C-DEBI Newsletter – November 1, 2017
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.


Message from the Director:

That’s a wrap! After almost 3 weeks on site at North Pond, a diverse team of microbiologists, geochemists, hydrogeologists, and virologists are leaving station and heading to Barbados! We look forward to learning what they’ve discovered!

The special issue of Frontiers in Microbiology, Recent Advances in Geomicrobiology of the Ocean Crust, is now available as an “ebook.” These twenty-two papers that came out earlier this year in tribute to the late Dr. Katrina J. Edwards brings together recent discoveries of the microbial presence, diversity and activity in these environments, with analysis of the implications for global systems.


Jan Amend
C-DEBI Director



Nature Communications
Genomic variation in microbial populations inhabiting the marine subseafloor at deep-sea hydrothermal vents NEW!

Rika. E. Anderson, Julie Reveillaud, Emily Reddington, Tom. O. Delmont, A. Murat. Eren, Jill McDermott, Jeffrey S. Seewald, Julie A. Huber*
*C-DEBI Contribution 387

Little is known about evolutionary drivers of microbial populations in the warm subseafloor of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Here we reconstruct 73 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from two geochemically distinct vent fields in the Mid-Cayman Rise to investigate patterns of genomic variation within subseafloor populations. Low-abundance populations with high intra-population diversity coexist alongside high-abundance populations with low genomic diversity, with taxonomic differences in patterns of genomic variation between the mafic Piccard and ultramafic Von Damm vent fields. Populations from Piccard are significantly enriched in nonsynonymous mutations, suggesting stronger purifying selection in Von Damm relative to Piccard. Comparison of nine Sulfurovum MAGs reveals two high-coverage, low-diversity MAGs from Piccard enriched in unique genes related to the cellular membrane, suggesting these populations were subject to distinct evolutionary pressures that may correlate with genes related to nutrient uptake, biofilm formation, or viral invasion. These results are consistent with distinct evolutionary histories between geochemically different vent fields, with implications for understanding evolutionary processes in subseafloor microbial populations.

The ISME Journal
Acetoclastic Methanosaeta are dominant methanogens in organic-rich Antarctic marine sediments NEW!
Stephanie A. Carr*, Florence Schubotz, Robert. B. Dunbar, Christopher. T. Mills, Robert Dias, Roger. E. Summons, Kevin W. Mandernack
*C-DEBI Contribution 390

Despite accounting for the majority of sedimentary methane, the physiology and relative abundance of subsurface methanogens remain poorly understood. We combined intact polar lipid and metagenome techniques to better constrain the presence and functions of methanogens within the highly reducing, organic-rich sediments of Antarctica’s Adélie Basin. The assembly of metagenomic sequence data identified phylogenic and functional marker genes of methanogens and generated the first Methanosaeta sp. genome from a deep subsurface sedimentary environment. Based on structural and isotopic measurements, glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers with diglycosyl phosphatidylglycerol head groups were classified as biomarkers for active methanogens. The stable carbon isotope (δ13C) values of these biomarkers and the Methanosaetapartial genome suggest that these organisms are acetoclastic methanogens and represent a relatively small (0.2%) but active population. Metagenomic and lipid analyses suggest that Thaumarchaeota and heterotrophic bacteria co-exist with Methanosaeta and together contribute to increasing concentrations and δ13C values of dissolved inorganic carbon with depth. This study presents the first functional insights of deep subsurface Methanosaeta organisms and highlights their role in methane production and overall carbon cycling within sedimentary environments.

