Prospective Volunteers

Volunteer Researcher in Aquatic Ecotoxicology

The Position:

The Segarra Lab seeks student volunteers to assist with aquatic ecotoxicological studies examining the effects of pesticides on aquatic invertebrate and vertebrate species. As a volunteer, you will gain research experience, which will strengthen your CV. This position has the potential to continue for the following school year and become a paid position (Student Assistant I-IV) for the right student, as needs arise.

The Research:

We are conducting studies to determine the effects of contaminants (e.g.; agricultural pesticides, fire retardants, tire rubber-derived chemicals) on fish behavior and gene expression. Volunteer responsibilities will include: care and maintenance of aquatic animals, assist performing toxicity exposure tests, behavioral tracking editing, helping with extracting DNA/RNA as well as glassware cleaning. The work encompasses expertise in ecology and environmental toxicology.

What we need from you:

Students are needed to assist with conducting experiments at various on campus and off campus (in Davis) locations. Working hours will be arranged according to your schedule, but a minimum of 8 hours per week is required. Because our research involves animals, we might request your help during weekends and/evenings. No experience is necessary and all training will be provided, but enthusiasm is key to success!

What will you learn?

  • Handling fish embryos, larvae and juveniles.
  • How to measure animal behavior
  • How to prepare, conduct, and analyze a toxicity test
  • How to clean contaminated glassware
  • Common laboratory practices such as maintaining cultures, preparing food and culture waters, measuring water quality, and recording daily health status, as well as lab upkeep
  • Accurate recording of data, data entry and data analysis
  • Working in a multidisciplinary lab to gain broad scientific experiences


Please provide the following information to Dr. Amelie Segarra:

  • 1) Name
  • 2) What is your major?
  • 3) What is your current year?
  • 4) When do you expect to graduate?
  • 5) What is your availability this quarter?
  • 6) Are you available at weekends? (Working with animals means that they dictate our work schedule)
  • 7) Any additional information you’d like to provide us with? (e.g., how did you choose what degree to follow? What aspects of science/research are you interested in? Anything fun we should know about you? – keep it brief)