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Lead Scientist - Algae Cultivation

Calipatria, California
Start date
May 2, 2024

Job Details

Viridos is a privately held biotechnology company mitigating climate change through low-carbon algae biofuels. Our unparalleled understanding of algal genetics and ability to translate innovation from lab to field underpins our initial deployment: a scalable platform to produce low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD) based on hyper-productive Viridos algae.  


Viridos is currently looking for a dynamic individual who can be part of a site leadership team at its California Advanced Algal Facility (CAAF – Calipatria, CA) driving the system and operational specifications needed for large-scale technology trials and demonstrations. The ideal candidate will also be a critical liaison to ensure connectivity between the operating site and senior technologists at the company’s main location (La Jolla, CA)


Job Responsibilities:   

  • In conjunction with other site leaders, plan and oversee algal cultivation from seed laboratory, through full pond operations, to harvested biomass;
  • Leverage culture health knowledge and experience in specifying and overseeing cultivation conditions, particularly in the seed train;
  • Set, maintain, control, and rectify needed process conditions – consistent with operations and research plans;
  • Provide key point of liaison between plant operations and La Jolla-based technical staff members;
  • Provide key point of liaison with on-site management – notably in production logistics and operational safety management;
  • Engage in hands-on subsystem design, continual improvement, and optimization;
  • Point-of-contact for material transfers to outside partners and stakeholders (e.g., for the coordination of algal product transfer);
  • Keep broadly abreast of pertinent technology developments – both at our La Jolla facility, and more generally (e.g., in the technical literature);
  • Serve as liaison with analytical chemistry resources: on-site, in La Jolla, and at external contract labs (when needed);
  • Contribute directly to needed technology documentation, including both operational records and R&D archivable updates and reports.

Required Qualifications:

  • This position is full-time, in-person based at Viridos’ Calipatria, CA location.
  • A Masters or Bachelors degree is required, and can be in any directly pertinent field: life sciences, chemical/bio process/mechanical engineering, or industrial engineering are strongly preferred.
  • At least seven years’ experience (preferably 10) in bioprocess or agricultural processing operations (pilot, demonstration, or commercial scale) – ideally associated with algal cultivation and processing.
  • Familiarity with algal biology and open cultivation systems (fundamentals) is strongly preferred; in some cases (with substantial analogous knowledge) learning on the job will be considered.
  • Successful end-to-end processing, including seed train through pond operations, is a strong plus.
  • Must possess and have demonstrated a strong safety mindset – consistent with Viridos corporate culture.
  • Demonstrated research planning skills in a team environment are essential.
  • Documentation skills – including laboratory records, operational records, test plans, and archivable RD&D learnings – are essential.
  • Must possess and demonstrate a mindset of full inclusion of all colleagues – again, consistent with Viridos corporate culture.

Estimated base salary range for a Lead Scientist is $110,000 - $180,000. Should the level of the role change during the hiring process, the applicable salary range may be updated as well.




Company info
11149 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla

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