush from sharing something I'm passionate about to someone who is learning.

Although I feel like I've only been here a short time, I think I've been very active in the community in answering questions, participating in meta, commenting to improve posts, voting questions up and down, and flagging and voting to close when appropriate.

By spending time at several other stacks I think I have a good sense of the different moderating approaches each stack takes, and that will inform my possible role as a moderator.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for nominating yourself. I was afraid I might have to step in myself. We've had a number of spats, but the list needs someone with your knowledge and commitment to SE Biology, and I am sure that you will be able to adapt to the position of moderator and do a good job. $\endgroup$ – David Feb 23 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ @David Certainly despite our disagreements I see you as among the most valuable contributors here, I appreciate the support. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Feb 23 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ Glad to see you nominated yourself. Your knowledge and demeanor would be a great asset in your moderation. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 24 at 5:42

Hi I'm theforestecologist.

  • I study long-term forest dynamics, and I have diverse interests/experiences in all things natural.

  • I'm a college professor, so I adhere to effective pedagogical guidelines -- b/c we're all here to teach/learn!

I've been an active user on Bio.SE for 3.5 years:

  • Regularly comment, edit, & perform review tasks
  • Answers are thorough and well-cited to help serve as model for others
  • Active on Meta (especially re: "best practices" & discussion tags) and chat

I feel strongly that our community should be welcoming & friendly to users of any background or level of biology, so I try to include friendly/constructive comments whenever possible.

  • While I'd emphasize quality control like current mods, I would focus on providing constructive help in those instances. (Not that current mods don't already do this; I would just place added personal emphasis on this aspect of moderation).

Overall, I'd like to play a larger role in ensuring that this site's growth continues both effectively (i.e. with posts managed for quality) and according to our dedication to helping others learn in a friendly & welcoming community.

  • $\begingroup$ So glad to see you nominated yourself. As well as being knowledgeable you are very patient and kind to new (and old) users. I'm sure you would make an excellent mod! $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 24 at 5:44

I have been a somewhat active member of Biology.SE for the past 4 years (since Biology.SE was in Beta!) and I have seen this community progress. However, I definitely think that there is more work that can be done to improve this great community.

I might have different experiences that others that may provide a new perspective to moderating:

  1. I have asked many questions (42) on this website, probably more than the current moderators here.
  2. I have been a member of Biology.SE throughout my higher education

I think this may help me better relate to many users of Biology.SE coming here to ask questions. As such, I understand that there is a great diversity of users here: some to come to get help on homework, some who come to learn something new about Biology, and even some who come to get help on research. I hope that as a moderator, I will help make this community open for all such users, while ensuring that .

Just to mention my background, I am currently Bioengineering PhD student focused on molecular biology.

I am a firefighter and EMT by training and I do both of those things on a volunteer basis. My paying job which I am continuously learning from is software testing (my official title is Testing Technician, which means I can occasionally get pulled into other types of testing or editing).

While I have no official training in science outside of high school courses and the limited additional science required for a basic emergency medical technician, I consider myself a science buff. I love to spend time here on Biology S.E. along with several other S.E. sites. My first introduction to the S.E. family was as a homeschooled student, my mom and sometimes even the teacher's manuals for the textbooks didn't have the answers to my questions; as a result these SE sites became my lifeline.

