A team of researchers from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and their collaborators have revealed that the abundant microbes living in ancient sediment below the seafloor are sustained primarily by chemicals created by the natural irradiation of water molecules. The team discovered that the creation of these chemicals is amplified significantly by minerals in marine sediment. In contrast to the conventional view that life in sediment is fueled by products of photosynthesis, an ecosystem fueled by irradiation of water begins just meters below the seafloor in much of the open ocean. This radiation-fueled world is one of Earth’s volumetrically largest ecosystems. The research was published today in the journal Nature Communications.
The Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) at the University of Rhode Island invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor within the broad specialization of chemical oceanography or marine chemistry, including research on the human impact on the Earth’s oceans. We seek applications from researchers who specialize in chemical oceanography or marine chemistry, particularly with a focus on carbon cycling. The new hire will enter the vibrant research community at URI and the many neighboring academic institutions within New England. We invite individuals with a strong commitment to research, excellent teaching and mentorship at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The search is open until filled; first consideration will be given to applications received by February 28, 2021.
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.