Maydianne Andrade is a Canadian ecologist and evolutionary biologist, renowned for her studies on the mating habits of spiders, and with professional interests in evolutionary ecology, sexual selection and adaptive plasticity. She is also an award-winning teacher, researcher, science-outreach educator and public speaker.
Born in Jamaica, Andrade was three years old when she immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, with her parents. After high school, she attended Simon Fraser University, where she earned a B.Sc. degree in 1992. She went on to the University of Toronto at Mississauga, graduating with an M.Sc. degree in zoology in 1995. She then studied at Cornell University, receiving a Ph.D. in neurobiology and behaviour in 2000.
Andrade is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, and in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. In 2017, she took on the role of Vice Dean, Faculty Affairs and Equity, in which she is an advisor on academic equity issues; faculty advancement, promotions, mentorship, and recognition. She also provides oversight on all academic human-resources matters. In 2019, the University of Toronto Alumni Association awarded Andrade the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize for her leadership in initiating dialogue around issues of race, gender and bias.
Andrade has received a number of prestigious awards, including a University Faculty Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, Premier’s Research Excellence Award from the Government of Ontario, New Opportunities and Leaders Innovation Fund Awards from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, an African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Science. at University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, where the undergraduate newspaper named her a Professor of the Year and was a finalist in Television Ontario’s Best Lecturer competition (2006/2007).
Andrade founded and co-chairs the Toronto Initiative for Diversity and Excellence (TIDE) at the University of Toronto. TIDE is a group of faculty members from across the University of Toronto, trained in educating colleagues about the effects of implicit biases on decision-making.
To learn more about TIDE’s work, you can visit the website at www.toronto-tide.ca. Andrade also hosts The New Normal, a podcast exploring how the impacts of the pandemic may bring about a more equitable society.
From 2007 to 2018, Andrade was Canada Research Chair in Integrative Behavioural Ecology and a Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Animal Behaviour Society has recognized her for her distinguished contributions to research. (The Society is s a non-partisan, non-profit, professional organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the scientific study of animal behavior.)
Over the years, Andrade has been featured on CBC radio and television, recently as guest host of The Nature of Things, on the radio programs and podcasts “Quirks and Quarks” (as recently as January 27, 2023) and “Ideas.” On these programs, she has discussed a range of topics, including her work with spiders, as well as racial equity in the sciences and the experiences of Black people in the sciences.
Andrade is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-founder and president of the Canadian Black Scientists Network. Andrade is the co-founder and president of the Canadian Black Scientists Network (CBSN). In 2022, Andrade led the CBSN in hosting a virtual conference highlighting Black Canadians in the fields of science, technology,
engineering, mathematics and medicine. Clearly, Andrade plays a strong and innovative leadership role in sharing and demonstrating how diversity and inclusion enhance and strengthen organizations, and create more positive and fair workplaces.
(Sources: Internet pages Maydianne Andrade at Speakers Spotlight; First Animals Film; Wikipedia; CBC.ca.)