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The basaltic ocean crust is the largest aquifer system on Earth, yet the rates of biological activity in this environment are unknown. Low-temperature (<100 °C) fluid samples were investigated from two borehole observatories in the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, representing a range of upper oceanic basement thermal and geochemical properties. Microbial sulfate reduction rates were measured in laboratory incubations with 35S-sulfate over a range of temperatures, with microbial activity limited by the availability of organic electron donors. Thermodynamic calculations indicate energetic constraints for metabolism in the higher temperature, more altered and isolated fluids, which together with relatively higher cell-specific sulfate reduction rates reveal increased maintenance requirements, consistent with novel species-level dsrAB phylotypes of thermophilic sulfate-reducing microorganisms. Our estimates suggest that microbially-mediated sulfate reduction may account for the removal of organic matter in fluids within the upper oceanic crust and underscore the potential quantitative impact of microbial processes in deep subsurface marine crustal fluids on marine and global biogeochemical carbon cycling. Authored by C-DEBI researchers Robador, Jungbluth, LaRowe, Bowers, Rappe, Amend and Cowen.
Education & Outreach
C-DEBI: Application for Teacher Small Grants to open January 5, 2014!
The K-12 Teacher Small Grants program supports K-12 teachers who have attended a C-DEBI teacher-training program and have incorporated C-DEBI content into their classrooms. These awards up to $2500 support items including but not limited to the following: funds for student field trips, classroom supplies, travel for presenting C-DEBI curriculum at educator meetings, or additional professional development directly related to C-DEBI research. Proposals for funding should indicate how C-DEBI research content is being translated into the classroom and how the proposed activities connect to that content.See the website for a template for the proposal and more detailed information. Deadline for proposals: February 16, 2015. Questions: Cynthia Joseph, email@example.com.
Wrigley Institute: Geobiology 2015: An International Training Course in a Rapidly Evolving Field, June 19-July 21, 2015
Now entering it’s 12th year, the International GeoBiology Course (co-sponsored by C-DEBI) is an intense, multidisciplinary summer course exploring the coevolution of the Earth and it’s biosphere, with an emphasis on how microbial processes affect the environment and leave imprints on the rock record. Participants get hands-on experience in cutting-edge geobiological techniques including molecular biology, bioinformatics, geochemistry, petrology and sedimentology, and work in research groups to solve real research questions. GeoBiology 2015 is open to students and researchers at any level, although we give preference to graduate students in their early to mid years of study. Applications are due February 13, 2015.
This NSF-funded program will support ten highly motivated and talented undergraduate students to conduct independent but guided research that focuses on Coastal Ocean Processes at the Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) on Catalina Island, CA. What you’ll gain: students will gain hands-on research experience, training in laboratory and field methodologies, introductory lectures and seminars in oceanography and marine science, academic and career advisement, as well as opportunities to explore different parts of Catalina Island. Other benefits include: $500/week stipend, housing at the WMSC, reimbursement for travel from host institution (up to $500), and transportation between the WMSC and the mainland.Eligibility: we welcome applications from students who will have completed at least one year of undergraduate study by the summer of 2015 and plan to be enrolled as an undergraduate during fall of 2015. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents of the U.S. to be eligible for this program. For the 2015 WIES REU program, special consideration will be given to students who attend a university or college in Southern California and/or institutions with limited research training opportunities, but we encourage applications from all students nationwide who meet the NSF REU program’s requirements for eligibility (if you do not meet the NSF REU program’s requirements for eligibility and are currently an undergraduate student interested in gaining research experience, or engaging with researchers through media, communication, art or other medium as part of this REU program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org). We especially encourage students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields to apply. This program will be especially beneficial for undergraduate students with a strong interest in pursuing graduate school or a career in marine science and research. Competitive applicants will have at least a 3.25 GPA, one semester of chemistry, one semester of biology, and one semester of calculus or statistics. Contact: email@example.com. Applications due February 16, 2015.
C-DEBI: Now receiving applications for C-DEBI Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM) Summer Course!
The GEM Course is an all-expenses paid, four-week intensive introductory course in Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM) geared for early career undergraduates from 2 and 4 year colleges/universities that focuses on microbes found in aquatic environments investigated through authentic research experiences (students collect, process & interpret data). This residential course includes lectures, labs and fieldwork at USC, the Eastern Sierra Mountains, and on Santa Catalina Island.
Where: University of Southern California
When: June 7 – July 2, 2015
Who: Undergraduates from 2 or 4-year colleges
Cost: FREE, including travel, room and board plus modest stipend
Application Deadline: February 03, 2015
First generation college, women, and under-represented students are encouraged to apply. For further information, please email Cynthia Joseph, C-DEBI Diversity Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The NSF funded Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) can help you find a diverse pool of candidates in two ways:
- Announcement of your postdoc openings on the IBP Pathways to Science website. Here is a form for posting programs (including postdocs): http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/programform.aspx
- With lead-time, IBP can compile an undergraduate student list filtered by level of study and discipline from their database for recruitment for application to your graduate programs. Email Cynthia Joseph, email@example.com for assistance.
IBP hosts an extensive clearinghouse of REU and summer internships for undergraduates and a host of other information including graduate student fellowships and diversity resources. To read a summary of what they post, visit: http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/whatwepost.aspx. Questions? Email Cynthia Joseph, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings, Workshops and Activities
The workshop for scientific drilling in the Indian Ocean Crust and Mantle will bring together scientists to (1) provide an overview of the origin and evolution of the Southwest Indian Ridge including results of recent research, (2) obtain community input into science planning for Expedition 360 (the start of the SloMo Project to drill through the lower crust to Moho in the Indian Ocean), (3) form a proponent group for drilling the tectonic and geologic evolution of the Dragon Flag Hydrothermal Area on the Southwest Indian Ridge, and (4) promote new objectives for a 2nd round of JOIDES Resolution drilling in the Indian Ocean. The workshop will include a wide range of invited talks on tectonics, geochemistry, petrology, and crustal accretion in the Indian Ocean, as well as contributed talks and a poster session. For more information and to register, please visit: http://web.whoi.edu/indian-ocean-drilling/us-china-international-ocean-discovery-program-workshop/.
AGU: Deep biosphere-related sessions
- Session 1941: Wanted, Dead or Alive: microbes in the subsurface
Conveners Jennifer Biddle and Beth Orcutt
- Session 2277: Coupling between methane and nitrogen cycles revealed by geochemical and molecular approaches
Conveners Jennifer Glass, Joel Kostka, Joe Montoya
- Session 2707: The Thermodynamics of Life
Conveners Lindsay Hays, Michael New
- Session 3007: Illuminating Biological Dark Matter in Extreme Environments
Conveners Brandon Briggs and Eric Boyd
- Session 3050: Deep cycling of carbon within and beyond the limits of life
Conveners Mark Lever, Aude Picard, Clair Cousins
- Session 3102: Proof of Life: Cutting-Edge tools for metabolic rate measurements in environmental microbiology and astrobiology
Conveners Jeff Marlow, Shawn McGlynn
- Session 3700: Cyrptic cross-linkages among biogeochemical cycles: novel insights from the perspective of reactive intermediates
Conveners Scott Wankel, Colleen Hansel
… and don’t forget to stop by the IODP, ICDP, and ANDRILL Town Hall!Tuesday, December 16Posters and Reception: 6:00 – 8:00 pmPlaza Room A, Hilton Union Square (333 O’Farrell Street)
The deadline to apply is December 22, 2014.
Regional Graduate Network in Oceanography: Microbial and Geochemical Oceanography in Upwelling Ecosystems
Application deadline: January 15, 2015.
NSF: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS)
The Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) contributes to the IUSE initiative through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) funding opportunity. IUSE: GEOPATHS invites proposals that specifically address the current needs and opportunities related to undergraduate education within the geosciences community. The primary goal of the IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity is to increase the number of undergraduate students interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees and/or post-graduate degrees in geoscience through the design and testing of novel approaches for engaging students in authentic, career-relevant experiences in geoscience. In order to broaden participation in the geosciences, engaging undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups or from non-geoscience degree programs is a priority. The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation features two funding Tracks: (1) Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training activities (GEOPATHS-EXTRA), and (2) Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations and transfer (GEOPATHS-IMPACT). Letter of intent due January 05, 2015.