Alkaline vents and steep Na+ gradients from ridge-flank basalts—Implications for the origin and evolution of life NEW!
Roy E. Price*, Eric Boyd, Tori M. Hoehler, Laura. M. Wehrmann, Erlendur Bogason, Hreiðar. Þór. Valtýsson, Jóhann Örlygsson, Bjarni Gautason, Jan P. Amend*
*C-DEBI Contribution 393

Life may have emerged on early Earth in serpentinizing systems, where ultramafic rocks react with aqueous solutions to generate high levels of dissolved H2 and CH4 and, on meeting seawater, steep redox, ionic, and pH gradients. Most extant life harnesses energy as ion (e.g., H+, Na+) gradients across membranes, and it seems reasonable to suggest that environments with steep ion gradients would have also been important for early life forms. The Strytan Hydrothermal Field (SHF) is a mid-ocean ridge–flank submarine hydrothermal (~70 °C) vent in Iceland that produces steep Na+ (<3–468 mM) and pH (8.1–10.2) gradients, concomitant with enrichments in methane (0.5–1.4 μM) and hydrogen (0.1–5.2 μM), relative to seawater. Large (up to 55 m) saponite towers create ideal "incubators" similar to other proposed origin-of-life analogs (e.g., Lost City hydrothermal field in the mid-Atlantic). However, the SHF is basalt hosted. We suggest that the observed conditions are generated by (1) plagioclase hydrolysis, coupled with calcite precipitation, and (2) hydration of Mg in pyroxene and olivine in basalt. Along with microbial activity, aqueous reactions of Fe in olivine and pyroxene are possible sources of the observed H2. Although the δ13C-CH4 values were highly variable (–53‰ to –8‰), isotopically heavy CH4 suggests possible abiotic formation or the imprint of methane oxidation. If environments similar to SHF occurred on the early Earth, they should be considered as potential origin-of-life environments.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Estimating population turnover rates from relative quantification methods reveals microbial dynamics in marine sediment NEW!

Richard T. Kevorkian, Jordan T. Bird, Alexander K. Shumaker, Karen G. Lloyd*
*C-DEBI Contribution 400

Difficulty quantifying biogeochemically significant microbes in marine sediments limits our ability to assess interspecific interactions, population turnover times, and niches of uncultured taxa. We incubated surface sediments from Cape Lookout Bight, North Carolina USA, anoxically at 21°C for 122 days. Sulfate decreased until day 68, after which methane increased, with hydrogen concentration consistent with predicted values of an electron donor exerting thermodynamic control. We measured turnover times using two relative quantification methods, quantitative PCR (qPCR) and the product of 16S gene read abundance and total cell abundance (FRAxC, for fraction of read abundance times cells), to estimate population turnover rates of uncultured clades. Most 16S rRNA reads were from deeply-branching uncultured groups and ∼ 98% of 16S rRNA genes did not abruptly shift in relative abundance when sulfate reduction gave way to methanogenesis. Uncultured Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales increased at the onset of methanogenesis with population turnover times estimated from quantitative PCR (qPCR) at 9.7 ± 3.9 and 12.6 ± 4.1 days, respectively. These were consistent with FRAxC turnover times of 9.4 ± 5.8 and 9.2 ± 3.5 days, respectively. Uncultured Syntrophaceae, which are possibly fermentative syntrophs of methanogens, and uncultured Kazan-3A-21 archaea also increased at the onset of methanogenesis with FRAxC turnover times of 14.7 ± 6.9 and 10.6 ± 3.6 days. Kazan-3A-21 may therefore either perform methanogenesis or form a fermentative syntrophy with methanogens. Three genera of sulfate reducing bacteria, Desulfovibrio sp., Desulfobacter sp., and Desulfobacterium sp. increased in the first 19 days before declining rapidly during sulfate reduction. We conclude that population turnover times on the order of days can be measured robustly in organic-rich marine sediment, and the transition from sulfate-reducing to methanogenic conditions only stimulates growth in a few clades directly involved in methanogenesis, rather than the whole microbial community.

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Influences of the Tonga Subduction Zone on seafloor massive sulfide deposits along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Valu FaRidge NEW!
Guy. N. Evans, Margaret K. Tivey, Jeffrey S. Seewald, Charles Geoffrey Wheat*
*C-DEBI Contribution 403

