A colleague in my lab, let's call him Jim, has recently presented a poster at two different conferences containing largely my figures and analyses. I had generated 4/5 of the figures, which had taken months of analyses and work. I was fully credited on the work and listed as second author, I was not asked if the figures could be used however. Moreover, it is difficult to see Jim's substantial original contribution in the experimental design or analysis of the presented work. Jim also went on to win a non-trivial monetary prize for the poster, which I also had no knowledge of until recently. Most of our lab's work is formed from a collaborative effort, which I fully accept. I do however think that when presenting a poster of a project, you should have a substantial hand in the experimental design or analysis (excepting of course if you are presenting on behalf of someone who couldn't make the conference).
We are working on the same project, Jim has generated the data and I have analysed it and the PI has lead the direction. Jim is an experimentalist and I work in informatics. Jim is working on more experiments using some of the insights that came from the analysis, which is all well and good. These experiments only have preliminary results, which is why I think he went with my figures, as I had generated a fair few in my analyses and sent them on to Jim and the PI. In terms of driving and shaping the analyses, they have largely been led by the PI and myself. Jim has assisted, however contribution to forming conclusions about the analyses, or guiding which figures to generate, his contribution was minimal. For the record we are equal way through our PhDs.
Once Jim's experiments start to gel I'm sure our contributions will start to diverge, however it bothers me I wasn't consulted about use of the figures. We are both final year students, and I don't see lack of results as an excuse at this point. Use of 1-2 figures I would have been indifferent about, but 4/5? The poster prize definitely didn't help the situation. I am worried about my figures being used in Jim's thesis without consent or comprising the majority of future posters, for which he'll get majority credit.
Any advice on best way to handle this? Talk with Jim directly? Go the PI? Go my advisory head (who is external to the lab)? Or is this just the nature of highly collaborative labs?