C-DEBI Newsletter – November 15, 2018
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.

Message from the Director:

We are enjoying great talks, posters, company and weather at our Annual Meeting in Marina, CA, discussing current C-DEBI activities with our active research and education participants.


Jan Amend
C-DEBI Director


Publications & Press

IODP Expedition 385 Scientific Prospectus
Guaymas Basin Tectonics and Biosphere: feedbacks between continental rifting, magmatism, sedimentation, thermal alteration of organic matter, and microbial activity - NEW!
Andreas Teske, Daniel Lizarralde, Tobias W. Höfig

The Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California is a young marginal rift basin characterized by active seafloor spreading and rapid deposition of organic-rich sediments from highly productive overlying waters. The high sedimentation rates in combination with an active spreading system produce distinct oceanic crust where the shallowest magmatic emplacement occurs as igneous intrusion into overlying sediments. The intrusion of magma into organic-rich sediments creates a dynamic environment where tightly linked physical, chemical, and biological processes regulate the cycling of sedimentary carbon and other elements, not only in a narrow hydrothermal zone at the spreading center but also in widely distributed off-axis venting. Heat from magmatic sills thermally alters organic-rich sediments, releasing CO2, CH4, petroleum, and other alteration products. This heat also drives advective flow, which distributes these alteration products in the subsurface and may also release them to the water column. Within the sediment column, the thermal and chemical gradients created by this process represent environments rich in chemical energy that support microbial communities at and below the seafloor. These communities may play a critical role in chemical transformations that influence the stability and transport of carbon in crustal biospheres. Collectively, these processes have profound implications for the exchange of heat and mass between the lithosphere and overlying water column and may determine the long-term fate of carbon accumulation in organic-rich sediments.

Have an upcoming manuscript about the deep subseafloor biosphere and want to increase your press coverage? NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs is looking to coordinate press releases between your home institution and the NSF to coincide with the date of publication. Please contact us as soon as your publication is accepted!

MSU biochemist awarded grant to study how deep-sea microorganisms break down carbon - NEW!
Roland Hatzenpichler and his colleagues will board a submersible in November that will take them down 6,500 feet to the bottom of Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California to extract core samples of the hydrothermally active microbe-rich sediments found there. The scientists plan to use newly developed technology to research the samples to gain a better understanding of what microbes live in the sediments and what role they play in breaking down and converting carbon.

NBC News: Huge underwater volcano chain discovered off the coast of Tasmania - NEW!
The find offers a glimpse into a previously unknown marine ecosystem — and spotlights just how little we know about the seafloor. Featuring C-DEBI researcher Andrew Fisher.


Education & Outreach

C-DEBI: Next Professional Development Webinar: November 28, 9am PST - NEW!
Delphine Defforey, (Associate Editor at Nature Communications) leads the next C-DEBI Professional Development Webinar on “Scientific editing as a career.” The access URL for the webinar is Missed the most recent C-DEBI Professional Development Webinar on “Work-life Balance is Essential and also it can’t Possibly Exist” with Drew Steen (UTK)? Watch it on YouTube.

2018 Guaymas Basin Cruise Blog - NEW!
All Guaymas Basin and deep biosphere aficionados are thoroughly encouraged to join the 2018 R/V Atlantis expedition team via Andreas Teske‘s cruise blog! Expedition participants from Germany, Mexico and all over the USA (Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana, North and South Carolina, Texas) are convening today at the Port of Guaymas on the Gulf of California for a new deep-sea adventure with submersible Alvin and AUV Sentry.