This study investigates the morphology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits from six back-arc hydrothermal vent fields along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC) and Valu Fa Ridge (VFR) in the context of endmember vent fluid chemistry and proximity to the Tonga Subduction Zone. To complement deposit geochemistry, vent fluid analyses of Cu, Zn, Ba, Pb and H2,(aq)were completed to supplement existing data and enable thermodynamic calculations of mineral saturation states at in situ conditions. Results document southward increases in the abundance of mantle-incompatible elements in hydrothermal fluids (Ba and Pb) and SMS deposits (Ba, Pb, As, and Sb), which is also expressed in the abundance of barite (BaSO4) and galena (PbS) in SMS deposits. These increases correspond to a decrease in distance between the ELSC/VFR and the Tonga Subduction Zone that correlates with a change in crustal lithology from back-arc basin basalt in the north to mixed andesite, rhyolite, and dacite in the south. Barite influences deposit morphology, contributing to the formation of horizontal flanges and squat terraces. Results are also consistent with a regional-scale lowering of hydrothermal reaction zone temperatures from north to south (except at the southernmost Mariner vent field) that leads to lower-temperature, higher-pH vent fluids relative to mid-ocean ridges of similar spreading rates (Mottl et al., 2011). These fluids are Cu- and Zn-poor and the deposits formed from these fluids are Cu-poor but Zn-rich. In contrast, at the Mariner vent field, higher-temperature and lower pH vent fluids are hypothesized to result from higher reaction zone temperatures and the localized addition of acidic magmatic volatiles (Mottl et al., 2011). The Mariner fluids are Cu- and Zn-rich and vent from SMS deposits that are rich in Cu but poor in Zn with moderate amounts of Pb. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the contrasting metal contents of vent fluids and SMS deposits can be accounted for by vent fluid pH. Wurtzite/sphalerite ((Zn, Fe)S) and galena (PbS) are saturated at higher temperatures in higher-pH, Zn-, Cu-, and Pb-poor ELSC/VFR vent fluids, but are undersaturated at similar temperatures in low-pH, Zn-, Cu-, and Pb-rich vent fluids from the Mariner vent field.

Indicators of pH in the ELSC and VFR SMS deposits include the presence of co-precipitated wurtzite and chalcopyrite along conduit linings in deposits formed from higher pH fluids, and different correlations between concentrations of Zn and Ag in bulk geochemical analyses. Significant positive bulk geochemical Zn:Ag correlations occur for deposits at vent fields where hydrothermal fluids have a minimum pH (at 25 °C) < 3.3, while correlations of Zn:Ag are weak or negative for deposits at vent fields where the minimum vent fluid pH (at 25 °C) > 3.6. Data show that the compositions of the mineral linings of open conduit chimneys (minerals present, mol% FeS in (Zn,Fe)S) that precipitate directly from hydrothermal fluids closely reflect the temperature and sulfur fugacity of sampled hydrothermal fluids. These mineral lining compositions thus can be used as indicators of hydrothermal fluid temperature and composition (pH, metal content, sulfur fugacity).

Nature Communications
High reactivity of deep biota under anthropogenic CO2 injection into basalt NEW!
Rosalia Trias, Bénédicte Ménez, Paul le Campion, Yvan Zivanovic, Léna Lecourt, Aurélien Lecoeuvre, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Jenny Uhl, Sigurður R. Gislason, Helgi A. Alfreðsson, Kiflom G. Mesfin, Sandra Ó. Snæbjörnsdóttir, Edda S. Aradóttir, Ingvi Gunnarsson, Juerg M. Matter, Martin Stute, Eric H. Oelkers & Emmanuelle Gérard

Basalts are recognized as one of the major habitats on Earth, harboring diverse and active microbial populations. Inconsistently, this living component is rarely considered in engineering operations carried out in these environments. This includes carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that seek to offset anthropogenic CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by burying this greenhouse gas in the subsurface. Here, we show that deep ecosystems respond quickly to field operations associated with CO2 injections based on a microbiological survey of a basaltic CCS site. Acidic CO2-charged groundwater results in a marked decrease (by ~ 2.5–4) in microbial richness despite observable blooms of lithoautotrophic iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria and degraders of aromatic compounds, which hence impact the aquifer redox state and the carbon fate. Host-basalt dissolution releases nutrients and energy sources, which sustain the growth of autotrophic and heterotrophic species whose activities may have consequences on mineral storage.


