The Conner Lab is committed to creating a lab culture with a strong foundation in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which we feel is an essential focus in any lab. It is our hope that in creating an inclusive and equitable lab environment, we can not only welcome diversity but also ensure that individuals feel supported, respected, and valued in whatever role they may have, regardless of their backgrounds. Increasing the representation of historically excluded individuals in science is not only an ethical imperative, but also key to conducting better research by embracing diverse ideas and interrupting misleading biases.   

As a lab at a land grant university, it is important for us to acknowledge that the work we do takes place on Indigenous land. Michigan State University and the Kellogg Biological Station occupy the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. We affirm Indigenous sovereignty, history, perspectives, experiences, and knowledge, and we will work to hold Michigan State University more accountable to the needs of Indigenous peoples.  

As an evolutionary biology lab, we believe it is important to acknowledge the historical contribution of this field and many of its founders to the rise of eugenics. This pseudo-science has been used to justify white supremacy and forced sterilization programs, most notably in Nazi Germany. We also acknowledge that scientific racism persists in research today and will work to hold the field accountable. 

Resources at MSU