Laboratory Philosophy
The Plant Computational Genomics Lab is highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and inclusive. Diversity, creativity, integrity, and ambition are values we affirm. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. We are committed to open and inclusive science. This includes transparency in data acquisition, analysis, and code.
Inclusive: We strive to make science accessible to everyone. As such, we welcome individuals from all groups, especially those typically under-represented in higher education. Each of us brings perspectives shaped by our experiences, as well as challenges and obstacles. By celebrating our differences and supporting each other to overcome our personal obstacles, we believe that our science will be the best it can be and that our trainees will get the support and encouragement they need. We also recognize the importance of science communication and outreach to help connect our science to the public.
  • Member of the McNAIR scholars program at UConn which seeks to provide research opportunities at the graduate level for first generation college students
  • Affiliated with the Office of Undergraduate Research at UConn which provides funding for independent research projects
  • Proud supporter of DREAMers – I support all students regardless of immigration status or country of origin.
  • Supporting women in Science through membership and support of 500 Women Scientists, DiversifyEEB, Girls who Code, and UConn’s WIMSE chapter.
Open Science: We create reproducible, high quality, work. We are completely open with respect to how we do science and what we find. After project completion, and after all co-authors are ready, we share our raw data, results, and code. This is usually done before, during, and at the time of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. We have zero tolerance for poor documentation, sloppy code, and refusal to support community members. This is a barrier to Open Science.
  • Utilize pre-print servers when applicable (BioRXiv)
  • Organize and document code in Gitlab
  • Share detailed protocols on or Gitlab
  • Respond to requests from collaborators and colleagues
  • Utilize open source tools when possible to create images, websites, and analyze data
  • Share results through presentation and open access publication
  • Engage with science communication platforms (Science Twitter is a great start!)
Mentoring Philosophy: I am here for you, regardless of whether you are a postdoc, staff member, graduate student, or undergrad. I am dedicated and invested in your success. I measure success through funding, publication, quality software, and graduation. Whether your end goal is industry, academia, or something in-between, I will help you achieve your goals. My primary job is to mentor and advise you. This includes helping you publish and think/research independently. I am also responsible for funding the lab through frequent applications for competitive funding.
My goal is to foster a scientific atmosphere where you can learn. I won’t be able to teach you everything you need to know. Each project will need something different, and I am not all-knowing, nor do I want to be an expert in everything. This is why you are in a research lab! If there is something you need to learn that I am not an expert in, I will try to direct you toward the appropriate resources. We work in a fast moving and multi-disciplinary field. There are many times where I will be learning with you. This is an incredibly exciting field, and working and learning with you, are by far the most rewarding part of my job.
I run weekly lab and/or team meetings where we can catch up on work progress during the week and where you get feedback on ideas or problems you have encountered from me and other members in the lab. I have an “open door” policy — I am available if you need to ask a quick question or two. The Google calendar will generally reflect when I am in meetings. If you need a longer meeting to review a presentation, manuscript or tricky analyses, I prefer that we book a time. I can usually meet on short notice and I prioritize the lab. There is also the possibility of sending me an email or using our Slack to get feedback – the latter has the benefit that more people can chime in with help or suggestions.
I will help you edit and prepare manuscripts, grants, posters and talks. I generally return drafts within a few days unless I specifically say otherwise. I prefer to see everything before it is submitted, no matter how minor (conference abstract, poster, paper, grant, etc) — this helps maintain quality and helps ensure your success. In regards to feedback – I tend to be direct when I find areas that need improvement and I try to be clear with my expectations. If I determine that there are performance issues, we will develop an improvement plan, and meet regularly to achieve the specified goals. I will also tell you when you have done a good job! We celebrate accepted papers, funded grants, and graduations.
Authorship Philosophy: We follow the IJME rules for authorship rules. In general, the following are required for inclusion as co-author on a publication:
  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for scientific content
  • Final approval of the version to be published
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Projects evolve over time and authorship, inclusion and order will be re-evaluated accordingly. If you are concerned about anything related to authorship on a manuscript, please come talk to me as soon as possible.
Open Lab: Your colleagues will be doing different activities that require different levels of concentration. Respect this. Keep the volume of your conversations at a reasonable volume. If you need to have a brief chat with other members, that is no problem. For longer meetings, please use the meeting room (and close the door) so you don’t distract others. Please also refer to our lab manual on Slack etiquette for approaching a lab member with a question in this setting.
Expectations: The following are expectations for all members, at all levels:
  • Show interest in an existing research project or design a new one
  • Attend weekly lab meetings, team meetings, and journal clubs
  • Prepare for meetings with relevant readings and populated agendas
  • Commit to best practices with documentation on Gitlab and the HPC system
  • Serve as a lead author or co-author on at least one publication per year
  • Seek opportunities to present your work whether that be on campus or an international conference
  • Apply for funding (all students and postdocs)
  • Ask questions but also be willing to be your own teacher (read!)
  • Read peer-reviewed literature in your field
  • Be reliable and present in the lab – hours are flexible but we expect you to be there!
  • Use online tools for communication and organization (Gitlab, Slack, Google Calendar are lab standards)
  • Mentor and support your peers
  • Refer to the lab manual for logistics and the data policy for best practices for code
  • Commit to self-care, both physical and mental
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