Meetings & Activities

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series #17
Dr. Emily Estes (University of Delaware) will give the next Networked Speaker Series Seminar on “Organic carbon utilization and preservation in a carbon desert,” Tomorrow, November 2, 2017, 12:30pm PT. Missed the last seminar on “Microbial Neter-Khertet: Life and death post-entombment” with Dr. Gus Ramirez? Watch it on YouTube.

NSF: Fall 2017 Grants Virtual Conference – Registration Open
The upcoming conference on November 13-14, 2017 will be webcast live to the research community.

NSF: Dear Colleague Letter: Advancing Frontiers in Seafloor Science and Engineering Research
Workshop proposals must be submitted by November 15, 2017 for consideration.

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). Next workshop submission deadline: December 1, 2017.

2017 AGU Fall Meeting Deep Biosphere Sessions of Interest NEW!

Missing a session of interest? Let us know! See also the DCO’s AGU 2017 Fall Meeting Guide.

EGU: Deep biosphere session - call for abstracts
Please consider submitting an abstract to our session, due January 10, 2018.

C-DEBI: Group Page
To help preserve deep biosphere methods for use in future projects, the Center strongly encourages you to describe your lab and software-based methods using, and to link them to our group page at The website provides an easy-to-use platform to share reproducible, step-by-step scientific methods. 

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Community Workshop support
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for $15,000 on average (and up to $20,000) in direct funds for community workshops that will help to advance C-DEBI’s central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales.


C-DEBI Spotlight

Each newsletter, we’ll be featuring two, early-career, deep biosphere all-stars from our summer undergraduate programs. Meet the rest of our 2017 Global Enviromental Microbiology students and Community College Cultivation Cohort (C4) REU participants, or learn more about our undergraduate programs!



Education & Outreach

C-DEBI: Latest Professional Development Webinar Now Online! - NEW!
Missed the latest C-DEBI Professional Development Webinar on “Speaking as a Scientist with Press, Politicians, and the Public” with Andrew Fisher (C-DEBI Co-PI, University of California Santa Cruz)? Watch it on YouTube.

IODP: Onboard Outreach Program
The application period will close on November 17, 2017.

Cards Against Humanity: Science Ambassador Scholarship
Applications close on December 11, 2017.

NOAA: Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
Application deadline: January 31, 2018.

C-DEBI: Applications Now Open for the 2018 Summer Undergraduate GEM Course NEW!
The GEM Course is an all-expenses paid, three-week intensive introductory course in Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM) geared for early career undergraduates from 2 and 4 year institutions. The course focuses on microbes found in aquatic environments investigated through authentic research experiences (students collect, process & interpret data). This residential course includes lectures, labs and fieldwork at USC and on Santa Catalina Island.

Where: University of Southern California campus and Santa Catalina Island, CA
When: June 10 – June 29, 2018
Who: Undergraduates from 2 or 4-year colleges
Cost: FREE, including travel, plus modest stipend
How to apply:
Note:  First generation college, women, and under-represented students encouraged to apply

Application Opens: November 01, 2017
Application Deadline: February 01, 2018 at 5:00pm PST

For questions and comments, contact Gwen Noda at

Mentoring365: Become an Earth and Space Science Mentor or Mentee

NOAA: Graduate Research & Training Scholarship Program

Proposal Calls

Simons Foundation: Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards
The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (LOI) is November 6, 2017.

NSF: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)
Full proposal deadline date: November 7, 2017.

NSF: Integrated Earth Systems (IES) NEW!
The Earth consists of a variety of complex systems that are variable over space and time, and respond to a wide range of perturbations. The goal of the Integrated Earth Systems (IES) program is to investigate the interplay among the continental, terrestrial, and interior systems of the planet. The program provides an opportunity for collaborative, multidisciplinary research into the operation, dynamics, and complexity of Earth systems that encompass the core of the Earth through the surface. Innovative projects that explore new research directions beyond those typically considered by core programs of the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) are encouraged. Investigations may include all or part of the continental, terrestrial and deep Earth at all temporal and spatial scales. IES will support topics that include (but are not limited to) continental systems; terrestrial or surficial Earth systems including physical, chemical, and biotic dimensions; linkages among tectonics, climate, and landscape evolution; the coupling of the Earth’s climate, depositional and biotic systems; and global cycles that involve core and mantle processes. Full proposal deadline: November 14, 2017.

