INIA has 10 Early Stage Researchers, some of whom have already started their posts and others who will be joining INIA over the next months.

ESR1 – Adeline Berry, University of Huddersfield

Project title: Older intersex people – A pan-European intersectional approach

Adeline is an intersex and transgender researcher and board member of Intersex Ireland and SWAI. They have collaborated on an Eisner award nominated comic, owned tattoo shops in Florida and Texas, earned a black belt in Karate and a BA (Hons) Psychology from Dublin Business School. They have spoken at conferences in Stockholm, London, Limerick, Cork and Dublin on the intersection of gender, sex work and the law. Research includes “Giving Voice to Diversity in Criminological Research: Nothing About Us Without Us” with Maynooth University and “Life for Sex Workers in Ireland Under the Swedish Model of Client Criminalisation.”

ESR2 – Sean Saifa Wall, University of Huddersfield

Project title: Equality, diversity and intersex policy making – A comparison of the Republic of Ireland and England

Sean Saifa Wall is an intersex activist, visual artist and public health researcher. His research interests started at Williams College where he was selected as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Since then, he has worked in different capacities on a number of research projects that centre Black, queer and transgender populations. His recent collaborative projects include a chapter on Black U.S. Sexual and Gender Minority Health in the Oxford Handbook of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and a report submitted to the Open Society Foundations on intersex activism in the Global South.

*Photo credit: Harry Daniels ATL

ESR3 – Audrey Aegerter, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Project title: Unpacking the conditions of emergence of intersex activism in Europe

After studying Business Administration at the University of St. Gallen, Audrey Aegerter interned during two years. Alongside the end of her undergraduate studies and internships, Audrey Aegerter engaged in intersex activism. She cofounded InterAction Suisse, a national intersex organisation, worked on different projects for intersex human rights and joined the LGBTIQ advisory board at the equality office of Geneva. In 2019, she enrolled in a master’s programme on interdisciplinary children’s rights studies at the University of Geneva, and wrote a master’s thesis on the emergence of a global intersex human rights movement from 2006 to 2015.

*Photo credit: Jean-Bernard Sieber, from ARC SA

ESR4 – Steph Lum, Dublin City University

Project title: Framing legislative and policy reform to improve the lived
experience of intersex in Ireland and Malta

Steph Lum is an intersex advocate, lawyer and poet from Ngunnawal country in Canberra, Australia. Steph is passionate about the importance of sharing intersex stories and founded YOUth&I to create a space for intersex people to share writings and artwork. Steph has experience working in human rights and on legal and policy reform on intersex issues in Australia, including working at the Australian Human Rights Commission and Intersex Human Rights Australia, and is a signatory to the Darlington Statement. Steph supports collaborative advocacy and research and is excited to be part of the INIA network to help support best outcomes for intersex people.

ESR5 – Axel Keating, Dublin City University

Project title: The inculcation of awareness of intersex in education in Ireland
and Sweden

Axel Keating (they/them) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Researcher focusing on the inculcation of awareness of intersex traits in education in Ireland and Sweden and a PhD student at Dublin City University. Axel is the Vice President of interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth and is an organizing committee member for the 5th International Intersex Forum. They have been involved in LGBTQIA+ education, activism, and community organizing for over a decade. Axel has a Master’s degree from New York University in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy and a Bachelor’s degree in the history and philosophy of medicine-focusing on the medicalization of intersex traits.

ESR6 – Daria Abrosimova, University of Zurich

Project title: Impact of parental psychosocial indicators on decision-making
and outcomes regarding intersex in Europe

Daria earned a degree in Sociology from Moscow State Lomonosov University. Afterwards, she pursued a career in marketing research, working as a research expert in pharmaceutical and financial industries. Simultaneously, she acted as a human rights activist and later co-founded her initiative. She educated medical professionals on working with intersex people and continues to pursue projects to improve medical care for intersex people in Russia.

Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich on an INIA fellowship with a focus on parental decision-making in clinical settings.

ESR7 –  University of Zurich

Project title: Role, dissemination and impact of clinical ethics in multidisciplinary teams on intersex in Europe

Martin Gramc is a LGBTIQ+ activist, researcher and writer from Slovenia. He received his MA in Gender Studies at the University of Ljubljana. During the past five years, he has actively participated in LGBTI+ organizations and campaigns at home, in Croatia and in Germany (Berlin), where he also collaborated with feminist and migrant initiatives. As a researcher, Martin has been collaborating with the Peace Institute in Ljubljana, working on projects centred around migrant issues, LGBTIQ+ minorities, and topics in political philosophy.

ESR 8 – Svetlana Solnsteva, Autonomous University of Barcelona

Project title: Intersex Subjectivities and the Lived Experiences of Intersex People.

Sveta is a queer researcher and an applied psychologist with a focus on gender, sexuality and migration. She received her degree in psychology from Moscow State University and in 2017-2019 she was an Erasmus Mundus student and scholarship holder at the University of Limerick (Ireland) and ISCTE-IUL (Portugal), leading to the defence of her Master’s thesis on Russian queer migrant subjectivities and transnational politics around gendered sexualities.

Before joining INIA, Sveta interned at ILGA Portugal where she developed an intervention to facilitate social integration of LGBTI forced migrants and worked as a research assistant (at CIS-IUL, Lisbon) in a range of international projects.

ESR9 – Yessica Mestre, Andalusian School of Public Health

Project title: Research ethics in intersex studies – Exploring ethical principles for a human rights-based research practice

Yessica’s interest in intersex causes started in law school where she looked for the creation of awareness around the human and fundamental rights of the intersex population and their particular situations. She finished her bachelor’s degree in Law and began to work in an NGO, building projects for the resocialization of victims of the Colombian armed conflict, and the recognition of the LGBTI population as independent victims of this. Following this, she did a specialization in criminal law which allowed her to get a broader perspective for her job. She next worked in the Ministry of Public Affairs, the dependency of Human Rights, in the creation of public policy for the LGBTI community which includes the particular needs of the intersex population. This was the first time governmental spaces were opened for the debate and establishment of public consciousness of the needs of the intersex population and the protection of their human rights.

Yessica also worked in the Ministry of Agriculture protecting the human rights of the indigenous population to get access to new lands as part of the peace agreements and finally moved to Budapest to study a Master’s in International Relations to gain a better understanding of intersex causes in Europe.

ESR10 – Ernesto Zelayandia, Andalusian School of Public Health

Project title: The right to bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination – Demands and strategies of international and regional intersex activist networks and human rights bodies.

Ernesto is a citizen of El Salvador, he holds an LLB from the Central American University in San Salvador and an LLM in human rights from the Central European University in Budapest. He has also recently concluded an MSc in human rights and politics from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences in London. Back in his home country, Ernesto engaged in community organizing and LGBTI activism documenting El Salvador’s LGBTI social movements.

Most recently, Ernesto has worked as a fellow for the Human Rights Campaign and as a legal fellow for the Rapporteurship on the rights of LGBTI persons at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, both in Washington D.C. Ernesto has also worked on issues related to migration, asylum & sexuality with the Freedom of Asylum Network in the United States and the International Organization for Migrations in San Salvador.