Mayfield Lab Volunteer Opportunities

The Mayfield Lab, in the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD, conducts research into gene regulation in eukaryotic algae and the use of this algae for the production of human therapeutic proteins and as a platform for biofuel production. Research also involves developing molecular tools for algal genetic transformation. The lab is also part of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB) in the Food & Fuel for the 21st Century organized research unit at UCSD.

The Mayfield Lab offers opportunities to volunteers and 199 students to work under the supervision of graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and lab staff to assist in all aspects of the research, as well as at the greenhouse, algae growth room, and/or other science outreach projects. Volunteers should expect to be assisting in the transformation, growing, harvesting and processing of algae as well as some regular lab maintenance, including preparation of media, solutions and samples of cultured algae for analysis.

Program Goals

  • Familiarize students with an algae biotechnology research laboratory.
  • Offer students an opportunity to gain relevant laboratory skills and apply classroom knowledge.
  • Offer students an opportunity to perform and contribute to scientific projects.


  • At least one academic quarter or summer (~3 months), with renewals possible for up to a total of 1 year. Longer appointments will be considered based on exceptional performance.
  • Expected time commitment for Volunteers: at least 15-20hrs across 4-6 days a week.
  • Role requires students to arrive on time daily and contribute at least 1hr a week to general lab duties.
  • Role also requires students to attend lab meetings and all relevant training sessions.

Preferred Experience

2 years of college including courses in chemistry, cell biology, microbiology or ecology and 1 relevant laboratory course OR an equivalent combination of education and experience. Current UCSD students are given preference.


2013-14 Academic Year Application

There are currently a limited number of volunteer positions open for UCSD students for Fall 2013, continuing on through the 2013-14 academic year. There is a competitive application process to fill these positions, including interviews for those short-listed. At this time, applications received will be put into a repository, and reviewed as opportunities become available. Applications for 199 positions, however, will be reviewed upon receipt.

In order to be considered for a volunteer role in the Mayfield Lab, please complete the online application form and email a copy of your resume and transcript to wstegman @ ucsd . edu.