C-DEBI Newsletter – June 15, 2018
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Publications & Press

Frontiers in Microbiology
Sediment Microbial Communities Influenced by Cool Hydrothermal Fluid Migration - NEW!
Laura A. Zinke*, Brandi Kiel Reese, James McManus, Charles Geoffrey Wheat*, Beth N. Orcutt*, Jan P. Amend*
*C-DEBI Contribution 430

Cool hydrothermal systems (CHSs) are prevalent across the seafloor and discharge fluid volumes that rival oceanic input from rivers, yet the microbial ecology of these systems are poorly constrained. The Dorado Outcrop on the ridge flank of the Cocos Plate in the northeastern tropical Pacific Ocean is the first confirmed CHS, discharging minimally altered <15C fluid from the shallow lithosphere through diffuse venting and seepage. In this paper, we characterize the resident sediment microbial communities influenced by cool hydrothermal advection, which is evident from nitrate and oxygen concentrations. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that Thaumarchaea, Proteobacteria, and Planctomycetes were the most abundant phyla in all sediments across the system regardless of influence from seepage. Members of the Thaumarchaeota (Marine Group I), Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodospirillales), Nitrospirae, Nitrospina, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes were enriched in the sediments influenced by CHS advection. Of the various geochemical parameters investigated, nitrate concentrations correlated best with microbial community structure, indicating structuring based on seepage of nitrate-rich fluids. A comparison of microbial communities from hydrothermal sediments, seafloor basalts, and local seawater at Dorado Outcrop showed differences that highlight the distinct niche space in CHS. Sediment microbial communities from Dorado Outcrop differ from those at previously characterized, warmer CHS sediment, but are similar to deep-sea sediment habitats with surficial ferromanganese nodules, such as the Clarion Clipperton Zone. We conclude that cool hydrothermal venting at seafloor outcrops can alter the local sedimentary oxidation–reduction pathways, which in turn influences the microbial communities within the fluid discharge affected sediment.

Primary productivity below the seafloor at deep-sea hot springs - NEW!
Jesse McNichol, Hryhoriy Stryhanyuk, Sean P. Sylva, François Thomas, Niculina Musat, Jeffrey S. Seewald, and Stefan M. Sievert

Below the seafloor at deep-sea hot springs, mixing of geothermal fluids with seawater supports a potentially vast microbial ecosystem. Although the identity of subseafloor microorganisms is largely known, their effect on deep-ocean biogeochemical cycles cannot be predicted without quantitative measurements of their metabolic rates and growth efficiency. Here, we report on incubations of subseafloor fluids under in situ conditions that quantitatively constrain subseafloor primary productivity, biomass standing stock, and turnover time. Single-cell-based activity measurements and 16S rRNA-gene analysis showed that Campylobacteria dominated carbon fixation and that oxygen concentration and temperature drove niche partitioning of closely related phylotypes. Our data reveal a very active subseafloor biosphere that fixes carbon at a rate of up to 321 μg C⋅L−1⋅d−1, turns over rapidly within tens of hours, rivals the productivity of chemosynthetic symbioses above the seafloor, and significantly influences deep-ocean biogeochemical cycling.

CalTech: Victoria Orphan Receives NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Award - NEW!
Victoria Orphan, the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology, is one of three recipients of the NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Award for 2018. The award is presented to “exceptional scientists, supporting them in their exploration of unconventional academic paths, thereby inciting new directions in science,” according to the NOMIS award announcement. “The foundation rewards innovative ideas and approaches that involve interdisciplinary collaboration and apply a broad range of methods, building bridges across the boundaries of the sciences and humanities. NOMIS favors researchers who choose to share their work and knowledge widely and who continuously look for new synergies and opportunities.” Orphan’s NOMIS-supported project, “Understanding Virus-Host Dynamics in Ocean Ecosystems,” will investigate the impact of marine viruses on the transformation of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in ocean surface waters and sediments.

Simons Foundation: In Theaters Now: The Most Unknown



Meetings & Activities

Extremophiles2018, September 16-20, Naples, Italy - NEW!
The International Society for Extremophiles and the Italian Society of Astrobiology are pleased to announce the 12th International Congress on Extremophiles (Extremophiles2018) that will be held from September 16-20, 2018 in Ischia (Naples, Italy). In the tradition of these meetings, Extremophiles2018, in the volcanic island of Ischia, aims to showcase state-of-the-art research on basic and applied aspects of life in extreme environments and to stimulate high quality research, inspiring those already working in the field and young scientists approaching extremophiles. The Conference will include sessions on many aspects of research related to extremophiles, including origin of life, ecology, astrobiology, molecular biology, physiology, and biotechnology. As part of a NASA supported TWSC grant, there are a number of travel grants available to US-based scientists for attending the conference. Interested Graduate Students, Postdocs and Early Career Faculty (within 5 years from their appointment) with interest in Extremophiles and Astrobiology are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply for the travel grant is June 20, 2018.

IODP: Workshop Announcement: Scientific Exploration of the Arctic and North Pacific, September 25-27, 2018, Mt. Hood, OR
The workshop is open to U.S. and international participants, and the deadline for U.S.-affilitated scientists to apply is June 25, 2018.