CalTech: Geobiology 2019: An International Training Course in a Rapidly Evolving Field - NEW!
Now entering its 16th year, the International Geobiology Course is an intense, multidisciplinary summer course exploring the coevolution of the Earth and it’s biosphere, with an emphasis on how microbial processes affect the environment and leave imprints on the rock record. Participants get hands-on experience in cutting-edge geobiological techniques, learn from a broad team of eminent scientists in the field, and work in research groups to solve relevant questions. Geobiology 2019 begins with a 10-day field trip to the Mammoth Springs area of the Eastern Sierra, to study hot springs, ancient sedimentary rocks and fossils, and the modern biogeochemistry of Mono Lake, as well as the coast near Ventura, CA to see sulfur springs and a world-famous exposure of the Monterey Formation. The course then returns to Caltech in Pasadena for ~2 weeks of laboratory instruction and hands-on experience with many of Caltech’s cutting edge facilities and instrumentation. We finish with 11 days at the Wrigley Marine Center on beautiful Catalina Island, learning from a rotating cast of geobiology instructors and working on project data. Geobiology 2019 is open to all graduate students and postdocs interested in pursuing geobiologic research as a career. We expect to admit 16 participants this year via competitive admissions. Preference is generally given to those in the midst of their program, rather than at the very beginning or end. Postdocs with training in other fields who want to work in geobiology are encouraged to apply. Applicants from around the world, including developing nations, are encouraged to apply. Financial aid is available for those with demonstrated need. Applications are due by February 8, 2019.


Meetings & Activities

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series #21 now online!
Missed the latest Networked Speaker Series Seminar with Dr. Rosa León Zayas (Willamette University) on "Description of the microbial community composition and metabolic potential of a depth profile in the Tonga Trench from 400m in the water column to 2m below the seafloor?" Watch in on YouTube.

IODP-USSSP: Submit an IODP Workshop Proposal
The submission deadline is December 1, 2018.

AGU: 2018 Fall Meeting Deep Biosphere-related Sessions of Interest
Attending the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting in Washington D.C., December 10-14, 2018? Be sure to check out these C-DEBI-related sessions of interest! See also the Deep Carbon Observatory’s AGU Fall Meeting Guide. Missing a session of interest? Let us know!

Ongoing Activities:


Proposal Calls

NSF: Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS)
Full proposal deadlines: November 19, 2018 and August 5, 2019.

IODP: Apply to Sail on IODP Expedition 389
The deadline to apply is November 23, 2018.

NSF: Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) - Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)
GRIP applications are due December 4, 2018.

IODP-USSSP: Apply for a Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
The submission deadline is December 7, 2018.

NOPP: FY2019 Broad Agency Announcement
Proposal deadlines of December 21, 2018 and January 18. 2019.

NSF: Understanding the Rules of Life (URoL): Epigenetics
Full proposal deadline: February 1, 2019.

Rolling Calls:




Bigelow: Senior Research Scientist
For full consideration, the application should be received by November 30, 2018.

ASU: 2019 Exploration Fellowship in Earth and Space Science
Initial review of complete applications will begin on December 1, 2018.

Yale: Bateman Postdoctoral Fellowship
The deadline for receipt of all application materials is December 15, 2018.

WHOI: Tenure Track Staff Scientist- Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry
Review of applications will begin on December 17, 2018.

USGS: Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program - NEW!
We are looking to fill the Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Opportunity 17-9 Geology of Marine Mineral Deposits based at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California. This is a great opportunity for a motivated post-doc to develop their own research proposal related to the geology of marine minerals. Further information about the Mendenhall program may be found here. Applicants are encouraged to contact us early to discuss proposal ideas. Please note that non-US citizens can apply for the Mendenhall, but US citizens are generally given priority. Details about citizenship and other FAQ are found here. Positions are competitive and filled based on availability of funds and qualified applicants; the deadline for submission is Friday, January 18, 2019.

UNC Chapel Hill: Guaymas Basin postdoc opportunity - NEW!
The Teske lab is looking for a postdoc who is interested in sequence-based analysis of hydrothermal vent and subsurface microbial communities in Guaymas Basin, a sedimented, hydrocarbon-rich spreading center in the Gulf of California. The position provides excellent collaborative opportunities to link microbial taxonomy, physiology, genomics and biogeochemistry in this hydrothermal ecosystem. Start date: ASAP, 2 year duration. Contact: (in the field between Nov. 14 and Dec. 1)

TAMU: Instructional Assistant Professor

BMSIS: Postdoctoral Scholar Position Available in Evolutionary and Isotopic Enzymology

BIOS: Postdoctoral Scholarship in Oceanography

U South Florida: Two Tenure-Track Faculty Positions in Chemical and Geological Oceanography

Don’t forget to email me with any items you'd like to share in future newsletters! We will also broadcast this information on our social media outlets, Twitter and Facebook. 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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