Lab Culture

Hoekstra Lab Mission Statement

We are a diverse, international team of scientists that capitalize on natural variation to uncover general mechanisms about how organisms adapt to their local environments. We use an integrative approach combining experiments in both the field and the lab and work across disciplines from ecology, evolution and behavior to genomics, development and neurobiology.

More broadly, we aim to communicate our approach and scientific results to students, the larger scientific community and the general public with the goal of highlighting our scientific process as well as promoting evidence-based decision making.

In the pursuit of science, our lab aims to foster a collegial and collaborative environment with a focus on training and mentorship. In our community, we value curiosity, rigor, integrity as well as patience and humility. We respect and support each other both as scientists and as individuals. We endeavour to foster a diverse and inclusive environment in which all our members can fully participate, thrive and enjoy doing what we all love, science.


Statement of Solidarity, The Hoekstra Lab

10 June 2020

The Hoekstra Lab maintains a core mission to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in our laboratory, in our university, in science and in society.

We, the Hoekstra Lab, are horrified by recent events, including the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, which are shocking and painful reminders of the systemic racism that is embedded in the fabric of our society – from institutional racism that perpetuates inequity to overt acts of racist hatred and prejudice.


Science is not immune to racism. Indeed, racism has been inculcated into science throughout history and into the present day. Key concepts in evolutionary genetics have been, and continue to be, misused to justify, propel and support racism and racist ideologies. Today, Black scientists still face discrimination at every career stage – from hiring and promotion to securing research funding. And, Black colleagues experience everything from indignities to overt racism within our scientific communities.


As the Laboratory Head, I have been too silent in the past, and hence complicit in perpetuating racism in science. I acknowledge that I must play an active role in the fight against racism and stand up to injustice. I acknowledge that I will sometimes make mistakes, but it is my responsibility to educate myself, listen to others, work with my colleagues, and hold myself and lab members accountable to our core values. I will advocate for change, not only in our laboratory but also in our institution and field.

As a laboratory, we firmly believe equity, in and of itself, is essential. Therefore, together, we will actively promote a supportive working environment in which all scientists can thrive.


We urge fellow scientists to join us in combating racism and encouraging difficult conversations about racial inequities in our labs, institutions, and society.