CalTech: Int'l Geobiology Course Geobiology Symposium, June 28, 2018 - NEW!
There will be a 1-day symposium held at Caltech on June 28 sponsored by the International Geobiology Course. The topic of the symposium is “Signs of Life from the Fringe”, and explores recent efforts to find and/or understand life in extreme environments, the deep subsurface, in deep time, and on Mars. The program includes:
  • Dawn Sumner (University of California, Davis): “Thriving in the Fringe Environments of Liquid Water in Antarctica: Photosynthetic Mats in Ice-Covered Lakes”
  • Victoria Orphan (California Institute of Technology): “Dead or Alive? Signs of Life from the Deep Biosphere”
  • Tori Hoehler (NASA Ames Research Center): “Biosignatures in the Context of Low Energy Flux”
  • Jochen Brocks (Australian National University): “The Rise of Algae and the Emergence of Animals”
  • Jennifer Stern (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center): “Roving for Breadcrumbs: Seeking Signatures of Life and Habitability on the Surface of Mars”
  • Ken Williford (Jet Propulsion Laboratory): “Mars 2020 and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”

The symposium will be held in the Sharp Lecture Hall on Thursday, June 28 starting at 9am. It is open to the scientific public and free of charge. You are cordially invited to attend, either in part or for the entire symposium depending on interest. A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will also be served to symposium participants. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP so that we can plan appropriately for food and drink. If you want to just stop by to hear a speaker or two, please feel free and there is no need to respond.

IODP-USSSP: Volunteer for an IODP Board, Committee, or Panel
Scientists interested in volunteering for any of these opportunities should apply by July 9, 2018.

IODP-USSSP: Nominate a Lecturer for the 2019-2020 Ocean Discovery Lecture Series - NEW!
For over 20 years, the Ocean Discovery Lecture Series (formerly the Distinguished Lecturer Series) has brought the remarkable scientific results and discoveries of the International Ocean Discovery Program and its predecessor programs to academic research institutions, museums, and aquaria. Since 1991, over 1,000 presentations to diverse audiences have been made through the Lecture Series. Participation of researchers in the USSSP-IODP Ocean Discovery Lecture Series is essential to the program’s goal of bringing scientific results and discoveries to the geoscience community. If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to be an Ocean Discovery Lecturer for the 2019-2020 academic year, please contact Nicole Kurtz ( Nomination period will close on July 13, 2018.

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Community Workshop support

C-DEBI: Group Page

C-DEBI: Subseafloor Cultures Database


Education & Outreach

C-DEBI: Next Professional Development Webinar: Next Wednesday, June 20, 12pm PT
Brandi Kiel Reese (Assistant Professor, TAMU-CC) leads the next C-DEBI Professional Development Webinar on “What I wish I knew before I knew it: Surviving the early years of tenure-track faculty.” The access URL for the webinar is Missed the most recent C-DEBI Professional Development Webinar on “Sharing Data: The Joys of Open Science” with Ben Tully (C-DEBI Bioinformatic Specialist)? Watch it on YouTube.

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series #18 Now Online! - NEW!
For anyone who missed the live event, Dr. Alma Parada's seminar on "Evaluating the diversity and distribution of novel microbes across physical and geochemical gradients in deep-sea sediments​" is now available online.

IODP: How to bring the new JOIDES Resolution Traveling Exhibit to your community - NEW!
The new JOIDES Resolution traveling exhibit (which if you’re not familiar with, you can see a video preview of it here: was created through an NSF grant that also provides funding to allow the exhibit to visit sites around the United States to the end of 2021. If you would like the exhibit to come to your community, there is an online application form to nominate your community as a future host site during 2019-2021. Before you go and do that though, there are a couple stipulations. The grant requires each host community to be a collaboration between an organization such as a library, museum, science center, or university and a local girl scout council. The organization will provide the facilities to present the exhibit to the public, as well as provide opportunities for underserved audiences to easily experience the exhibit. The girl scout council will commit to training some of their girl scouts to be volunteer docents for the exhibit while it is in town. If you have any contacts with local organizations and/or girl scout councils who may be interested in hosting this exhibit, please pass this information onto them.

Proposal Calls

DCO: RFP: Census of Deep Life Sequencing Opportunities
The proposal deadline is July 15, 2018.

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

DCO: Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program

NSF: Arctic Sciences Program Solicitation
Proposals accepted anytime.

NSF: Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP)

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

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Research Exchange proposals




SIO: Assistant Teaching Professor, Marine Biology - NEW!
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at University of California San Diego invites applications for an Assistant Teaching Professor – a UC faculty position formally titled “Lecturer with Potential for Security of Employment,” (LPSOE). The teaching faculty (LPSOE) series has equivalent rights and responsibilities as the traditional UC tenure-track Professor series, but with a stronger emphasis on teaching and scholarly activity related to education. The successful candidate will be an outstanding educator with demonstrated commitment to effective and innovative undergraduate teaching who can provide guidance and leadership for the marine biology undergraduate program and contribute to University and public service. Primary responsibilities will be to teach core undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses, including SIO 187 ‘Statistical Methods in Marine Biology’ and SIO 136 ‘Marine Biology Laboratory’ (co-teaching the latter). Candidates must have earned a Ph.D. in Marine Biology or a relevant field. Areas of research and teaching expertise that will be favorably looked upon to enhance the teaching program include but are not limited to: biometry, biodiversity, data analytics, fisheries, evolution and genetics of marine organisms, fieldwork methods, marine biochemistry and physiology, marine ecology, and marine mammal biology. Please apply by June 30, 2018.

TAMU: IODP-JRSO Assistant Research Scientist Position
We will begin reviewing applications on June 30, 2018, but will continue to accept applications until candidates are selected for interviews.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: Ph.D. and Postdoc position available

Two Faculty Positions at Shanghai Ocean University

BIOS: Postdoctoral Scholarship in 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

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