C-DEBI Newsletter – June 16, 2014
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Meetings, Workshops and Activities

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series Seminar: Jason Sylvan, THIS WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 from 12:00-12:45pm PT, Online!
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) is a “networked” Science and Technology Center (STC), gathering expertise, ideas, and participation from institutions across the U.S. and around the world. C-DEBI runs the Networked Speaker Series as one means to enhance communication and the exchange of ideas via short (30 minute) presentations with time for questions and discussion. The series is presented live online for remote participants (login instructions will be distributed before the talk), and is recorded and available on the website for those unable to attend the live broadcasts. 

Missed the last Networked Speaker Series seminar with Luke McKay on "Approaching the high temperature boundary for life in the hydrothermally altered sediments of Guaymas Basin"? Watch it now online.

C-DEBI's next Networked Seminar Speaker is Dr. Jason Sylvan from the University of Southern California, Department of Biological Sciences:

Microbial life in old subseafloor basaltic crust
The aquifer in subseafloor basaltic crust is a massive, continuous microbial substrate, yet sparingly little is known about life in this habitat.  The work to date has focused largely on young crust at oceanic spreading regions and ridge flanks, where the basaltic crust is still porous and fluid flow through it is active.  Heat flow models predict that little fluid moves through subseafloor basalt >65 million years old, but recent work proves that seamounts, which are found throughout the seafloor, act as mid-plate conduits into and exits out of the subsurface aquifer for fluids and possibly microbes.  To determine if life does indeed exist in old subseafloor basaltic crust, I sampled 64-74 million year old extinct seamounts along the Louisville Seamount Chain in the southwest Pacific Ocean during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 330. Newly developed methods for quantifying subsurface microbes were applied to these samples, providing the first quantification of microbes in cores retrieved from subseafloor basaltic crust. Analysis of community DNA indicated archaea are extremely rare in this setting.  The most abundant bacterial classes detected were Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria, Sphingobacteria, Bacilli, Clostridia, Alpha-, Beta and Gammaproteobacteria.  Genera putatively carrying out hydrocarbon oxidation and nitrogen, sulfur and metal redox processes were commonly detected in core samples as well as enrichment incubations started during the cruise.  This work shows that old subseafloor basalt is indeed home to microbial communities that may have a significant impact on marine biogeochemistry. I will discuss these results in more detail and put them in context with previous studies of microbiology in subseafloor basaltic crust. 
  The Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM 2014) is a weeklong conference that will explore the link between microbiology, the subsurface environment, and microbial ecosystems. The conference will be held October 5-10, 2014, at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, U.S.A. The organizers are pleased to announce the Plenary Speakers for ISSM 2014:
  • C-DEBI Sediment Steering Chair Peter Girguis, Ph.D., Harvard University, on "Hot-wired: The Nature and Extent of Extracellular Electron Transfer in Hydrothermal and Hydrocarbon Systems"
  • Terry Hazen, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, on "Microbial Community Structure Predicts Groundwater Geochemistry"
  • Rainer Meckenstock, Ph.D., Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, on "Microbial Life in Oil"
  • Lars Peter Nielsen, Ph.D., Aarhus University, on "Tracking Electromicrobial Activity with Electric Potential Microsensors"
  • Aaron Packman, Ph.D., Northwestern University, on "Ecological Connectivity between Surface and Groundwater Systems"
  • Karsten Pedersen, Ph.D., Microbial Analytics Sweden AB, on "Cultivable and 16S rDNA Diversity of Archaea and Bacteria over Depth, Sample Site and Time in Hard Rock Aquifers"
  • Timothy Scheibe, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on "Scale Challenges in Utilization of Microbial Metabolic Network Models in Application-Scale Simulations"
  • Jack Schijven, Ph.D., National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), on "QMRAcatch — A User-Friendly Computational Tool for Microbial Quality Simulations of Fresh Water Including Risk Assessment"
To learn more about the Plenary Speakers and other conference topics, please visit

Ocean Leadership: Share Your Ocean Story with the BBC
Ocean Leadership has built a website to help BBC solicit ideas/content/contacts for their upcoming seven-part series follow-up to Blue Planet entitled Ocean: New Frontiers.

Proposal Calls

Deep Carbon Observatory: Deep Life Community (DLC) Calls for Proposals 
The DLC will accept electronic submissions until June 27 2014 for proposals to the Census of Deep Life to support high throughput sequencing of metagenomes or 16S rDNA amplicons of communities from the deep subsurface. For more information, go to: The DLC will also accept electronic submissions until June 30 2014 for proposals to address the broader DLC's decadal goals. For more information, go to:

IODP: Deadline Extended: Apply to Sail on Indonesian Throughflow
The deadline to apply to sail on International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 356 Indonesian Throughflow aboard the JOIDES Resolution had been extended to June 18, 2014. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; please visit:

National Academies Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
There are four annual review cycles and the next closes August 1.

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 November 15, 2014, related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).


University of Minnesota, Department of Earth Sciences: Assistant Professor in Geomicrobiology and Bioremediation  
The Department of Earth Sciences and The BioTechnology Institute (BTI) at the University of Minnesota seek applications for a tenure-track faculty position in the area of Geomicrobiology and Bioremediation. We are interested in a broad range of topics in geomicrobiology, microbiology, biogeochemistry, or related fields, with application in areas such as acid mine drainage bioremediation, dynamics of sulfate and nitrate removal, microbial bioremediation, biomining, and/or groundwater bioremediation. The appointment will be a 9 month (B-Term), tenure-track position at the assistant or associate professor level with responsibilities in research, teaching, and service. Review of applications will begin September 8, 2014; applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Expected appointment is Fall 2015. Questions may be directed to Prof. Chris Paola at

LUBEM, University of Brest (UBO), France: 12-month Postdoctoral Position
Interested candidates are encouraged to send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter outlining previous experience and support letters from 2 colleagues with first-hand knowledge of their work experience as soon as possible by e-mail to Gaëtan Burgaud ( See the flyer for more information.

Montana State University, Bozeman: Postdoctoral Researcher in Geomicrobiology
Screening of applications will begin on April 16, 2014 and will continue to be accepted until an adequate candidate pool has been established.

Texas A&M, College of Geosciences: 4 Faculty Positions
The search committee will commence review of applications starting 1 May and will continue until the positions are filled.

ABYSS: PhD and Post-Doctoral fellowships in Geodynamics, Mineralogy, Hydrodynamics, Thermodynamics and (Bio-)Geochemistry
We are now recruiting 10 PhDs and 1 post-doctoral fellow, including PhD position ESR11 in geobiology, "The ocean crust as microbial incubator." The deadline for application is June 1, 2014.
UNC-CH: Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor in Marine Environmental Genomics or Particle Dynamics
To apply for the position, please follow this link: Applications will be reviewed starting January 15, 2014

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!
Matthew Janicak
Data Manager
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
University of Southern California
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF 209, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
Phone: 708-691-9563, Fax: 213-740-2437

Exploring life beneath the seafloor and making transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.

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