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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity

We stand with BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and immigrant scientists and for cultivating a more diverse scientific community.

Diversity and inclusion lab poster – black-capped chickadee edition
Diversity pledge (source: Sammy Katta’s webpage):

This poster is meant to show that racial justice and support for marginalized communities cannot be separated from the practice of science. We must actively work to recognize the obstacles that scientists (and potential scientists) from marginalized communities face, and dismantle structures of power that prevent them from succeeding. We must also consider the effects of our research and research choices on marginalized communities.

Posters are free to download and print, and you are welcome to modify them to fit your lab as long as they stay free and you share the pledge along with the files.

Sammy Katta’s diversity and inclusion lab poster, with a black-capped chickadee from our logo by Mackenzie Sturdy,  (edited by Chris Sturdy) and Canadian flag from​

Department of Psychology EDI

Songbird Neuroethology Lab Code of Conduct

  • Be professional. All members of the lab deserve equal respect and recognition. Everyone, regardless of experience level, has valuable insights to contribute. Professional conduct during work hours is expected, which includes:
    • Showing up on time when required
    • Not gossiping about personal lives of lab members
    • Being mindful when self-disclosing
    • Cleaning up your work space and communal space
    • Following all safety procedures
    • Treating equipment with respect
    • Accepting responsibility for your mistakes​
    • Communicating any problems clearly and in a timely manner to the Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Chris Sturdy
    • Coordinating time off and ensuring lab coverage during your absence with the PI and other lab members ​
    • Obtaining PI approval for time off, as allowed for your respective role (e.g., graduate student, summer student)
  • Learning is a priority. Helping others in the lab, sharing experiences, and troubleshooting resources that may be helpful to other members, is encouraged. Collaboration within the lab and with other members of the scientific community enriches everyone’s experiences; be open to suggestions. All questions are good questions and questions are encouraged.
  • Use welcoming and inclusive language. Exclusionary comments or jokes, threats, or violent language are not acceptable. Do not address others in an angry, intimidating, or demeaning manner. When speaking to or about others, make yourself aware of their preferred pronouns, and do not deliberately misgender others. Be considerate of the ways the words you choose may impact others. Offensive behaviour or comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, ethnicity, religion, or a person’s lifestyle choices and practices are not welcome in the Songbird Neuroethology Lab. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this, please discuss with the PI.
  • Ensuring physical and mental health in our lab members is paramount. Post-secondary education, and working in a laboratory in a post-secondary institution, can be stressful for laboratory volunteers, high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty members alike. Therefore, our number one priority is to do all that we can to ensure the highest levels of physical and mental wellbeing of every lab member. Taking care of ourselves and our colleagues is encouraged, supported, and highly valued.
  • Harassment is not tolerated. This includes unwanted physical, sexual or repeated social contact. Consent is not implied, and if you are unsure whether your behaviour towards another person is welcome, ask them. If someone tells you to stop, do so promptly. Respect the privacy and safety of others. Do not take photographs of others without their permission. Posting or threatening to post personally identifying information of others without their consent is a form of harassment.
    • How to proceed if you are being harassed:
      • If it is possible, tell the harasser that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask them to stop.
      • Keep a record of incidents (date, times, locations, possible witnesses, what happened, your response). You do not have to have a record of events in order to make a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case and help you remember details over time.
      • Make a complaint. If, after asking the harasser to stop their behaviour, the harassment continues, report the problem to one of the following individuals:
        • Dr. Chris Sturdy (SNL PI and Professor of Psychology)
        • Dr. Chris Westbury Westbury (Psychology Graduate Program Chair and Professor of Psychology)
        • Dr. Anthony Singhal (Psychology Department Chair and Professor of Psychology)
  • Ensure every member has the opportunity to participate both within the lab and in social work settings. In group meetings, keep comments succinct to allow engagement by all participants. Do not interrupt others on the basis of disagreement; hold such comments until they have finished speaking. Be considerate of dietary restrictions, familial obligations, religious observances, etc. 
  • If you see something inappropriate happening, a gentle reminder, in person, about the Code of Conduct is a productive response. If you believe a situation requires further intervention please feel welcome to approach the PI, a member of human resources, or Office of the Student Ombudsperson