C-DEBI Special Call for Deep Biosphere Research Proposals
C-DEBI invites proposals for one-year projects that will significantly advance our central research agenda—to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in sediments and the crust. C-DEBI intends to fund 2-3 proposals in response to this call, up to $100,000 each. The deadline for this call is January 15, 2015.
Information on this expedition: http://www.eso.ecord.org/expeditions/357/357.php. U.S.-affiliated scientists should apply at: www.iodp-usssp.org/expeditions/apply-to-sail. Application Deadline: January 09, 2015. E-mail co-chief scientist Beth Orcutt (email@example.com) with any questions. To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition, life at sea, and how to apply to sail, please join us for a web-based seminar on Tuesday, January 6th at 12 PM Eastern. To register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and your institution, with Expedition 357 Webinar Registration in the subject line.
NSF: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)
Fellowship Competitive Area 1: Broadening Participation in Biology. Proposal deadline: January 08, 2015.
NSF: OCE Research Initiation Grants
The submission deadline is January 12, 2015.
National Academies Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
There are four annual review cycles and the next closes February 01, 2015.
NSF: Genealogy of Life (GoLife) program solicitation
Full proposal deadline: March 25, 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, related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).
Post-doctoral position in marine microbial ecology at the University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii is seeking a Postdoctoral Investigator to work with Dr. Matthew Church on a multi-institutional, international program conducting baseline studies of benthic biology in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone of the North Pacific Ocean. The work is being conducted as part of a contract to the University of Hawaii from UKSRL (UK Seabed Resources, LTD) to provide baseline studies on the diversity of benthic organisms in abyssal polymetallic nodule fields. The successful post-doctoral candidate will focus on assessing microbial diversity associated with the water column, sediments, and nodules in this region of the ocean. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in Marine Science, Oceanography, or Microbiology, with preference given to candidates with a background in microbial oceanography and ecology. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated laboratory experience with methodologies for evaluating microbial diversity, including next generation sequencing and computer-based bioinformatics tools. Must be able to work at sea as a member of a research team. Candidates must be able to participate in a ~40 day research cruise in early 2015. The position will be located at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, working in the laboratories of the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE). The initial appointment is for one year with re-appointment for subsequent years possible, contingent on satisfactory performance and funding availability. Applications should include a CV, statement of research interests, a one-page summary of research interests and experience, and names/addresses of three references. Postdoctoral stipends will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Application materials should be submitted to Matthew Church (email@example.com). Applications will be reviewed beginning December until position is filled, beginning on December 23, 2014. The successful applicant will be expected to start in early 2015. For additional information regarding the position, please contact Dr. Matthew Church (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Moore Foundation: Program Officer, Marine Microbiology Initiative
The Foundation is seeking an accomplished scientist with expertise in a biological, oceanographic or other field relevant to marine microbial ecology, a passion for broad scientific inquiry and advancement, and excitement about MMI’s goals.
Exxon Mobil: Postdoctoral Fellow – Microbiology
We are seeking a candidate to join a team executing programs aimed at understanding and manipulating microbial metabolism related to the oil and gas industry. Experience with hydrocarbon metabolism, community analysis, and metatranscriptomics/metaproteomics is desirable.
New Mexico State University: Assistant Professor / Environmental Soil Microbiology
Application closing date: December 31, 2014.
Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology: Postdoc position in marine biogeochemistry
All applications must be made online and received by January 01, 2015.
UCSC: C-DEBI research opportunities in Marine Hydrogeology and related fields
Andy Fisher anticipates bringing in one new PhD student and a new postdoctoral researcher for Fall 2015 (postdoc might start Winter or Spring 2016). Please contact Fisher (email@example.com) with questions and/or to express interest in one of these positions. Graduate student applications to UCSC must be completed by January 05, 2015.
Aarhus University: Professor in Geomicrobiology
All applications must be made online and received by January 15, 2015.
Application closing date: January 30, 2015
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, 014 and will continue until the positions are filled.
Don’t forget to email me with any items you’d like to share in future newsletters! You are what makes our deep biosphere community!