NSF: National Oceanographic Partnership Program announcement regarding Ocean Sensors, Cubesats, and GHRSST Data
Letters of Intent are required by November 22, 2017.

C-DEBI: Call for Research and Fellowship Proposals
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for 1-year research projects (in the anticipated range of $50,000-$80,000) and 1-2 year graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships that will significantly advance C-DEBI’s central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales. C-DEBI’s research agenda balances exploration-based discovery, hypothesis testing, data integration and synthesis, and systems-based modeling. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields. This request for proposals is open to all interested researchers at US institutions able to receive NSF funding as a subaward. The deadline for this call is December 1, 2017.

UNOLS: Cruise Opportunities on R/V Sally Ride
Applications for a cruise April 20 – May 22, 2018 are due December 1, 2017.

IODP-USSSP: Apply for a Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
All application materials, including reference material, must be submitted by December 15, 2017.

Duke: Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar NEW!
The Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University invites applicants for the Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar position at the Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina. We seek an early career scholar who will benefit from support that allows her/him to pursue self-directed research, while engaging in the intellectual life of the Marine Laboratory. Our goal is to provide a platform to help launch an academic career. Support includes salary and funds for travel and research (negotiated). We are a faculty of natural, social and physical scientists and we value diverse ways of knowing, understanding and learning. We encourage applicants from across the spectrum of Marine Science and Conservation, broadly construed (e.g., oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine technology, remote sensing, coastal geomorphology, ocean energy, deep-sea science, environmental toxicology, natural hazards, microbial ecology, marine biology and ecology, fisheries, conservation science, and human-environmental interactions at various scales and from different perspectives, e.g., political ecology, theories of collective-action and governance, economics, livelihoods and well-being). Individual qualifications, academic excellence appropriate to career stage and home discipline, and collegiality, rather than specific research area will be the primary criteria in selecting the successful candidate. The term of the appointment is for a 9-month academic year, with the possibilities of extension to a full year and renewal to a second. Start date is during the 2018 academic year and flexible. Candidates nearing completion of advanced degrees are encouraged to apply, but PhD must be complete for the fellowship to commence. Application open until January 30, 2018.

NSF: International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) NEW!
The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program supports international research and research-related activities for U.S. science and engineering students. The IRES program contributes to development of a diverse, globally-engaged workforce with world-class skills. IRES focuses on active research participation by undergraduate or graduate students in high quality international research, education and professional development experiences in NSF-funded research areas. The overarching, long-term goal of the IRES program is to enhance U.S. leadership in research and education and to strengthen economic competitiveness through training the next generation of research leaders. This solicitation features three mechanisms; proposers are required to select one of the following tracks to submit their proposal. Track I focuses on the development of world-class research skills in international cohort experiences. Track II is dedicated to targeted, intensive learning and training opportunities that leverage international knowledge at the frontiers of research. Track III calls for U.S. institutional partnerships and coalitions to develop and evaluate innovative models for high-impact, large-scale international research and professional development experiences for graduate students, as individuals or groups. Track I deadline: January 30, 2018Track II deadline deadline: February 6, 2018Track III deadline: February 13, 2018.

NSF: Using JOIDES Resolution to Collect Cores with Advanced Piston Coring (APC) System

DCO: Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program

NSF: Arctic Sciences Program Solicitation
Proposals accepted anytime.

NSF: Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) Program Solicitation
Preparing for TCUP Implementation proposals accepted anytime.

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Research Exchange proposals
C-DEBI facilitates scientific coordination and collaborations by supporting student, postdoctoral, and faculty exchanges to build, educate and train the deep subseafloor biosphere community. We award small research exchange grants for Center participants. These grants may be used to support research, travel for presenting C-DEBI research at meetings, or travel exchanges to other partner institutions or institutions that have new tools and techniques that can be applied to C-DEBI research. We anticipate ~10 awards of $500-5000 with additional matched funds to be granted annually.



