I view my relationship with students and postdocs as a partnership. My job is to ensure people in the lab get the training and opportunities they need to advance in their chosen careers, whether in academia, industry, teaching, or other options. Below you can find information on the lab philosophy and expectations of lab members. Text and ideas in places borrow heavily from Rubén Rellán-Álvarez.
Your health and safety are more important than your research. This includes adhering to lab safety codes, as well as maintaining your physical and mental health. Never work in the lab if you are feeling sick, under medication that might affect your ability to work normally and definitely not under the effects of any kind of drugs. Avoid working in the lab by yourself doing potentially dangerous activities, and please be aware of UC Davis resources and training on lab safety.
I expect lab members to contribute to a productive and friendly environment conducive to learning and research. This includes treating your colleagues with respect, listening to others’ viewpoints and ideas, and ensuring the lab is a place where everybody feels welcome and appreciated. Racist, sexist, or other inappropriate comments or behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstance. The university provides a number of resources (confidential and otherwise) to report or discuss any such activity you feel is inappropriate.
We are lucky enough to work in an area where flexible working hours are the norm. In order to be able to interact with the rest of the persons in the lab, we generally expect lab members to be present the majority of normal business hours (9-5pm) during the work week, since this is when most academic activities occur. There may be times when your project requires work late at night or on the weekends, but you are not expected to regularly work more than a normal 40-hour work week. It is important that you take time off for personal life, vacations, etc. I do ask, however, that you notify me if you will be absent for ≥1 day, and let me know in advance of any extended leave.
Attendance to regular weekly lab meetings is expected of all lab members. Participation in weekly lab coffee, Zeavolution and other regular meetings, and R.E.H.A.B. is encouraged but not required. Note that if you are funded on one of the lab’s current grants, you are expected to attend those meetings as well. There are a number of seminars (Plant Biology, Genetics, Population Biology, Ecology & Evolution, Plant Sciences) each week, and these are usually posted in the office. You are strongly encouraged to regularly go to one or more each week.
Everyone is encouraged to attend at least one conference a year. Members of the lab regularly attend such meetings as the maize meeting, SMBE, Evolution, and ESA. The department and university offer travel funding for graduate students and postdocs, and you should apply for external sources of funding to help cover travel expenses. Whenever possible, I will help fund attendance at one conference per year for each member of the lab on the condition that you are presenting a poster or talk at the meeting. Please provide ample time before the deadline for reviewing abstracts and posters or practicing talks.
I feel strongly that open science is important. We write papers on github or overleaf, often in public repos. We publish preprints as soon as a manuscript is ready for submission. We publish our data as soon as we can, and I am pushing to start doing so as separate data papers. We document our work – with github, R markdown, readme files, etc. – so it is intelligible and reusable in the future. I expect members of the lab to practice open science.