Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist, similar to an entomologist, whose research focuses on scorpions, and she is also an LGBTQ+ rights activist! She works at the California Academy of Sciences as the curator of arachnology, and leads expeditions around the world to search for and document different arachnoids. She is one of the world’s experts on scorpions, and most of her research has focused on Buthidae and Caribbean scorpions. Currently, her research focuses on scorpion venom, how it has evolved, and how it could help cancer research. Through her work so far, she has discovered three new species and two new genus of scorpions. She has also discovered new facts about scorpions, such as some scorpions hiss by rubbing themselves with comblike structures on their bodies.
Dr. Esposito has also led or created many educational programs, foundations, and networks. She co-founded Islands & Seas, which encourages research and education in Mexico. She also created 500 Queer Networks, a network for scientists that identify as LGBTQ+, after realizing the stigma in STEM fields. In 2019, Dr. Esposito was awarded the highest honor by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, the Walt Westman Award, for her work in creating the 500 Queer Scientists network.
Visit this website to read an interesting interview with Dr. Esposito: https://untamedscience.com/entomologists/lauren-esposito-entomologist/
Featured Image: https://blog.ucsusa.org/science-blogger/breaking-through-the-ice-lgbtq-visibility-in-stem