Rice University: Wiess Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
Applications should be submitted to the chair of the fellowship search committee by November 10, 2017.

CSIRO: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geomicrobiology
Applications close November 12, 2017.

University of Wyoming: Assistant Professor - Biogeochemistry
Review of applications will begin on November 13, 2017.

Arizona State University: Assistant Professor (Job #12117)
Initial deadline for receipt of complete applications is November 20, 2017.

CIW: 2018 Carnegie Fellowships for the Geophysical Laboratory
The deadline for submitting an application is December 1, 2017.

University of South Carolina: Assistant Professor of Aquatic Ecology NEW!
The Department of Biological Sciences invites applications for a tenure-track, assistant professor position in aquatic ecology. Specializations might include marine community ecology, plankton ecology, wetlands ecology, food web interactions, or ecosystem stressors. Faculty positions require a commitment to research, teaching, and service. Duties include developing a creative and vibrant research program in aquatic ecology, graduate student mentoring, teaching that supports our graduate program in ecology and evolution, and undergraduate teaching and advising. Minimum qualifications include a PhD in ecology, biological sciences, or related discipline, and evidence of established scholarship including a strong record of publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Post-doctoral experience is preferred. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by December 1, 2017.

WHOI: Tenure Track Research Scientist (Ocean Biogeochemical Modeler) - Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry (17-09-12) NEW!
The Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry (MC&G) Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invites exceptional candidates to apply to one or more of our full-time exempt tenure track positions on our scientific staff. We seek to hire at the Assistant Scientist level; however, extraordinary candidates may be considered at Associate Scientist without Tenure, Associate Scientist with Tenure, or Senior Scientist levels.  The successful candidate will conduct research in ocean biogeochemical modeling including theoretical, computational and observational (e.g. remote sensing) approaches. This hire will complement existing programs on the chemistry of the ocean and its interactions with the Earth as a whole. Core departmental strengths include: biogeochemistry and organic geochemistry; microbial ecology and molecular biology; carbon, nutrient, and trace element cycling; environmental change including climate change, air-sea exchange; coastal, estuarine, wetland and river geochemistry & biogeochemistry; sediment geochemistry; fluid-rock interactions; igneous geochemistry; noble gas geochemistry; and isotope systematics, including radiochemistry. MC&G scientific staff conducts research throughout the world’s open-ocean, deep-sea, and coastal environments, develops sensors for in-situ measurements, analyzes samples using state-of-the-art analytical techniques, carries out laboratory-based experimental studies, and applies computer models and remote sensing techniques. Although the search will focus on ocean biogeochemical modeling, the Department will consider exceptional applications in other core areas described above. Review of applications will begin on January 5, 2018.

U Penn: Two Graduate Research Assistant Positions NEW!
The Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania seek graduate students interested in any of the following research areas: geomicrobiology, ecology, microbe-microbe and microbe-mineral interactions, biogeochemistry, ecophysiology and bioenergetics. Potential projects include: i) Microbial remediation of asbestos: This project provides the opportunity to interrogate microbe-mineral interactions in human-disposed minerals; ii) Bioenergetic principles of energy metabolisms: This project will focus on the ecophysiology of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis and/or Fe(III) reduction from marine geothermal environments; and iii) Taxonomic classification: Isolation and characterization of novel chemosynthetic microorganisms from anoxic environments. The prospective students will be expected to work at the interface between geology, chemistry, and biology. 
Skills associated with this research program: problem-solving (scientific method) skills, preparation of chemical solutions, microbial culturing, microscopy, molecular phylogenetics, aqueous/gas chemistry quantification, isotope geochemistry, experimental design skills, data-logging, broad scientific literacy and cultural competence. 
The successful applicants will be awarded a Ph.D. Fellowship package that includes: tuition, fees, health care and stipend for living expenses. These packages are available starting Fall 2018. Apply here. If interested in learning more about this opportunity please contact Ileana Pérez- Rodríguez at:

Oberlin: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Computational Biology

MBL: Postdoctoral Scientist - Molecular Microbial Ecology

Bigelow: Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Viral Control of Microbial Communities in Antarctic Lakes

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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