For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth’s largest global biomes. Although marine sediment covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, little was known about its global patterns of microbial diversity. A team of researchers from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Hyogo, the University of Kochi, the University of Bremen, and the University of Rhode Island delineated the global diversity of microbes in marine sediment. For the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, senior researcher at JAMSTEC, and his colleagues including URI Graduate School of Oceanography Professor Steven D’Hondt analyzed 299 samples of marine sediment collected as core samples from 40 sites around the globe. Their sample depths ranged from the seafloor to 678 meters below it. To accurately determine the diversity of microbial communities, the authors extracted and sequenced DNA from each frozen sample under the same clean laboratory condition.
We seek a biological oceanographer focused on understanding changing biological processes from the organismal to ecosystem levels. Areas of expertise may include, but are not limited to, food-web dynamics, benthic habitats, population ecology, and ecosystem modeling. The new hire will have access to the Marine Science Research Facilities, estuarine research on URI small boats, and the opportunity to participate in the active sea-going community of GSO on ships. Preference will be given to scientists conducting sea-going research in coastal or open-ocean regions. We invite applicants with a strong commitment to research, to excellence in teaching and mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students, and to outreach activities. The search will remain open until filled. First consideration will be given to applications received by 17 January 2017. Second consideration may be given to applications received by 15 February 2017.