Code of Conduct

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Our group is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and harassment-free experience for everyone, including lab members and visitors.

Philosophy We want to support and enable good science by creating a harassment and discrimination-free experience in an environment where everyone feels included. Such environments are not spontaneous but are created by the relationships and interactions we have with each other on a daily basis. Therefore, it is incumbent on all group members to help create a safe, inclusive, and harassment-free environment. Discriminiation or harassment based on racial or ethnic background, citizenship and residency status, religious beliefs and practices, political affiliation, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, dis/ability status, appearance or body size will not be tolerated. We do not tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form.


  • Be kind to others. Do not insult people in their presence or absence.
  • In general, assume that others are acting in good faith, especially when giving criticism or feedback.
  • Sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate.
  • Make an effort to make an inclusive environment for everyone.
  • Recognize that your actions can be hurtful to others or contribute to a negative environment, even if you had no negative intent. Listen to people when they call you out. Offer a genuine apology. Commit to learning and doing better in future.
  • Likewise, call out inappropriate behaviour. Address instances of negative actions, but in doing so, be gracious, give the benefit of the doubt, and be ready to forgive.
  • Communication–conversation, written, or online–should be appropriate for a diverse audience. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery are not appropriate at any time.

Note: Group members are expected to abide by these policies at all lab-related work events, including conferences, workshops, etc. both on and off campus.

Enforcement and Reporting

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of discussions, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing or discriminatory behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any concerns about potential violations, please contact Dr. Rackus immediately. Lab members can also submit an anonymous report using this form. If you are not comfortable bringing this up with Dr. Rackus, please reach out to Sarah Kovacs, graduate program administrator, the Office of Sexual Violence (; 416 979 5000 ext. 3596) or Human Rights Services (; 416-979-5349).

If inappropriate behaviour persists, the issue will be escalated according to Toronto Metropolitan University policies; for more information, please see Ryerson’s Equity & Community page.

Material in this code of conduct derives from Weecology Code of Conduct at the University of Florida (used under CC BY 4.0 license), the Whitaker Lab Code of Conduct (used under the MIT License), the Bahlai Lab Code of Conduct (used under the CC BY 4.0 License), and the Brown Lab Code of Conduct (used under the CC BY 3.0 License).