Created: 19 Sep. 2022

Last reviewed: 18 Jan. 2024

Version 1.4

Created by: Toshita Barve, Ana Carvalho, Scott Cinel, Christian Couch, Hailey Dansby, Keating Godfrey, Lillian Hendrick, Nick Homziak, Akito Kawahara, Amanda Markee, Jose Martinez, Brandon Parker, Taylor Pierson, David Plotkin, Juliette Rubin, Chelsea Skojec, Yash Sondhi, Caroline Storer

This document applies to all staff, students, volunteers and visiting scientists that use the Kawahara Lab. This document should be read before joining the lab or participating in any lab-related activity. This is intended to be a living document that reflects the current values of our group, so please reach out if you have thoughts or improvements. It will be reviewed and revised using recommendations of the Zhang Lab Code of Conduct1 every semester to accommodate relevant changes in external policy and culture.

1. Statement on Lab Philosophy

          a. The Kawahara Lab values the participation of every member of the community and strives to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, both professionally and personally. We strive to continue to be learners in both academic and non-academic settings and are open to communications at all levels. Accordingly, all members are expected to show respect and courtesy to others at all times. We aim for development of a non- exclusionary culture. Please note that this code of conduct is not a legal document; it supplements, but does not supersede, any department, university, municipal, or state-level policies. 

          b. Enjoyable, high-quality research can only be conducted in a safe, secure, and supportive environment. The Kawahara Lab is consequently dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone. Harassment is not tolerated by members of the lab in any form, and it is requested that everyone who is part of the lab, or who interacts with the lab, conforms to our Code of Conduct. Our definition of harassment is in accordance with the definitions and examples provided in the Codes of Conduct that ours is based on1,2.

         c. We acknowledge that individuals will be in different places in their life journey, so we strive to continue learning and to make any necessary changes to ensure the lab remains a safe and welcoming space for everyone.

2. Dos and Don’ts

         a. Based on ‘Guidelines’ section of UF Weecology Lab’s CoC2

         b. Communication tactics

                    1. Assume good faith when communicating, including reception of critiques and comments.

                    2. Be prepared and willing to apologize after hurtful actions, even if those actions were unintentional.

                    3. Listen to others’ ideas and opinions openly; be understanding and learn together.

         c. Be respectful of others’ values:

                    1. Promote a safe and accepting learning environment for all.

                    2. Ensure everyone has equal opportunity for adding to discussions.

                    3. Do not interrupt others when they are speaking, especially repeatedly and intentionally.

                    4. Refrain from discrimination, harassment, sexism, racism, and exclusionary or defamatory remarks.

                    5. Be kind, considerate and accommodating of people’s disabilities.

                    6. Do not share personal information (including personal expression and identity) of anyone without their  consent, except in circumstances where withholding this information would create an unsafe environment for others.

         d. Expectations:

Mentor Role: Mentors are expected to understand the career and training goals of mentees and clearly communicate expectations toward meeting those goals. They should also help mentees understand the role of their specific projects in the larger research aims of the lab, and introduce mentees to other Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) students and faculty to help with networking and to provide context for their position in the larger aims of the museum. Mentors should establish regular meetings with mentees to discuss progress, assist with barriers or problems, provide guidance and access to resources for professional development (especially for postdoctoral mentees), and help keep mentees engaged with their project, with the lab, and with other students and faculty at the McGuire Center. When appropriate, the Principal Investigator should use resources at UF Engaged ( to assist with mentor/mentee interactions.

Mentee Role: Mentees should understand their role(s) in the lab and how their projects or tasks fit into the lab’s larger research projects and aims, as well as the larger aims of the McGuire Center and the FLMNH. They should communicate regularly with their mentor and voice concerns about their projects or questions about resources, timelines, experiments, and professional development opportunities in a timely manner.

Faculty & Staff: Faculty and staff act as crucial support personnel for the lab’s research program and are often managing their own research projects. Just as mentees, they should understand how their work fits into the larger lab research aims. They should communicate regularly with the Principal Investigator and the rest of the lab about timelines and progress, barriers to project completion, and especially exciting or successful findings.

Postdocs: Postdoctoral researchers are officially considered staff members, and will simultaneously occupy the role of mentor (of students and volunteers) and mentee (of the Principal Investigator). They are expected to understand the parameters of all three roles, as described above. They are also expected to work with the Principal Investigator to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP), to ensure they have opportunities for professional development that will help achieve their long-term career goals.

3. Conduct in shared spaces

         a. If someone in the Kawahara Lab does not have a private office, then they are entitled to have a clean and distraction-free work area in at least one of the following shared spaces.

                    1. Graduate student cubicles

                    2. 2nd-floor mailroom

                    3. Molecular lab

                    4. Wing voucher room

                    5. Rearing room

                    6. Main floor collections (e.g., next to digitization equipment)

         b. People should only store personal items in their personal work space. Be mindful of the limited spaces available in the lab for storage.

                    1. Personal items that could be disrespectful to others should not be brought into shared spaces

                    2. Be cognizant that some of these spaces are shared with people outside of the Kawahara Lab; please be respectful of other museum staff and students.

         c. Everyone is expected to remove/clean their workspace before graduating/leaving the Kawahara Lab.

         d. Everyone in the Kawahara Lab is entitled to have a virtual workspace in the Kawahara group on the HiPerGator cluster. They are expected to clean/organize their files before graduating/leaving the Kawahara Lab and delete any unneeded files. The Kawahara Lab has limited computing resources and all users should be mindful of not wasting those resources.

4. Reporting Misconduct (Accountability and Anonymity)

            If you experience or observe misconduct in the Kawahara Lab (or in other labs/departments of the museum) you can reach out to Akito Kawahara or David Plotkin by arranging a meeting via private e-mail (, or a private Slack message. You can also contact Keith Willmott ( or Jaret Daniels ( if you want to discuss the matter with museum faculty outside of the Kawahara Lab. If you would instead like to directly report instances of harassment, scientific misconduct, etc. to the museum’s Human Resources department, please contact Chris Pickles ( If you wish to make your report to someone at UF outside of the museum, or wish to make an anonymous report, please use the following UF resources:


This Code of Conduct (CoC) borrows heavily and is modified from three open source CoCs.. 

1Zhang Research group CoC:

2Weecology interdisciplinary ecology research group:

3Silbiger Lab CoC: