1) Several posts in meta have raised the possibility that our closing policy is inconsistent and applied too often. However, no clear consensus seems to exist. Do you think this is an issue on this site and, if so, what role should a moderator have in resolving it, if any?
We are still finding out what we should expect a good question on the topic of biology to look like. Particularly, where do we draw the lines for trivial questions and "homework" questions? That's a general line for the community to decide, not a moderator.
2) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
We don't necessarily want to lose high-quality users at this point, especially if the dispute is the best kind of animal/quadrat/pipette/bio-stats package is. But equally, if comments become rude or abusive, that should not become a burden the community should bear. If the comments seem deliberately inflammatory/rude/abusive, directly emailing the user/s and telling them that this is an issue may be enough.
Our own "be nice" and Albion.com's Rule 1 "remember the human" phrases are good values to a community like this.
3) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
If it appeared to be a one-off embarrassing factual mistake, I would privately clarify with them. It's, of course, possible that I have made the mistake so this would at least save the dignity of one of us!
I don't think this is standard SE practice, but I have seen it work here. If the issue was a little more complicated, initially, I would discuss it in Biosphere with the other mod. The mods here are very open about their decisions and are happy to roll-back a decision if a decent challenge is made. That should be encouraged and continued. If we do not reach a consensus by ourselves, opening a meta on the issue is an option for a contentious question so that we can see what the community expect us to do, else, another option is to initiate a community re-open process.
4) What are the things about you that can make you a good moderator and those that will prevent you from being one?
Why I'd be good.
I enjoy moderation and review as much as the 6k tools allow. I have the Steward gold badge and the Electorate gold badge. I am an active reviewer, I raise a lot of helpful flags, and I comment often, especially if I initiate a close vote. I routinely clear the review queues available to me. Indeed, I'm far more involved than my reputation suggests. Being a moderator would allow me to extend this enthusiasm beyond my reputation.
Also, I've been here a while (>3k mod privileges in beta, 3 years and 10 months since joining). I'm aware of how the community and mods have handled issues in the past, which solutions worked, and which issues are an ongoing challenge.
I'm on both sides of the Q&A fence. I have ~53 questions which is unusual for top contributors. I sympathise with the challenges involved in doing either well and can offer effective guidance on both Q&A. Often, redirecting to the "how to ask a good question" page isn't enough.
For more of the good reasons see the nomination page on why each of us candidates thinks that we'd be a good choice.
Lot's has changed since the beta graduation. I understand that the heavy closure moderation that was needed from me then is not what we need now.
We're now maturing to the point where the site's purpose is emerging from the community and mods should spend their time handling flags and community review exceptions rather than strategising about the site's direction.
I'm in a niche. I'm only ranked #21 overall with >6k rep. Whilst this in itself isn't clearly a problem, the reason why might be. My field of expertise receives less activity compared with topics like evolution. Within my niche I'm the top scored user. People asking questions on the topics I contribute to usually have a fundamental grasp of biology and even the general topic. I see from meta that more popular topics face very different issues to what I am used to (like the need for an evolutionary "why not X" catch-all question here), and I would have to catch up on these sort of exceptions quickly.
5) In your opinion, what do moderators do?
As little as possible.
Moderators have a duty to simply maintain the quality of the site with light pruning. They generally should avoid steering the community in one direction or the other.
Moderators handle exceptions to the community moderation procedures. This mainly manifests as flag handling in addition to other review tasks accessed from the privilege track.
The ideal moderator does as little as possible. But those little actions may be powerful and highly concentrated. Judiciously limiting your use of moderator powers to selectively prune and guide the community — now that’s the true art of moderation.
-A theory of moderation.-
6) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
I've been friendly, constructive, and enthusiastic about the site since the start. My contributions are in-line with what people expect from the diamond moderators.
7) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
Moderation is about more than being involved in the community review process that comes from 10k and 20k. It goes beyond what reputation does and isn't really a comparable task to regular reviewing. It's about the exceptions and adhering to what the community expects of you. I believe that that attitude can count for more than the reputation gap between me and other candidates.
Another less obvious and more objective point is that I'm able to maintain the site in a different time zone. I'm based in Singapore. This will reduce the average flag response time metrics. I can also handle routine clean-up and flag handling even when other mods are unavailable.