Skip to content Skip to navigation

Lauren A. O'Connell

Lauren A. O'Connell

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor of Biology
pronouns: she/her/hers

I am interested in understanding how animals come up with new ways to face challenges and opportunities in their environment. These evolutionary innovations in physiology and behavior can teach us a lot about basic organismal biology, evolutionary mechanisms of adaptation, and how flexible organisms are to changing environments.

I grew up on a goat farm in rural Texas with a family of six. My parents are not academics and growing up low-income I did not have the social capital to navigate higher education. As a laboratory leader, I am committed to using my platform to hold myself and my academic community accountable by including and uplifting BIPOC, low-income, and first-generation students in the scientific process. My goal is for all the students I interact with to feel heard, appreciated, and valued. To become equipped for this goal, I have professional training in culturally aware mentorship and creating cultures of inclusion and belonging in laboratories.

When not in the lab, I am hanging out with my daughters and painting with watercolor. I participate in a book club with my siblings - we are currently reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad to educate ourselves about racism and reflect on our own white privilege. Our goal is to extinguish our white fragility so that we may better equip ourselves to combat racism in our own lives and communities.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers