We are exploring the frontier of the "deep biosphere" – microbial life in the rocks and sediments below the ocean floor that makes up 70% of our planet’s surface.
Deep Life
Microbes “rust the crust” at Loihi Seamount (courtesy ROV Jason / WHOI)
This previously unknown Bacillus living 342 meters below the ocean floor is one of very few isolated from the subseafloor crust.

Studying these organisms will reveal important, novel, and basic insights into the unique metabolic features of microbes in the deep biosphere.
Novel Organisms
Left: Novel Bacillus cells producing spores and right: actively growing (scanning electron microscope (SEM) image courtesy Lily Momper / USC).

Background: Core samples from IODP Leg 206 (photo credit IODP-USIO).
About 0.6% of the Earth’s total living biomass is in subseafloor sediments. This finding updates previous estimates made in 1998.
Global Implications
Kallmeyer et al. 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
We require specialized technologies to collect and analyze samples from the deep biosphere, including sensors, samplers, and platforms, deep-sea submersibles, scientific drilling research ships, and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).
Science & Technology
deeplife_CORK_from Science News article.png
JOIDES Resolution scientific driling vessel (credit Arito Sakaguchi, IODP/TAMU)
Left: Science News illustration depicting a CORK deployment (credit Tony Randazzo / AAReps Inc.)

Above: HOV Alvin samples a hydrothermal vent (credit WHOI).
Get involved with our education, outreach, and diversity opportunities for teachers, K-12, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctorals in our quest to train and foster the next generation of deep biosphere researchers.
Training & Outreach
IMG_1100_Ann Close GEM 2011.JPG
C-DEBI's undergraduate summer GEM course (credit Ann Close, USC)


Recent LA Times Article

A hearty congratulations to USC postdoctoral researcher Alberto Robador, for being featured in the LA Times for his collaborative C-DEBI research (see the Frontiers paper, C-DEBI Contribution 249, as well as the USC press release, and infographic)!

Apply for Community College Internships

Community College Research Internship for Scientific Engagement (CC-RISE) is an eight-week, paid, summer research internship program where students gain firsthand exposure to the scientific process by working in a faculty-led research lab at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) or Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA.

MBL Application Deadline: March 13, 2015
UCSC Application Deadline: March 16, 2015


Community Activities and Opportunities

The Scientist
The Energy of Life
Marlow and Amend

Subseafloor Biosphere Linked to Hydrothermal Systems
Ishibashi, Okino, Sunamura, eds.

Request for Articles: Frontiers in Microbiology special issue
A special issue of Frontiers in Microbiology journal on the topic of "Recent Advances in Geomicrobiology of the Ocean Crust" is seeking contributions from the C-DEBI community. For more information, contact topic editors Beth Orcutt, Cara Santelli, or Jason Sylvan, or visit the journal webpage.

Recommended Practices for Integrating Education, Diversity, and Research: Five Lessons Learned from NSF Science and Technology Centers Bruno et al. C-DEBI Contribution 231

Frontiers in Microbiology
Marine sediments microbes capable of electrode oxidation as a surrogate for lithotrophic insoluble substrate metabolism
Rowe et al. C-DEBI Contribution 255

Elsevier: Developments in Marine Geology
Earth and Life Processes Discovered from Subseafloor Environments, 1st Edition
Chapters 2.2(b), 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 4.22 are C-DEBI Contributions 246, 230, 224, 207 and 228

Dorado Outcrop: AT26-24 with the Submersible Alvin, November 30 - December 12, 2014, Expedition Report
Wheat et al.

See our complete list of publications.

L'Oréal USA: For Women in Science Fellowships
Applications are due on Friday, March 20, 2015.

IODP: Apply to sail on Expedition 362 Sumatra Seismogenic Zone aboard the JOIDES Resolution
The deadline to apply is April 15, 2015.

CIFAR/GBMF: Call for Proposals for Workshops in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution
Proposals are due MondayMarch 9, 2015.

NSF: Genealogy of Life (GoLife) program solicitation
Full proposal deadline: March 25, 2015.

ECORD: Research Grants for Graduate Students and Postdocs at ECORD Country Institutions
Deadline: March 31, 2015.

NSF: Dimensions of Biodiversity Program Solicitation
Full proposal deadline: April 09, 2015.

National Academies Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
There are four annual review cycles and the next closes May 01, 2015.

IODP-USSSP: Proposals for Pre-Drilling Activities and Workshops
The U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) accepts proposals on a rolling basis for pre-drilling activities and semi-annually for workshops, next submission deadline May 15, 2015.

The Data Incubator: Winter Data Science Fellowship Opportunity

WHOI: Woods Hole Partnership Education Program, June 1 - 26
Priority in admissions and financial support will be given to students who have applied on or before February 20, 2015.

C-DEBI: Apply for Community College Internship (CC-RISE)
MBL Application Deadline: March 13, 2015
UCSC Application Deadline: March 16, 2015

Stanford: Hopkins Microbiology Course, June 19 - July 18
Application deadline: March 1, 2015.

Bigelow: Third Microbial Single Cell Genomics Workshop, June 14-18, 2015, Boothbay Harbor, ME

12th Annual Southern California Geobiology Symposium: University of California, Riverside, April 11, 2015 The due date for abstract submissions and registration is March 6, 2015.

Astrobiology Science Conference 2015: Habitability, Habitable Worlds, and Life, June 15-19, 2015, Chicago, IL
The deadline for abstract submissions is Wednesday, March 4. There are many session groups relevant to the C-DEBI community, including "Extreme Earth: Omics Research on Microbial Communities, Their Chemistries, and What it Means for Life in the Solar System" (Organizers include C-DEBI Researcher Katrina Twing (Michigan State University)).

IODP: Workshop for Scientific Drilling in the Indian Ocean Crust and Mantle

IODP: Investigating Cascadia Subduction Zone Geodynamics Through Scientific Ocean Drilling; April 29 - May 1, 2015; Seattle, Washington
The deadline to register is March 15, 2015.

See our calendar for upcoming events throughout the year.

UTK: Professor and Head Department of Microbiology, The College of Arts & Sciences
Review of applications will begin on March 31, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

UAF: Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Chemical Oceanography, SFOS
For full consideration applications should be received by March 1st, 2015.

Moore Foundation: Program Officer, Marine Microbiology Initiative

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Postdoctoral Fellow in microbiology (“microbial dark matter” biology)
The review of materials will begin December 01, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography: Two Tenure Track Faculty Positions in Oceanography
The committee will begin to review applications on October 24, 2014 and will continue until the positions are filled.