Lauren A. O'Connell
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 and dreaming of one day getting back into raising goats and chickens.