Her current outreach — engaging with the public through Florida Museum events and social media, and mentoring UF students through her department's volunteer program — is designed to make herself visible to other minorities, allowing them to see that scientists come in all genders and skin tones, and talk to aspiring scientists about museum careers.
During spring 2018, she will co-instruct a class at UF with David Blackburn, a Florida Museum associate curator of herpetology, designed to introduce undergraduate students to careers in museum-based research and enable them to envision broader career paths, Flemming said.
As a student who excelled at science and math in Trinidad, she was encouraged to become a medical doctor, "like all students interested in science." But she wasn’t interested in that path. Flemming was more of a naturalist, she says, and it felt natural for her to go against the status quo.
Being an islander, it made sense that she’d find her passion in the histories and anatomies of sea life, she said. But growing up, she felt out of place.
That's why now she wants to guide students who feel the same as she did, and make visible the too often unknown array of research topics in science and the scientists who study them.