Moreau Lab Mentoring Guidelines
There are many ways to be successful in science and my goal is to help you develop the skills and provide opportunities to help you succeed in your career. The traits that I believe make the most successful researchers are passion, curiosity, commitment, dedication, and endurance. Research in our lab leverages a variety of tools and locations to complete our research. This can vary from fieldwork to molecular biology to collections curation and specimen-based research to manipulative experiments asking questions from genome evolution to phylogenetics to biogeography to trait evolution to symbiosis to host-associated gut bacterial interactions. However, almost exclusively includes ants as the focal study group.
Fostering a welcoming and supportive scientific environment is very important to me and I actively work to make our lab and the broader scientific community a more diverse and inclusive place for everyone. I believe weekly one-on-one meetings for the members of my lab is one of the best ways to share ideas and troubleshoot issues, while also having an open-door policy during non-defined meeting times. We also have an engaged group in the lab that meets regularly to share progress and gain feedback. We welcome diversity in all its forms including international students, parents, groups traditionally underrepresented in science, and everyone else. Ultimately, I want to foster a welcoming community that will help us all be more successful in our research.
I believe we all grow from listening to others and getting feedback on our own work. This includes learning about research outside of our specific fields, so I encourage members of my lab to attend departmental talks, present their research at scientific conferences, and get feedback on your proposals and manuscripts.
If you are interested in working with us in the Moreau Lab here are some specific guidelines for each academic position in the lab:
As more established and independent researchers I aim to help you cultivate your skills and develop your research program with your future career goals in mind. I will help you identify avenues for potential funding to join my lab and work with you to develop a project with shared overlap in scientific interest between us. As a member of the lab and department I expect you to participate in opportunities to engage and interact with our colleagues, including lab meetings, departmental seminars, and networking opportunities. Postdocs in our lab often have leadership roles in our group, which often leads to collaborations with other members of the lab, mentoring experiences, and opportunities for developing your outreach and communication skills. I will work closely with you to build your professional profile and assist you in identifying your career path. I also realize that time off is important and will follow all university policies regarding vacation time, but if more time off is needed we can discuss options to help you be productive during your time in the lab. As your time in our lab will be research focused I expect peer-reviewed publications to result from our collaboration.
Your number one priority as a graduate student is your research, which includes experiments, analyses, and writing up your results for peer-reviewed publications. I expect you to maintain this as your priority, but also recognize this should definitely not be your only activity during graduate school. I generally do not hand thesis projects to graduate students, but instead work with you to identify research avenues that excite you and are likely to lead to new discoveries. You should read widely from the scientific literature, but also use these readings to narrow down your interests and discover gaps in our knowledge for you to pursue. As a junior colleague I expect you to participate in departmental and lab-related activities and seminars and contribute to the scientific community. I typically try to support your participation in at least one scientific conference per year where you will present your independent research. I expect to be informed about all of your professional activities (i.e. teaching, seminar invitations, grant applications, conference participation, outreach, etc.), which helps me to advocate for you and also assist in navigating successful decision making. You should aim for the goal of publishing most of your thesis research during your time in my lab. I also want to make sure we are arming you with the skills you need for a successful career path including outside of the academy as there are many diverse ways to use your degree in science. Time off is important for rejuvenation and I will, of course, follow all university policies regarding time off, but I am also open to other time off needs as long as we discuss them in advance. Ultimately, I am here to guide, support, and cheer for you not only during your time in my lab, but for your entire career.
As an undergraduate intern in our lab I hope to help you discover what conducting research is and about the diverse career options in science. To better help you in this regard it is important that you are interested in the research questions and techniques we use in our lab. Although you may not start immediately doing independent research in our lab, my goal is to expose you to scientific methods and biodiversity research in our molecular lab and/or in the Cornell University Insect Collections. Most undergraduates in the lab work closely with more senior members of the lab (postdocs and graduate students). We highly value your contributions to our lab and we have had undergraduates join us at national scientific conferences, participate in international fieldwork, and even be authors on and of peer-reviewed scientific publications. Opportunities in our lab are only limited by your passion and dedication.
Even if you are not a current student I welcome dedicated and committed volunteers of any age or educational/career background to help curate and contribute to our world-class biological collection in the Cornell University Insect Collection.
If you are interested in potentially joining the Moreau Lab, please email me and we can discuss possibilities (email@example.com).