Join the Lab

Potential Students

Join the labUndergraduate Volunteers (e.g., 497/499 students)
All undergraduate volunteers need to commit to a full year's worth of time in the lab. During the school year, we expect you to work AT LEAST 15 hours per week. During the summer, you are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week and preferably full time.

You will have your own project, with the goal of teaching you to be researcher. This means reading the primary literature and being responsible for your project. Our lab is best if you are planning to continue into graduate school. If you are interested, please send an email to Forest Rohwer to setup up an appointment.

Please note that a number of undergraduates in the lab are from local community colleges, UCSD, and USD. So if you are at another school, please feel free to apply.


Master Students
The lab usually has 2-4 Master students. Master students must get into the San Diego State University program in the SDSU Cell and Molecular Biology or Evolution programs ( Once you have applied and been accepted please contact Forest Rohwer for an interview.


PhD Students
The lab is always interested in potential PhD students. There are three options for PhD students in my lab:

  1. The Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) PhD program at San Diego State University is run in conjunction with the University of California, San Diego. Details can be found at The joint doctoral program provides a stipend (~US$22,000 per year) for all students.
  2. The Evolutionary PhD joint program between SDSU and UC, Riverside. Details at This program also provides a stipend.
  3. The Computational Sciences joint PhD program with Claremont Graduate University. Details are at This programs does not have guaranteed stipends.

To get a position in the lab you need to get accepted into one of these programs and you will be interviewed as part of this process. It is fairly hard to get into our PhD programs. You need to have GRE scores in the >75% range (both Verbal and Quantitative) and a GPA of 3.0 is an absolute minimum. 

Potential Post-Docs

The lab is fairly evenly divided into coral and viral people. We tend to do things with a "systems biology" approach (e.g., field work combined with molecular biology and mathematics).

I expect people to be independent. I'm most interested in trained post-docs who want to be research scientists. When applying for a post-doc, it is important that you choose someone who will give you a project to "make your own". I am happy to do this, but I will expect you to take advantage of the opportunity and learn to write grant, give talks, etc. I also expect you to train students as practice for when you run your own lab.

Funding for post-docs is limited. Practically, what that means is that you will need to find your own funding sources. I would be happy to work with you to get fellowships and write grants. Please look at the list here for potential sources of funding.

If you are interested, then please contact Forest Rohwer to set up a phone interview.

Visiting Scientists

Senior Scientist who want to collaborate
Please directly contact Forest Rohwer.

Scientists who want to learn our techniques for metagenomics (bioinformatics & lab)
The lab trains 20-30 people per year in viral isolations and bioinformatics associated with metegenomics. If you are interested, then please contact Forest Rohwer.

Lab Technicians

We have no open positions for lab technicians.