Safety first

Your health and safety are more important than your research. In the event that you will be doing lab work, please adhere to the lab safety codes established by the Department. Try to avoid working in the lab by yourself if you are doing potentially dangerous things like extractions etc. The same goes for field work, always have a companion along for any field work in the event that something would happen.


  • Treat your colleagues with respect. Racial or sexist comments are not tolerated under any circumstance. The lab should be a place where everybody feels welcome and appreciated.
  • At any given time your colleagues in the lab 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 chat with colleague it is of course ok, but for longer meetings please book one of the meeting rooms so you don’t distract your colleagues unnecessarily.


What you can expect from your supervisor (i.e. me)

Basically, I am here for you, regardless of whether you are a postdoc, graduate or undergraduate student. I am invested in your success and I consider success as the ability to graduate and/or move to a new position. I’m not particularly concerned about what type of job or position you attain after spending time in my lab, I simply want to ensure that your time with me as an advisor or mentor has helped you advance your career.  I write letters of reference for lab members, help getting work written up and published and, most importantly, I write grants to help fund the work we do in lab and to pay for salaries. My job is essentially to clear the road so that you can get your work done.

I tend to advise every graduate student/post-doc/technician/undergraduate slightly differently and the roles of each are also somewhat different. My goal is to foster a scientific atmosphere where you can learn, but I won’t be able to teach you everything you need to know. This is because each project will need something slightly different, and I am not all-knowing, nor do I want to be an expert in everything. This is why you are in the lab!! If there is something you need to learn that I’m not an expert in, I will try and point you in the right direction so that you can get there on your own. Hopefully I can learn something too in the process. That is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of supervising others!

I am running weekly lab meetings where we can catch up on work progress during the week and where you get feedback on ideas or problems you have encountered along the way from me or from other members in the lab. Other than that, I have an “open door” policy, meaning that my door is open for you if you need to ask a quick question or two. If you want to have a longer meeting, for instance to go over a presentation, manuscript or just some tricky analyses, I prefer that we book a time. I can usually arrange a time with rather short notice and I highly prioritise meeting with my students and postdocs. There’s also the possibility of sending me an email or using our various Slack channels 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 of papers within a few days unless I specifically say so. I prefer to see everything before it is submitted, no matter how minor (conference abstract, poster, paper, grant, etc) — this helps me maintain quality and helps ensure our success rate. With regards to feedback – I tend to be direct with you when I find areas that need improvement and I try to be as clear as I can with my expectations. If you don’t hear from me, it is because I think you are making progress. If I determine that there are performance issues, I will develop a performance improvement plan, and expect weekly and monthly improvements following this rather specific feedback. This is relatively uncommon however. On the other hand, I will tell you when you have done a good job on the big things — for example, we celebrate when an accepted paper or successfully funded grant , if someone gets a job or graduates, etc.

What I expect of you

I want you to work hard while you are in the lab, but to most importantly I want you to work efficiently and be excited about what you do. Try to hit the goals that we establish for your career without working more than 40 hours a week (more may be necessary sometimes when a deadline is approaching, but that should be rare). Have a life outside the lab, exercise, work on your happiness, eat good food etc etc.

Postdocs and senior graduate students

  • Assist with identifying and writing postdoctoral fellowships.
  • Develop project ideas, including independent projects that can be taken with the postdoc or student after they leave the lab.
  • Analyse data and interpret results.
  • Write and submit manuscripts.
  • Discuss future career goals (e.g., do you want to teach, go into academia, continue in research?), and plan ways to facilitate these goals.
  • Meet weekly to discuss progress & pitfalls.
  • Maintain a set of lab notes, including well-structured directories of data, annotated codes & versions, detailed methods. These need to sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions. See more in the section on reproducible research below.
  • Participate in general lab responsibilities (servers, maintain common areas, taking turns hosting visitors, communal sampling and field work etc). Participate in talk rehearsals of your colleagues
  • Give at least one institutional seminar per year.
  • Optional, but welcome:  If you are interested you are also welcome to help train graduate and undergraduate students.

Junior PhD students and Masters students

  • Develop project ideas for your thesis
  • Collect and analyse data and interpret results.
  • Discuss future career goals (e.g., do you want to teach, go into academia, continue in research?), and plan ways to facilitate these goals.
  • Maintain a set of lab notes, including directories of data, annotated codes & versions, detailed methods. These need to sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Write thesis in due time (i.e. before your fellowship is over).
  • Participate in general lab responsibilities (servers, maintain common areas, taking turns hosting visitors, communal sampling and field work etc). Participate in talk rehearsals of your colleagues.
  • Present a poster or talk of research progress at conferences, preferably once a year. I usually allow students to attend their first conference without presenting a talk or poster, just to get an idea of what a scientific conference is all about.

Work hours

We are lucky enough to work in an area where flexible working hours are the norm and I would say that flexible work hours are probably the number one perk of working in academia. There will be times when your project requires to work in the weekends or late and you should make sure to take some time off to compensate for this fi you feel that it is necessary.

In order to be able to interact with the rest of the persons in the labs we expect everyone to be in the lab between 9:30 to 14:30 for most days, since this is when most of the academic activities will happen. If, for whatever reason you can´t make it on regularly basis please let me know. If you take holidays, let me know in advance and don’t forget to fill out a vacation request online through Primula.


We follow the IJME rules for authorship rules. In principle, the following things are required for inclusion as co-author on a publication from the lab:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Projects evolve over time and authorship, inclusion and author order will be re-evaluated accordingly. If you are in any way worried or concerned about anything related to authorship on a manuscript, please come talk to me as soon as possible. I’m sure we can solve it to everyone’s satisfaction.

Notebooks and Data policies

  • All lab members must use lab notebooks; even if you are only doing computationally based analyses. These lab books belong to the lab, and must stay at the university at all times (including after you finish working in the lab).
  • The ideal lab notebook would be the following: a composition or graph notebook for notes, with each experiment dated.
  • For in silico lab books I strongly recommend storing scripts and analyses together with comments in things like R or Jupyter notebooks.
  • When you start your lab composition notebook, leave a few (3-4) pages blank at the beginning. You can update these over time to provide a table of contents for your lab notebook, which will make it easier for you (and everyone else!) to find info in your lab notebook later.
  • Write details for everything you do, and keep things organized. Write lots of details — you can never have too many details and you will remember much less 6 months from now than you think you will!. It will also be immensely helpful later,  if someone need to go back and figure out a specific detail regarding what was done.
  • Never go back and change anything in your lab notebook at a later date
  • All data must be backed up daily. There are great services available for both desktop (Retrospect remote) and laptop (Crashplan) computers. For more info see the Plant Biology internal webpages.  If you feel we need additional external hard drives for data storage, let me know and I will arrange that.
  • Data should always be stored in text-only files, never in Excel!!!!
  • Include metadata along with your datafiles. What is metadata? It is the data about the data. For example, it might be a text file explaining what data is contained in each of the txt files, and which R scripts go along with those data etc etc.
  • Once a data set is published, we will make the data  publicly available through sites such as ZenodoFigshare or Dryad.
  • Analysis scripts and any software developed should be made available though the lab GitHub repository.

Much of this text has been inspired by (or taken from!) similar content on Rubén Rellán-Álvarez’s and Gina Baucom’s lab pages