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C-DEBI Newsletter – December 1, 2016
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.



Message from the Director

Proposals for C-DEBI Research Grants and Fellowships and Education Grants are due today! If you miss these annual calls, don't forget we also support C-DEBI Community Workshops and Research Exchanges in a year-round call.

Cheers,

Jan Amend
C-DEBI Director


 

Publications


PNAS
An oligotrophic deep-subsurface community dependent on syntrophy is dominated by sulfur-driven autotrophic denitrifiers
Maggie C. Y. Lau, Thomas L. Kieft, Olukayode Kuloyo, Borja Linage-Alvarez, Esta van Heerden, Melody R. Lindsay, Cara Magnabosco*, Wei Wang, Jessica B. Wiggins, Ling Guo, David H. Perlman Saw Kyin, Henry H. Shwe, Rachel L. Harris, Youmi Oh, Min Joo Yi, Roland Purtschert, Greg F. Slater, Shuhei Ono, Siwen Wei, Long Li, Barbara Sherwood Lollar, and Tullis C. Onstott
* C-DEBI Contribution 340


Subsurface lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems (SLiMEs) under oligotrophic conditions are typically supported by H2. Methanogens and sulfate reducers, and the respective energy processes, are thought to be the dominant players and have been the research foci. Recent investigations showed that, in some deep, fluid-filled fractures in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, methanogens contribute <5% of the total DNA and appear to produce sufficient CH4 to support the rest of the diverse community. This paradoxical situation reflects our lack of knowledge about the in situ metabolic diversity and the overall ecological trophic structure of SLiMEs. Here, we show the active metabolic processes and interactions in one of these communities by combining metatranscriptomic assemblies, metaproteomic and stable isotopic data, and thermodynamic modeling. Dominating the active community are four autotrophic β-proteobacterial genera that are capable of oxidizing sulfur by denitrification, a process that was previously unnoticed in the deep subsurface. They co-occur with sulfate reducers, anaerobic methane oxidizers, and methanogens, which each comprise <5% of the total community. Syntrophic interactions between these microbial groups remove thermodynamic bottlenecks and enable diverse metabolic reactions to occur under the oligotrophic conditions that dominate in the subsurface. The dominance of sulfur oxidizers is explained by the availability of electron donors and acceptors to these microorganisms and the ability of sulfur-oxidizing denitrifiers to gain energy through concomitant S and H2 oxidation. We demonstrate that SLiMEs support taxonomically and metabolically diverse microorganisms, which, through developing syntrophic partnerships, overcome thermodynamic barriers imposed by the environmental conditions in the deep subsurface.




Proposal Calls


C-DEBI: Call for Research Project and Postdoctoral Fellowship Proposals
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 research support is provided to “expeditions of opportunity”, and we’ve created a webpage listing potential options for participation. We welcome you to provide information about other expeditions of opportunity to share with the C-DEBI community! Help us further our mission to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins. 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. Proposal deadline: TODAY, December 1, 2016.

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.

NSF: Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) Program Solicitation
The Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) provides awards to Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences and education disciplines), technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach. Preparing for TCUP Implementation proposals accepted anytime.

UNOLS: Request for Letters of Interest for R/V Langseth Planning
Due December 2, 2016.

IODP-USSSP: Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowships
The submission deadline is December 2, 2016.

NSF: Division of Environmental Biology (core programs) (DEB) Program Solicitation
Preliminary proposal due date: January 23, 2017.

NSF: Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) Program Solicitation
Preliminary proposal due date: January 23, 2017.

NSF: Arctic Sciences Program Solicitation
Proposals accepted anytime.

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).

 


Education & Outreach


C-DEBI: Call for Education and Outreach Project Proposals
C-DEBI invites proposals to support education and outreach projects, with a budget of up to $50,000 and a project duration of 1 year. The C-DEBI Education & Outreach Grants Program will fund the development of educational opportunities and materials that are pertinent to deep biosphere research in the subseafloor environment in support of our education and outreach goal to create distinctive, targeted education programs and promote increased public awareness about life below the seafloor. Help us further our mission to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields. Proposal deadline: TODAY, December 1, 2016.

