Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the GerDeR Lab

The labs of Dr. Nicole Gerardo and Dr. Jaap de Roode, collectively the “GerDer Lab,” share lab space and scientific interests in species interactions. The GerDer lab is a diverse group of scientists of different races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, nationalities, religious affiliations and life stages. We believe that this diversity is a strength to our labs, and that our diverse backgrounds and experiences enrich our work and lives.

As PI’s, Drs. Gerardo and de Roode are committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive community in our lab groups, Emory University and our scientific fields and societies. We strive to provide this environment through intentional and informed actions. It is our responsibility to continually educate ourselves and to solicit and respond to feedback to best support each individual’s unique needs, styles and career goals. Furthermore, we come from a place of privilege, having been given the opportunity to conduct research within the vibrant research community of Emory. We will leverage this privilege to foster diversity, equity and inclusion at Emory and beyond.

As a lab, we commit to:

  • recruiting and mentoring diverse trainees
  • establishing a safe and inclusive training environment
  • treating each other with acceptance and compassion
  • accommodating individuals’ specific needs, such as flexibility in work schedules, and promoting sustainable and healthy work-life balance
  • listening to, amplifying the work of, and advocating for diverse trainees and peers
  • acting against racist and oppressive words, actions, and power struggles in the lab and beyond
  • continuing to educate ourselves on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) by:
    • setting aside lab meetings for DEI education
    • leading education efforts in our respective departments and training programs
  • highlighting, through our teaching, the work of scientists from diverse backgrounds
  • advocating for the hiring of diverse faculty
  • leveraging our location within the heart of Atlanta to target outreach towards community members from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM
  • targeting undergraduate recruitment efforts to better include students from socio-economically disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds by:
    • reaching out to recruit students from local minority serving institutions
    • having an undergraduate application process for lab research that highlights our inclusivity
  • promoting accessibility for researchers that need accommodations
  • increasing diversity within our specific fields, including ecology, evolution and entomology by:
    • organizing conferences and symposia with diverse speakers
    • giving undergraduates from diverse backgrounds opportunities to attend scientific meetings and to meet scientists in our fields
    • joining society committees and organizations that support students and DEI initiatives
  • learning from our mistakes.