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LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group Members

Information on the members of the LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group

Co-Chairs of LESG


Noel Caliste
Noel Caliste

I have been in my current role, Executive Assistant to the Pro-Vice Provost of Library Services at UCL since November 2018, having worked in the Higher Education sector for over 10 years. I am honoured to have the opportunity to represent the UCL LGBTQ+ community as a queer black person.  In recent years I have become very conscious of representation and visibility and want to take this opportunity to bring a differing perspective to the LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group, to celebrate our differences, while educating and inspiring others around me, as I have been.


Sebastian Groh
Sebastian Groh

I’m Sebastian and joined UCL in 2014 as PhD student. Since 2018 I’ve been employed as Research Associate in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Department of Earth Sciences. My research focuses mainly on crocodile evolution and the methodologies that scientists use when trying to reconstruct the evolution and relationships of extinct (and some living) species. I also teach three different modules at both undergraduate and graduate level in my department. In 2018, I co-founded the Trans in STEM network for trans individuals working in or studying STEM subjects, and have given several talks on being LGBTQIA+ (as well as on the autism spectrum) in the workspace and academia. I joined LESG because making UCL into a safe space for LGBTQIA+, and in particular trans, staff is hugely important to me.

Sebastian's We Are Out@UCL profile is here.


Members of LESG


Max Hill
Max Hill  

I'm Max, and I became involved when I first joined UCL over 4 years ago. Whilst the level of tolerance for LGBTQ+ people has increased since the dark days of 80s Britain when I was growing up, there are still very definite issues to be addressed regarding acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and lifestyles, and the UCL networks can have a positive influence on this. Also, I believe, having a safe LGBTQ+ accepting environment is particularly important as we are a university with a high percentage of students coming from all areas of the world where homosexuality may still be illegal. My day job at UCL is working as an Occupational Health Advisor, advising staff and employees regarding work related health issues. I started my career as a staff nurse and worked in the NHS for over 10 years before joining UCL in February 2009.


Kate Boldry
Kate Boldry

I joined UCL IoE in 2015 as a lecturer and tutor in Initial Teacher Education. I particular enjoy delivering lectures on the Equalities act, social justice and allyship and have been working with my student teachers on how they can be effective pro-active LGBTQ+ allies in the classroom, for the pupils they teach in school.  I have worked with colleagues to develop a more inclusive curriculum in teacher education as well as train student teachers and staff on how to deliver LGBTQ+ inclusive Relationship and Sex Education, alongside the charity Sexplain. I became a 'Friend of Out' in 2019 and joined LESG in 2020 as I am interested in  being involved with a wider UCL network to raise the profile of LGBTQ+ equality across the university supporting LGBTQ+ students and staff. I am particularly interested in helping develop Friends of Out and the important role proactive LGBTQ+ allies have in combating homophobia.


Edward Wild
Edward Wild

I’m a Professor of Neurology at the Institute of Neurology, Associate Director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre, and a Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. When I started university in 1996, the medical profession and academic medical research were both very hostile to gay or queer people. Thanks to successful and sustained campaigning, much has changed for the better in society over the past 25 years, and I am hugely fortunate have benefited from this progress to become a proud, openly gay senior academic and clinician. We cannot take anything for granted though, and our rights are constantly under attack. I particularly want to use my position and privilege to benefit others in the queer community who still need to be lifted up to true equality - especially our trans and BAME siblings, whose representation in academia needs dramatic and urgent improvement.


Michael Short
Michael Short

I’m an Associate Professor (Teaching) in Planning and Urban Conservation in the Bartlett School of Planning. I’m excited to work with LESG on a range of issues related to queer visibility amongst staff and students, ‘queering the curriculum’ to reflect the diversity of our perspectives and lived experiences, and to support the university’s agendas on diversity, inclusion and equity. In addition I’d particularly like to pursue work between academics, professional staff and students in advancing these interests.


Fiona Leigh
Fiona Leigh

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and have previously worked at King's College London, and at Monash and Melbourne Universities in Australia. I specialise in Ancient Greek Philosophy, but also have interests in Ethics, Metaphysics and occasionally feminism and queer theory.


Bob Mills
Bob Mills

I'm Professor of Medieval Studies in the History of Art Department. As well as having a passion for most things medieval, I have a longstanding interest in queer and LGBTQ+ studies. In 2015, I helped set up and was appointed as the first Director of qUCL, a university-wide initiative which brings together research on sexuality, gender diversity and queer studies.  


Johanna Novales
Johanna Novales

I’ve worked at UCL since 2011, mainly in the Engineering Faculty Office but also in the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) team. In all my roles here, I’ve worked to promote EDI initiatives and support members of our community from marginalised groups. It’s crucial that movements for equality act in awareness of, and support for, those who deal with multiple oppressions; I see being on LESG as one way to contribute to that. As a nonbinary person, I’m particularly pleased with UCL’s growing recognition of, and support for, nonbinary identities. I started the We Are Out@UCL project to bring more visibility to the wonderful LGBTQ+ people who work here; you can read my own profile if you want to know more about me!


Anthony Smith

As Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs), I am responsible for the teaching, learning and assessment agenda at UCL. This involves providing leadership on education issues and working with my team to develop and implement the Institutional Education Strategy. I was appointed in 2012, having previously been Principal and Dean of the School of Pharmacy, University of London. I am also the LGBTQ+ champion on the Provost's Senior Management Team which, combined with my role as VP for Education and Student Affairs, means I am able to represent and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ+ staff and students at the most senior level within UCL. My hope is that through the work of LESG, all staff and students can be completely comfortable at UCL with who they are, irrespective of whether they are out, partially out or not at all.


Lord John Sharkey
Lord John Sharkey

I am a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords. As an undergraduate, I was taught mathematics by Robin Gandy, Alan Turing’s only doctoral student and his closest friend. I knew, from an early age, what had happened to Turing and to others convicted as he was simply for being gay. When I was appointed to the Lords, I tried to persuade the Government to grant a pardon to Turing and to all others, living and dead, similarly convicted. The Government resisted and eventually I brought forward a private member’s Bill to grant Turing a pardon. I made it clear that should the Bill succeed, then a more general pardon should be given. The Bill was enthusiastically supported by the Lords and, eventually by the Government with the grant of a Royal pardon. I followed this up by successfully amending another Bill to extend the pardon to all those, living and dead, convicted as Turing was. I learned an enormous amount about the gay community in the course of the pardon campaign. I became even more convinced of the continuing need to protect and advance the interests of the LGBTQ+ community. 

I am very proud to be UCL’s LGBTQ+ champion.


Jayne Flowers

I have worked as the Equity and Inclusion Unit Coordinator in the Students' Union since 2021. Apart from a direct passion and drive to assist students in efforts towards a more equitable and fair UCL, I am also a Sociologist by second trade. I am deeply interested in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory and how these intersect with Decolonisation. This comes as I reflect on my life as someone who is Trans and Non-Binary, as well as my experience researching queerness in higher education and varying decolonisation portfolios for varied university subjects. 


Kata Kyrölä
Kata Kyrölä

I’m a Lecturer in Media Studies at the Department of Culture, Communication and Media, the IOE, and I teach in the MA programme Digital Media: Critical Studies. Before joining UCL in 2021 and moving to London, I worked in both Gender Studies and Media/Cinema Studies in Finland and Sweden. My research focuses on queer, feminist, and critical race studies of popular media, and I am excited to work on LGBTQ+ justice and liberation at UCL not only on the level of theory but also practice. I am queer and non-binary and a big believer in solidarity and collaborative work: no-one is free until we are all free. Outside of the academia, I play roller derby which is a full contact team sport on roller skates – and an explicitly welcoming community for LGBTQ+ folks.