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C-DEBI will return to the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco this December. We hope to see you at the exhibitors booth and many C-DEBI-related sessions such as Deep Biosphere Research: Presence, Diversity and Activity of Microbes (see more in the 8/1 newsletter). Tell us what other sessions/activities to advertise and we will see you there!
Also note that we have updated our Ethics Panel with Karen Lloyd as the new chair and invited Bill Orsi onto the committee to take over her previous postdoctoral representative role; Andy Fisher has also stepped in as the new ExCom representative. Thank you to Rick Colwell and Sharon Cooper for their continued commitment. Please visit the website for our Ethics Policies to learn more.
Schmidt Ocean Institute invites Expressions of Interest in collaborative research cruises on R/V Falkor in 2016. The 2015 research cruise planning process is in progress, and we anticipate that the R/V Falkor will be operating in the Western Pacific Ocean in 2015. The target region of scientific operations for 2016 will be determined based on the review of the Expressions of Interest received in response to this call. Submissions will be excepted through December 6, 2013.
NSF: Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF)
The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) offers postdoctoral research fellowships to provide opportunities for scientists early in their careers to work within and across traditional disciplinary lines, develop partnerships, and avail themselves of unique resources, sites and facilities. Full proposal target date: January 13, 2014.
Quantifying the rates of biogeochemical processes in marine sediments is essential for understanding global element cycles and climate change. Because organic matter degradation is the engine behind benthic dynamics, deciphering the impact that various forces have on this process is central to determining the evolution of the Earth system. Therefore, recent developments in the quantitative modeling of organic matter degradation in marine sediments are critically reviewed. The first part of the review synthesizes the main chemical, biological and physical factors that control organic matter degradation in sediments while the second part provides a general review of the mathematical formulations used to model these processes and the third part evaluates their application over different spatial and temporal scales. Key transport mechanisms in sedimentary environments are summarized and the mathematical formulation of the organic matter degradation rate law is described in detail. The roles of enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, temperature and biomass growth in particular are highlighted. Alternative model approaches that quantify the degradation rate constant are also critically compared. In the third part of the review, the capability of different model approaches to extrapolate organic matter degradation rates over a broad range of temporal and spatial scales is assessed. In addition, the structure, functions and parameterization of more than 250 published models of organic matter degradation in marine sediments are analyzed. The large range of published model parameters illustrates the complex nature of organic matter dynamics, and, thus, the limited transferability of these parameters from one site to another. Compiled model parameters do not reveal a statistically significant correlation with single environmental characteristics such as water depth, deposition rate or organic matter flux. The lack of a generic framework that allows for model parameters to be constrained in data-poor areas seriously limits the quantification of organic matter degradation on a global scale. Therefore, we explore regional patterns that emerge from the compiled more than 250 organic matter rate constants and critically discuss them in their environmental context. This review provides an interdisciplinary view on organic matter degradation in marine sediments. It contributes to an improved understanding of global patterns in benthic organic matter degradation, and helps identify outstanding questions and future directions in the modeling of organic matter degradation in marine sediments.
Pressure as an Environmental Parameter for Microbial Life — A Review in Biophysical Chemistry
Microbial life has been prevailing in the biosphere for the last 3.8 Ga at least. Throughout most of the Earth’s history it has experienced a range of pressures; both dynamic pressure when the young Earth was heavily bombarded, and static pressure in subsurface environments that could have served as a refuge and where microbial life nowadays flourishes. In this review, A. Picard and I. Daniel discuss the extent of high-pressure habitats in early and modern times and provide a short overview of microbial survival under dynamic pressures. They summarize the current knowledge about the impact of microbial activity on biogeochemical cycles under pressures characteristic of the deep subsurface. They evaluate the possibility that pressure can be a limiting parameter for life at depth. Finally, they discuss the open questions and knowledge gaps that exist in the field of high-pressure geomicrobiology.
Monday, November 4 – Friday, November 15, 2013
IODP: Education & Outreach Opportunities
Deep Earth Academy is compiling a list of enthusiastic IODP scientists and graduate students interested in sharing their science and career history with audiences of all kinds at one of the many events in which we participate or host. Please email a CV to Jennifer Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to join the team or if you have questions. We will let you know when there is an opportunity in your region. Thank you in advance for your time and commitment!
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!
Exploring life beneath the seafloor and making transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.