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Stephen Mayfield, a world-renowned researcher who studies the use of algae as a biofuel, is leaving his post as the dean of graduate studies at The Scripps Research Institute for a faculty job at the University of California, San Diego.

Mayfield, who is also a co-founder of locally based biofuel company Sapphire Energy, will join a dream team of biofuels experts at UCSD. It includes Steve Kay, who is dean of UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences; Steve Briggs, who was recruited from the San Diego biotech Diversa; as well as Susan Golden and James Golden from Texas A&M University.

Mayfield and Kay have worked together for year, co-founding the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology.

“Together with our colleagues at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, we have assembled one of the world’s leading centers for algae biotechnology research,” Mayfield said in a UCSD news release. “I am very much looking forward to working with this team to make algae biofuels a reality.”

In January, I reported on Mayfield’s work, and the algae boom in general. And one of our top stories today by contributing writer Jonathan Parkinson examines jatropha, another plant that has received a lot of attention as a potential biofuel.

DAVID WASHBURN

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