Mission and Values


Our mission is to understand causes and consequences of biodiversity change in marine and freshwater ecosystems, with the goal of developing science-based tools to inform conservation and restoration under global change. We seek to create and sustain an inclusive, supportive, and equitable working and learning environment where people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives thrive.

To foster a space that is truly collaborative and welcoming to all, members of our lab agree to abide by a set of lab norms, outlined below. Though these norms seek to promote a creative, empathetic, and productive lab dynamic, we are always striving to improve our efforts toward these goals and are committed to updating this living document as we welcome new insights. 

Lab Norms

We have identified behavioural norms that are essential in our professional interactions with each other. The norms apply to settings (virtual and in-person) in which we are representatives of the research group, including, but not limited to individual and group meetings, during workshops, seminars, and conferences, and during lab and field research activities. The norms represent skills in practice;  the Resources and Trainings document contains important information, networks, and training to support us in developing the necessary skills to support these norms. 

Inclusion, Equity & Respect

  • Learn and use inclusive, respectful, decolonized language in our interactions with one another.
  • Ask and receive questions openly and without personal judgement.
  • Acknowledge and be mindful of personal privilege and its influence on our interactions with others. (*suggested action with this: giving and taking space in group meetings)
  • Learn and apply facilitation techniques that encourage a variety of voices to contribute in conservations and activities.
  • Respect each other’s personal space, property, and time:
  • Know your professional commitments and contractual agreements (see information linked in Resources
  • Be on time for commitments.
  • Give as much notice as possible/practicable when cancelling or postponing a commitment.
  • Maintain a tidy and hygienic working environment in shared spaces.
  • Consider noise levels and distractions for others in shared spaces.
  • Appropriately use and contribute to the maintenance of shared resources.
  • Communicate clearly and often with supervisors and supervisees about expectations regarding roles and responsibilities (including time commitments, deliverables, communication strategies, boundaries, and working logistics).

Support & Engagement

  • Be mentally present and engaged in meetings and activities. Be prepared and review materials shared with you ahead of group meetings and activities. Link to Virtual Lab Meeting Practices.
  • Support curiosity and creative thinking by asking open-ended questions.
  • Celebrate professional accomplishments and acknowledge milestones when they are shared.
  • Participate in opportunities for building community with one another (e.g. virtual or in-person lab events, lab meetings, and slack channels).
  • Be generous in sharing knowledge and resources with each other. (e.g. share those cool papers, grant and award application information, and conferences).
  • Build a little time into your regular schedule for giving and receiving help to troubleshoot and solve work related problems (e.g. theoretical discussion, coding issues). Aim to reciprocate or pay it forward.

Constructive Feedback

  • Articulate type, method, and timeline for feedback we would like to receive on ideas and work when we share it with others (e.g. specific elements or overview; verbal or written; only when prompted or free-style feedback when sharing presentations, draft writing, or ideas brainstorming.)
  • Ask how others would like to receive feedback on ideas and work when it is shared.
  • Learn and apply techniques for delivering constructive feedback on others’ ideas and work.
  • Receive feedback with an open mind. 
  • Develop a shared understanding about channels for and frequency of feedback with supervisors, colleagues, and supervisees.
  • Recognize that feedback will be most helpful when our audience is provided with sufficient background and details on the topic at hand.

Addressing Behavior in Conflict With These Norms

This section describes the process (and associated resources) for addressing behaviour that conflicts with our lab’s core values and stated norms. Addressing conflicts early on through constructive channels helps to repair and maintain healthy professional relationships and promote well-being for all involved. 

Step 1: Where possible, address the issue with the individual directly. See the Resources document for insights and tips for hard conversations.

Step 2: Approach your supervisor to enlist support. 

Step 3: Contact the DBS Chair (biochair@ualberta.ca)/Associate Chair (Graduate; biograd@ualberta.ca) for assistance.
Step 4 and available for consultation throughout: Contact the Office of Safe Disclosure or the Office of the Student Ombuds for assistance and resources.


Looking for resources that provide information and build skills related to one of the norms, or for dealing with a conflict? Please review this Resources document, which contains information and networks (tab1), and training resources (tab2). The resource list is also a living document that will be reviewed annually (September each year) and added as group members come across new relevant material.

%d bloggers like this: