In August 2014, I gave an oral presentation at the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) 15th International Symposium in Seoul, South Korea highlighting interesting findings from work looking at the active autotrophic community of the subseafloor. My talk was part of the session entitled “Microbiomes of marine ecosystems: key functions from the cryosphere to the deep biosphere” which hosted an array of talks discussing various aspects of extreme life. Subseafloor communities have the potential to influence ocean biogeochemistry and, in particular, the chemolithoautotrophic populations could potentially provide a large amount of new production to the deep sea. Yet the contribution of and the mechanisms behind the different redox-driven autotrophic metabolisms and the extent of the carbon produced from these metabolic reactions have not been well described. Our findings, using both ‘omics and RNA-SIP techniques, show the presence of an active and metabolically diverse subseafloor chemolithoautotrophic community. Our RNA-SIP results also show there are specific taxonomic groups and autrophic metabolisms that dominate at the different temperatures of the subseafloor. Thanks to the support of C-DEBI, I was able to present this work at the high profile international ISME conference and as a result was also able to learn about other exciting new research scientists are doing to further explore subseafloor life.
AbstractGlazer was invited to participate on the expedition to perform three primary objectives: (i) provide in situ electrochemical surveying and profiling, (ii) deploy and recover temperature loggers at diffuse flow sites of interest, (iii) collaboratively work with Sean McAllister and Dave Emerson on shipboard iron oxidation rate experiments that had been pioneered during the 2013 Loihi expedition. As a result of the in situ electrochemical analyzer (ISEA) being damaged during shipping to Guam, the ISEA was nonfunctioning during the first few days of setting up on board. Glazer worked to diagnose the problem and discovered two independent issues: (i) the two pin power bulkhead connector had been damaged in transit, thus providing only intermittent power to the CPU board upon initialization, and (ii) the RAM on the CPU board was damaged, preventing a successful boot sequence of the instrument. Glazer rewired the instrument endcap to supply power to the instrument through spare pins on an alternate bulkhead connector, but unfortunately, no spare RAM was available on Guam, or possible to receive via shipping in time for the expedition. Subsequently, Glazer and chief scientist, Craig Moyer agreed that staying on the expedition wouldn't have been the most productive use of Glazer's time. Glazer reviewed the temperature loggers use with Moyer and Emerson, and reviewed the procedures for the iron oxidation experiments with McAllister prior to departure to salvage as many objectives as possible.
AbstractAs part of my presentations at 2 different workshops (Teach Marine Biology Instead of Biology to all State Standards, and Achieving High Biology Test Scores and Motivation in Urban High Schools, I spent about 10 minutes discussing C-DEBI, Adopt a Microbe, Joides Resolution cruise and Skype opportunities. A total of 163 teachers heard the prsentations and saw the Powerpoint presentation which included C-DEBI. At the CSTA conference workshop co-sponsored by COSEE, Teach Marine Biology Instead of Biology to all State Standards DK assisted, as did Gwen Noda and Linda Chilton. I further explained to the primarily high school and some middle school teachers present the availability of Lesson Plans linked to C-DEBI mission and goals in the content subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and research for/by an Honors Marine Biology Class.
AbstractAs the postdoctoral program advisor, I would like to be able to network with our existing postdoctorals and make sure they are meeting members of C-DEBI. Additionally, I have offered to host a C-DEBI get together so that the community can network.
I have been invited to sail as a microbiologist and observatory scientist on the 2012 RV Merian cruise with ROV Jason-II to visit the North Pond subsurface observatories installed during IODP Expedition 336 (see letters of support from Dr. Katrina Edwards and Dr. Wolfgang Bach). The purpose of this expedition is to service CORK observatory systems in the ‘North Pond’ location of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for coupled hydrogeological, geochemical and microbiological analysis. I sailed as a microbiologist and observatory scientist on IODP Expedition 336 and was responsible for assembling the subsurface and seafloor microbial colonization experiments that were a central feature of the observatories. During the 2012 RV Merian cruise, I will be integrally involved in the assembly and installation of seafloor microbial observatory components for these CORKs and also with the collection and processing of sediments and rocks sampled during the cruise. I was chosen for this position based on my previous history of designing the observatory components and participation in 7 research expeditions to deploy, recover, service and analyses these instruments.
AbstractThis appeal is for financial support for the 20 selected Animo High School students who are part of the C-DEBI collaborative. These students, chosen on their merits and determination to pursue a career in science, have been afforded considerable opportunities thru this collaboration. They are part of and lead the QuikSCience and National Ocean Science Bowl team, five have attended the Coastal School for Girls in Maine, and four have participated in USC internships with Dr. Caron (Young Researchers) and in Dr. Edwards’ lab. They regularly attend out-of-school lectures presented by First Fridays, COSEE-West and the Long Beach and Cabrillo Aquaria. A highlight of their continued enrichment in marine science is their organization of a three day marine science trip to a venue in California to visit among other locations Montana del Oro Tide pools, Monterey Bay Aquarium, MBARI, Elkhorn Slough, UCSC Wheat/Fisher Laboratories, J. Pfeiffer campground, and Elephant Seal rookery.
I presented a poster at the GRS and GRC titled “Metagenomic evidence for primary production fueled by serpentinization” that summarizes my ongoing work to identify autotrophic organisms in serpentinite-hosted subsurface ecosystems. The particular focus of this poster was to identify intriguing connections between several marine and continental sites of serpentinization in order to gain greater insight into biogeochemical process in ultramafic subseafloor habitats, which are currently inaccessible to the large-scale metagenomic techniques we are employing. This conference represented an opportunity to share my research with a community of researchers who are mostly unaware of our work but share common interests. In addition to the many techniques that we have in common, the questions of microbial biogeography that are inherent to our research direction also drive the work by many other marine microbial ecologists who do not necessarily study the subseafloor.
My attendance at the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on Marine Microbes, which had a focus of metagenomic analysis of microbial communities, allowed me to learn more about how next generation sequencing techniques and data analysis is being used in the field of marine microbiology so that I may apply it to the subsurface serpentinite environment. At both the seminar and the conference, I presented a poster entitled “Biogeography of Functional Genes in Serpentinization-Driven Ecosystems,” in which I outlined the analysis methods used to identify and compare functional genes necessary for the metabolism of volatiles produced during the geochemical process of serpentinization. The conference was incredibly informative and allowed me to make contacts for potential future collaborations.
AbstractPat Harcourt and Mark Friedman presented a session on the C-DEBI project and subseafloor microbes for teachers in grades 7 – 12 at the National Marine Educators Association annual conference held in Anchorage, Alaska in June 2012. The C-DEBI research and technology served as an engaging and exciting focal area for teachers who want to incorporate marine science into their curricula. Pat worked with C-DEBI education specialist Cindy Joseph to develop lessons and activities that integrated marine biology, geology, technology, and the process of science. This session highlighted three classroom lessons. In an activity on the discovery of microbes below the sea floor, participants were required to construct a timeline of events based on reading excerpts from “Is Life Thriving Deep Beneath the Seafloor?” (Carl Wirsen, Oceanus, 2004) and track the evidence for microbial life in extreme marine environments. A size and scale activity required participants to place images of familiar objects along a greatly magnified size scale, then add images of newly discovered marine microbes to the scale to provide a sense of their sizes. A demonstration activity was presented to illustrate the work of microbiologist Richard Lenski on bacterial evolution and use of resources, and participants discussed how microbes could evolve to exploit new and extreme environments. Participants shared teaching ideas and strategies for using these lessons as well as resources from the C-DEBI web site.
The Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM) is a central microbial activity in marine sediment experiencing upward migration of this potent greenhouse gas. In the Gulf of Cadiz (East Atlantic margin), over 30 mud volcanoes act as important methane escape pathways from deep-rooted hydrocarbon reservoirs toward sediment surface, and fuel active AOM microbial communities. These mud volcanoes span a wide range of water depths (300 to 2300 m deep), temperatures (4 to 13 °C), salinities (brackish to saturated brines), methane fluxes, geofluid composition and sediment depths. They hence constitute an ideal natural laboratory to study shifts in microbial community structure, functional gene repertoires and expression along these natural gradients. In a recent study (Maignien et al., in press), we have examined how AOM-mediating microorganisms can thrive up to saturated salinity in the center and rim of the Mercator mud volcano. This study raised numerous hypothesis regarding functioning of anaerobic methanotroph Archaea, and electron transfer during methane oxidation. Thanks to the support of C-DEBI, the results of this study could be presented in the 14th meeting of the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME14, August 19-14 2012), in Copenhagen. The talk, which was part of the “Microbial Life in Extreme Environments” session, sparked some interesting discussions that were a great incentive to continue the work!
My experience at the 2014 Goldschmidt Conference in Sacramento was very positive. I presented the Keynote lecture in the session 18f: “Life and Death: Molecular Biomarkers to Study Current and Past Ecosystems”, which was well received by many colleagues whom I spoke with after the talk who clearly had strong interest in the work. The presentation that I gave was also highlighted by the Goldschmidt conference in a press release, and was highlighted by several news agencies. Following the publication of the Goldschmidt press release, I was interviewed by a science reporter from Science Now at the LA Times, who published another research highlight on my work in the LA Times. Since being published in the LA Times, this story has been published on numerous other science websites including Geochemical News, ScienceDaily, and Science World Report. By taking part in the session, I was also able to network with several other presenters and organizers of the session and discuss ideas for future collaborative work and proposals. Establishing these connections will hopefully lead to successful proposals that I will write together with new collaborators. I am very grateful for the support from C-DEBI that allowed me to attend the Goldschmidt Conference, and I am excited about new products that will result from future C-DEBI supported research.
AbstractMark Friedman presented the workshop "Teach Marine Biology in Lieu of Biology" at the 2010 National Association of Biology Teachers conference in Minneapolis. This comprehensive biology course for high school students focuses on marine life and covers all California State Biology Standards. Developed by Los Angeles area high school teachers who currently teach Biology and Marine Biology with support from COSEE-West, online and sample materials (lesson plans, labs, activities, games, puzzles, web interactives, movies with thought questions, web quests, etc. with many resources available in Spanish for ELL) were introduced. The workshop also introduced educators to the new C-DEBI project including the “Adopt a Microbe” effort, the ability to SKYPE the Joides Resolution from classrooms, and the forthcoming materials like lesson plans and activities that will be developed by teachers and students associated with C-DEBI.
My attendance at this conference promoted oceanic subsurface microbial observatory research in general and also encouraged future collaborations with the terrestrial subsurface research community, as well as promoting the educational goals of C-DEBI. I presented results of the collaborative research in development and use of oceanic subsurface microbial observatories in the AGU Session H52: “Rocks, Fractures, Fluids and Life; Insights from Underground Research Laboratories”. I highlighted the ongoing observatory work being conducted on the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, a central focus of the C-DEBI program. In addition, I presented information about the “Adopt A Microbe” (AAM) education and outreach project in the AGU Session ED17: “Teacher Professional Development Programs Promoting Authentic Scientific Research in the Classroom”. AAM was a custom internet-based project of IODP Expedition 327 to promote interactive learning about microbial life in the deep biosphere. With encouragement from the Deep Earth Academy, I presented information about how the project was developed and provided user-feedback to help a future generation of expedition educators develop similar programs. I also volunteered at the C-DEBI vendor booth at the AGU conference, to further promote CDEBI to the research and education communities.
Glazer’s participation on the AT18-07 expedition to the Juan de Fuca Ridge Flank was part of a collaborative effort researching geochemistry and microbiology of subsurface fluids obtained from CORK observatories. During this cruise Glazer’s primary goals were to conduct in situ electrochemical and optical oxygen measurements during real-time fluid sampling on ROV Jason-II, and to recover and redeploy an in situ electrochemical analyzer on a time-series instrument sled (GeoMICROBE) deployed to 1301A in 2010. In combination with temperature and optical oxygen measurements, in situ voltammetry was a useful real-time diagnostic indicator of successful connection to the CORK Fluid Delivery System. Preliminary results suggest delivery of fluids to seafloor samplers during AT18-07, especially at 1362B and 1362A, were highest integrity, lowest oxygen, formation fluids collected to date.
I have been invited to sail as a Microbiologist on IODP Expedition 336 (X336). The purpose of this expedition is to install CORK observatory systems in the ‘North Pond’ location of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge for coupled hydrogeological, geochemical and microbiological analysis. This expedition is one of the three current focus sites of C-DEBI for deep biosphere research. During this cruise, I will be integrally involved in the assembly and installation of the microbial observatory components for these CORKs – a critical component of these experiments. I was chosen for this position based on my previous history of designing the observatory components and participation in 6 research expeditions to deploy, recover, service and analyses these instruments. I have hands-on experience with microbiology experiments in CORKs based on my participation in the recent IODP Expedition 327 to the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank.