Scientist - Algal Physiology

La Jolla, CA & Calipatria, CA
Nov 03, 2020
Required Education
Position Type
Full time

At Synthetic Genomics, Inc., we are dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global challenges. We are currently seeking a Scientist in Algal Physiology, to join our dynamic and collaborative team to bridge lab-based efforts in La Jolla, CA with our production site in Calipatria, CA.

SGI is seeking a Scientist to join the Integrated Phototrophic Algal Biofuels team.  The program focuses on the development of advanced algal strains and their deployment at production scale facilities, for the advancement of renewable fuels.


  • Monitoring algal physiology in scaled up growth systems and providing strain improvement recommendations to the strain development team
  • Responsible for monitoring the algal physiology of improved strains as they are advanced through various scales of growth from lab to field
  • Operational recommendations to the agronomy, engineering, regulatory and strain advancement teams to maintain engineered growth and production characteristics
  • Interfaces with strain development, photosynthesis, strain advancement, agronomy and regulatory teams to prioritize workstreams
  • Understands genetic and physiological performance resulting from strain improvement
  • Works with agronomy to help design appropriate experimentation at scale for engineered strains on a case by case basis
  • Monitor engineered strains throughout phases of scaled up, implementing appropriate additional measurements
  • Provides comprehensive reports on progress of engineered strains with recommendations for further experiments and/or improvements
  • Works with research teams to design experiments to identify biological limitations within optimized production systems, including photobioreactors and open ponds
  • This position requires a demonstrated background in algal biology, phycology and/or physiology at either lab, production or environmental scales, preferably in an algal biofuel context, although all proficient algal physiologists will be considered.

Desired skills:

  • Working knowledge of algal biology and phycology, including physiology and biochemistry
  • Photosynthesis, including chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange measurements
  • Algal culturing methods and nutrient acquisition at both lab and field scales
  • Basic knowledge of algal molecular biology and familiarity with systems biology ‘omic tools (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics)
  • Understanding of algal lipogenesis
  • Technical communication skills in cross-disciplinary team environments
  • Ability to lead small teams in a matrixed environment


  • PhD in a Biology related discipline including microbiology, plant biology, marine, biology, oceanography/limnology or an associated field
  • Minimum of two to eight-years relevant experience, preferably including some level of biotechnology, industrial or other applied area
  • Experience in preparation of and working from SOP documents
  • Organized, highly motivated, innovative professional with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to independently design, execute, troubleshoot and analyze experiments and quickly formulate data-oriented hypothesis for further experimentation
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to facilitate internal and external scientific interactions
  • Previous experience with algal biofuels desired but not essential
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish a plus
  • 50% Travel to the California Advanced Algal Facility in Calipatria, CA