Lab guidelines

The following are guidelines to help foster a positive research environment in the lab:

  1. Follow the Golden Rule and treat others as you’d like to be treated.
  2. To manage availability of items used in the lab, permission from Paul is required before any item is given or loaned to folks outside of the lab. In addition, permission is required before anyone outside of the lab uses items from the lab.*
  3. Permission is required from Paul before any data, specimens, techniques or any other intellectual property is given or loaned to folks outside of the lab. This includes transcribed label data, geographical coordinates, specimens we have borrowed on loan, measurements, etc.
  4. Lab members should be trained to use the (i) Visionary Digital Passport including its cameras, (ii) Leica stereomicroscope, (iii) Ocean Optics spectrometer, (iv) Techne thermal cyclers, and (v) Eppendorf centrifuge first before using. If you’re unsure how to properly use a piece of equipment, ask Paul.
  5. If you are unsure about any laboratory protocols or methods please ask. Ideally you should ask right away. However, if later you find you’re uncertain then asking later is better than not asking at all.
  6. Paul’s office number is (540) 231-5653 and his cell is (540) 204-7822. If there is a serious emergency (e.g., fire, severe injury, etc) then call 911 immediately, and then call Paul. If there is a lab emergency (e.g., leaking ceiling, the lab is unusually hot, freezer alarm will not turn off, etc.), call Paul immediately (anytime is fine). If it is not an emergency, please do not call or text between 9pm and 7am.
  7. Laboratory resources and equipment are for research use only and not for personal use. (This includes using the printer.)
  8. If any laboratory equipment is damaged or lost then notify Paul immediately.
  9. Permission from Paul is required before any purchase is made from laboratory accounts.
  10. Lab computers, wi-fi routers, passwords, thermocyclers, and other other equipment are managed by Paul. If you do not know how to use a computer, program, or equipment item in the lab then see Paul first. Do not contact IT or VTHELP yourself; instead, notify Paul and he will contact them for you.
  11. The lab truck is available for research use only. Drive carefully and keep in mind you are representing Virginia Tech and the Department of Entomology while in the vehicle. Be courteous and do not speed or drive recklessly. When finished with the vehicle, be sure to refuel from the motorpool, include any gas receipts, and fill out the travel log in the vehicle or the travel card in the wallet of the key chain (if a motorpool vehicle). Do not leave any trash in the vehicle and broom-clean it after use.
  12. No food is to be consumed or stored on the molecular side of the lab. Please tidy up crumbs and spills quickly, and clean up after yourself.
  13. Clean latex gloves must be used to replace light source bulbs.
  14. Optics should only be cleaned with lens paper and purple cleaning solution (not Kim-wipes of microfiber cloths). Internal optics (not facing out) should not be touched, and help should be requested from Paul.
  15. When anyone visits the lab, greet them and ask them if they need help.
  16. The laboratory door is not to be propped open (unless temporarily when noxious odors emanate from the lab next door or if the lab’s temperature is too high or low). When unoccupied, or when leaving the laboratory for any reason, the door is to be closed and locked.
  17. Anyone working in the lab must be familiar with and be able to find the Chemical Hygiene Plan, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), chemical spill kit, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, eye washes, and emergency shower.
  18. Press from any research conducted with laboratory resources must acknowledge the work was carried out in the Marek Lab in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech.
  19. Images captured with Marek lab equipment must be under a CC-BY-NC 3.0 license and credited accordingly: “Your Name, Marek Lab, Virginia Tech, millipedes.ento.vt.edu”. (Digitization of specimens for the NSF CSBR project on SCAN must be CC0.)
  20. Except for emergencies, notify Paul by email (and CC the other graduate students) at least one day in advance of laboratory absences (Monday – Friday). If you are unable to keep an appointment or any scheduled event in the lab, notify Paul one day in advance. Paul will notify graduate students when he is out of town for periods longer than 5 days. (If you make the decision to stay home during inclement weather—it’s up to you of course—then email or text Paul that morning telling him that you don’t plan to come into lab that day.)
  21. Graduate students in the lab are responsible for flushing the eye wash stations weekly and documenting this maintenance in the log book, and checking the fire extinguisher (for rust, discoloration) monthly and document this maintenance on the log tag.
  22. If you expect Paul to pay for your scientific meeting where you are presenting on research conducted in the lab and/or completed using lab resources, then you must discuss your research presentation with Paul and your plans for presenting it at a meeting at least one month before you register for the meeting. *When you are presenting about research conducted in the lab, you’re representing the Marek lab, Entomology, and Virginia Tech and as advisor I need to see and approve the presentation and overall message. Of course I know that you wouldn’t do this, but I want to avoid folks from my lab presenting odd, offensive, or otherwise inaccurate things. (I have seen this at meetings by the way!) If you don’t want to do this (you’re free to do what you want!), then you cannot put other folks from the Marek Lab as authors on the presentation (including myself), cannot cite the grant, and I will not pay for the meeting.
  23. When applying for collecting permits you must include all other current graduate students in the Marek Lab and Paul as co-permittees for the final issued permit.

* Except the Nanopure water filtration system, which is shared by several researchers in Latham Hall.

Version 2 May 2019