Delaware SeaGrant / AGU Fall Meeting: Get your 15 SECONDS of fame!
Greetings C-DEBI scientists and educators, have you seen Delaware Sea Grant and C-DEBI’s 15 Second Science segments and thought, “Gee, I want to do that!” Well, now is your chance. On Wednesday, December 14 at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, we will be setting up our exclusive 15 Second Science/Dive Deeper video camera, and we need you! If you are interested in filming your own 15 Second Science segment, please sign up for a 30-minute recording block at http://doodle.com/poll/yk9sb5ctm4ymrs8m. Once you have signed up for a time slot, you need to prepare a script—we can help! Typically, our segments are 2-3 brief sentences that flow into one another, and have a nice, firm closing. We just need the basics of your science; think elevator pitch in a very short building. We have found the audience of 15 Second Science to be all over the charts in terms of science background. If you send us your script, we’ll work with you to fine tune it. We’ll also need your help in finding appropriate B-roll—photos, videos, animations, graphs, etc. that drive your point home (your actual face will only be on screen for about 2-3 seconds), so your suggestions and B-roll contributions are welcome, as long as they are free to use for education purposes with attribution. Once recorded and produced, your segment will be featured on all Delaware Sea Grant social media channels, shared by C-DEBI, and open to sharing as you/your institution see fit. They will also become part of the Project VIDEO website/collection. We hope you will join us and film a 15 Second Science episode at AGU! Help us, help you share your science!

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: HS-STEM Summer Internship Program
Application deadline: December 7, 2016.

NSF: ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) Program Solicitation
Letter of intent due date: December 14, 2016.

MARUM: ECORD Training Course 2017, March 6-10, 2017, Bremen, Germany
The application deadline is January 9, 2017.


 

Meetings & Activities


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’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.

2016 AGU Fall Meeting: Register to judge student presentations for the Outstanding Student Presentation Award
For those of you faculty who are attending AGU this year please consider registering to judge student presentations for the Outstanding Student Presentation Award. Your generous time commitment and constructive feedback makes a very big impact on the confidence of our students and is vital for their growth and development as scientists as they hoʻoulu (transform/grow) into our future colleagues. Plus, judging is FUN! Signing up for judging is a cinch! 1.) Go to http://ospa.agu.org/ospa/judges and log in with your AGU account, read the honor code, and click "register to judge." 2.) Then, check out the list of student OSPA presentations by session: http://ospa.agu.org/ospa/find-presentations/. 3.) When you see OSPA presentations that fit your schedule and interests, you can add the presentation to your OSPA list by clicking the checkbox to the right of the presentation title, and then clicking "Add to Schedule." Brandi Reese, Sebastian Sudek, Julie Robidart and myself (Kiana Frank) are convening a C-DEBI related session (B13G: Understanding Microbial Life in the Subsurface through Interdisciplinary Approaches IB22D: Understanding Microbial Life in the Subsurface through Interdisciplinary Approaches II) and we would love for you to consider judging student presentations in these sessions if they fit your interest, expertise and schedule. If not… see below for a list of other deep biosphere related sessions that are also likely in need of judges. Please contact me with any questions.

2016 AGU Fall Meeting: Deep Biosphere-related Sessions

Missing a session of interest? Let us know!

IODP-USSSP: ECORD Accepting Applications for Facility Board
Application deadline: December 2, 2016.

ISSM 2017: Conference Announcement
Abstract submissions open December 15, 2016.

SIO: Participate in a Science Verification Cruise (SVC) abord the R/V Sally Ride




Employment


Princeton: Hess Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program, Geosciences
Applications are due by January 1, 2017, but evaluation of applications and interviews of candidates will begin immediately.

University of Pennsylvania: Two Graduate Research Assistant Positions

The Ohio State University: Assistant Professor in Earth Sciences

University of Southern Mississippi: Postdoctoral Research Position in Marine Microbial Ecology
Review of applicants will begin immediately and proceed until the position is filled.






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!

 
Best, 
 
Matt
 
-- 
Matthew Janicak
Data Manager
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
University of Southern California
janicak@usc.edu
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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