Mission and Values


  • train curious, tenacious, and collaborative humans to explore the role of microbes in natural and engineered aquatic environments
  • illuminate the complexity and interconnectedness of microbes in the wild such that we can explain and predict their behavior in dynamic ecosystems
  • share our discoveries and passion for the microbial world within and far beyond the academy
  • uplift and support each other while constantly striving to uphold our core values
  • cultivate a healthy lab environment that supports a realistic work-life balance 
  • amplify voices of disadvantaged scientists in all fields and at all career stages


  • We value our lab community which provides us with support, training, mentoring, and inclusivity. 
  • We value a lab community with commitment to open communication, respect, accountability, individual well-being, and engagement. 
  • We value innovative, creative, and impactful science and engineering discoveries that advance our understanding of complex microbiomes. 
  • We value effective science communication to diverse audiences including other scientists, practitioners, policymakers, and the broader public.
  • We value diversity in all dimensions and embrace intersectionality across personal and disciplinary boundaries, recognizing that we can bring our unique selves to the group.  


  • Be engaged and contribute to the broader mission of the lab. This includes paying attention, asking questions, and providing feedback during lab meetings; reading other lab members’ writing; assisting with big field/lab projects that require many hands; sharing (meta)data; and sharing expertise.
  • Prioritize healthy work habits and pursuits outside of your professional life. This includes setting boundaries, taking time off when you need it, developing strategies to avoid burnout, and maintaining connections with your family / community.
  • Be respectful, welcoming, and mindful of our individualities. This includes personal identities, lived experiences, scientific interests, training backgrounds, and outside interests. We will strive to draw upon our diversity to build our community and improve our science. 
  • Be accountable to others in the group, to yourself, and to your professional network. This includes learning how to manage your time in order to meet deadlines, doing what you say you will do, maintaining organized / reproducible documentation of your work.
  • Create, practice, and refine science communication products (papers, presentations, outreach materials) in a space that allows for imperfection and growth.
  • Continue to grow, learn, work hard, and be curious. This includes learning how to be an effective scientist/engineer, about each others’ projects, about your discipline(s) and its norms, and about each other.
  • Respect the fact that the lab is financed almost exclusively by taxpayer dollars. Spend funds wisely and in a way that would not embarrass Trina if she gets called to testify in front of the US Congress.
  • Adhere to safety and usage policies in both lab and field. This includes shared equipment, field gear, vehicles, shared spaces, computational resources, and freezers. “Leave it better than you found it.”

Created together  2023-04-17

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