I have been a group admin on Facebook as well as a moderator for a soon-to-be defunct G+ page which had over 700 members. As a moderator, I always try to be fair, I try to see both sides of the argument/conversation and will try to help both sides recognize this. I also understand there are times where questions simply need to be closed because they don't meet guidelines and can't be edited to.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for nominating. While modding doesn't necessarily mean you have to be an expert in Bio, I must say I do feel I personally have benefited a lot from having a broad molecular bio and neurosci background so that I can value posts also for their content. Do you think that the lack of scientific background will hamper you in any way from being a good mod? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 19 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I like to think it won't as I can be a quick study on a topic if it's something I'm iffy on. I try not to sit on my high horse but would say I know a little about a lot and most times can make at least enough sense of a question or answer to determine if it's a good question or an answer that is on the right path. :) $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 19 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Sure thing. But just playing the devil's advocate, do you think that with just 25 posts you have enough experience to judge others? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 19 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD can you clarify what those 25 posts are? I’m not sure I understand. Is that in terms of questions I’ve asked or posts I’ve reviewed or...? I’m not sure if this will aid in answering your question or not, but I had taken some time away from the sites here but recently got reinvolved so that could explain the lower numbers you’ve seen. I’ll wait to answer your question until I know 100% what you mean by 25 posts :) $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 20 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ in your profile I see 20 answers and 5 questions. The current moderators have easily about ten times that number. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 20 at 7:45
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I understand now, I was on my phone last night and couldn't see some of that stuff, had a chance to look at it this morning, it all makes sense now :). As far as your question, I think that I do. I have spent a lot of time reviewing posts and I also sometimes just come in here and read people's questions and answers. That really gives one an opportunity to see nicely crafted questions and answers as well as the ones that aren't quite as nice. $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 20 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Bon. You're a long-time member for sure (I think you might in fact have preceded me here). Just stuff to mull over I guess. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 20 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I definitely understand and the questions don't bother me, they just make me think a bit and sometimes I need that :) $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 20 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. I don't want to demotivate you in any way. I really like your enthusiasm. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 20 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I promise you aren't demotivating me... Just making me use my brain. This is a good thing :) $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 20 at 18:14

Hi! I'm a molecular and cell biologist by training. I am under the impression that a good biologist is a rare someone who has strong rudiments across all disciplines; physics and chemistry not excluded.

I currently do research on neuroethology and evolution in various Drosophila species, spending my time on single-nucleus transcriptomics, genetics, electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, and fly behavior. I love to communicate science. I regularly spend my downtime as an active participant at Biology.SE!

Two mild issues with our SE that have, I am sad to say, floated around in my head for a while that I hope to discuss and/or change:

  • Many questions remain phrased in ways that are not constructively criticized, and simply attract aimless comments about how the questioner should know better. Existing efforts to proverbially squeeze the juice out of a question are lax. Mods ought to lead by example, not by power tripping!
  • Some active mods here are atrociously impatient. They are not resourceful enough to help or direct a layman who may not know how to ask an honest question. Take inspiration from a good teacher. We've all had one.

Thanks, and see ya :-)

  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure you are thinking of diamond moderators here? The actions you describe are things that any regular user can do. A mod's primary duty is janitorial: cleaning up after us. That and stepping in to deal with the rare "exceptions" regular users cannot deal with. $\endgroup$ – terdon Feb 19 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Also, you seem to have no participation on the site's meta and have only done 3 reviews. Would you expect this to change if you are elected? And why would you choose to put yourself forward for a mod position since meta and cleanup are a very large part of a mod's job? $\endgroup$ – terdon Feb 19 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, yes, and I check meta as regularly as I check the core page. I haven't thought of much to add that has not been stated already, and I think it's a straightfoward task to existing mods to decide as to whether C.elegans should become a tag or whether the terms animal and zoology should be synonymous, without my input. I may be wrong :-) Clearly a large number of meta posts are not high priority when it comes to fulfilling the mission statement of the site. Cleanup and advice about cleanup is something I see myself acting out as a mod; I already spend time thinking about it without recourse! $\endgroup$ – S Pr Feb 19 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I guess I just find it strange that your nomination seems to consist of a short explanation of your professional background, and then an attack on the current mod team for things that are usually not done by mods. You have used some pretty strong terms to describe the existing mods. Power tripping? Atrocious? So I ask again, are you really referring to the diamond mods? Also, mods do not set policy! It isn't a mod's job to make decisions on meta, mods should seek consensus on meta and then implement the resulting policy. $\endgroup$ – terdon Feb 19 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ Have you answered these yet? biology.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3908/… $\endgroup$ – L.B. Feb 19 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ I concur with terdon here I'm afraid. Your moderation history is next to nothing. I think you need to be an active member first before attempting to start modding on any site. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 19 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ I chose to resign because I was not able to take enough time out for the mod work. The person that replaces me should do better than me. That's what I would expect. Even with a low activity I have done more reviews than you. Your candidature should be more convincing. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Feb 21 at 9:13

This election is complete.