Skip to main content


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 California Center for Algae Biotechnology (Cal-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 10-20hrs across 4-6 days a week.
  • Role requires students to arrive on time daily and contribute at least 1 hour 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.

In order to be considered for a volunteer role in the Mayfield Lab, email a copy of your resume to Frank Fields at