If you apply to work in my lab as an undergraduate, you should really want to do research, not just get a line on your CV. You don’t necessarily have to love with plants, or even know much about them! But you do need to be interested in genetics/genomics, bioinformatics, ecology, evolution, or agricultural weed science, so that this experience contributes to your professional development. Applicants should also provide evidence that they are hard working and self-motivated, and any experience working on a team is a bonus. Maybe the most important criterion for undergraduate researchers is curiosity about science—the more questions you ask, the better!
Undergraduate students will be incorporated into an existing project, in a capacity that will depend on their interests and career goals. Undergraduates enroll in Biol 190 Undergraduate Research Credit during the academic year, and need to commit from 5-15 hours a week to research (depending on the number of Biol 190 credits you take). I strongly encourage undergraduates to spend their summers working at least part-time in lab: hourly wages may be available, and your project will be greatly improved by spending this dedicated time focusing only on research. All lab members are also expected to attend weekly lab meetings during the academic year, to discuss primary literature and present research results. Additionally, senior undergraduates in lab often have opportunities to mentor more junior lab members.