Maydianne C. B. Andrade

Maydianne C. B. Andrade

Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough; President, Canadian Black Scientists Network (Toronto, ON)

Maydianne C.B. Andrade is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) with cross-appointments to the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. A former Canada Research Chair in Integrative Behavioural Ecology, she has been named an Honorary International member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, which has awarded her the Lawrence J. Burpee medal for outstanding achievement.

Professor Andrade was an Olin Fellow at Cornell University, where she earned a PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior. Her fundamental research examines how social conditions affect animal evolution and behaviour, mediated by challenges to reproduction in novel or changing environments. She is an internationally recognized expert on black widow spiders (her primary study organism), with research on species spanning four continents. Her most recent work examines how flexible gene expression may underlie the success of invasive species. Professor Andrade received the Exemplar award by the Animal Behavior Society for her major, long-term research contributions to the field.

In addition to her fundamental research, Professor Andrade is heavily engaged in equity work. In 2016 she founded the Toronto Initiative for Diversity & Excellence, a group of senior faculty from across disciplines, deeply engaged in the literature, who act as knowledge translators and facilitators for peer-to-peer education sessions about inclusion. She was awarded the University of Toronto Alumni Association’s Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human rights prize for this work. In 2020, seeing a lack of scalable resources for equity education in the face of increased demand, Professor Andrade created online education modules that are now embedded in the University of Toronto’s learning management system for faculty and staff across the institution. At UTSC, Professor Andrade’s leadership roles have included Special Advisor to the Dean on Inclusive Recruitment and Equity Education, a four-year term as Vice Dean Faculty Affairs, Equity, and Success, and six months as Acting Vice Principal Academic & Dean. At a national level, Professor Andrade is a co-founder and the inaugural President of the Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN), a multidisciplinary, national coalition that advocates for justice for Black Canadians in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. While fostering professional development, CBSN programs centre the importance of outreach to Black youth, as well as increased visibility for Black Canadians in STEMM fields across sectors.

Professor Andrade is a sought-after speaker who values outreach to encourage public engagement in science and equity. Her most recent efforts include hosting an episode of CBC’s The Nature of Things (First Animals), and partnering with University of Toronto Communications to create and host the award-winning podcast The New Normal, which considers how people may act to catalyze a more equitable post-pandemic world.