C-DEBI Newsletter – July 1, 2021
A biweekly digest of deep biosphere news and opportunities
from the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations



Diverse viruses in deep-sea hydrothermal vent fluids have restricted dispersal across ocean basins - NEW!

Elaina Thomas, Rika Anderson, Viola Li, Jenni Rogan, Julie A. Huber*
*C-DEBI Contribution 570

In the ocean, viruses impact microbial mortality, regulate biogeochemical cycling, and alter the metabolic potential of microbial lineages. At deep-sea hydrothermal vents, abundant viruses infect a wide range of hosts among the archaea and bacteria that inhabit these dynamic habitats. However, little is known about viral diversity, host range, and biogeography across different vent ecosystems, which has important implications for how viruses manipulate microbial function and evolution. Here, we examined viral diversity, viral and host distribution, and virus-host interactions in microbial metagenomes generated from venting fluids from several vent sites within three different geochemically and geographically distinct hydrothermal systems: Piccard and Von Damm vent fields at the Mid-Cayman Rise in the Caribbean Sea, and at several vent sites within Axial Seamount in the Pacific Ocean. Analysis of viral sequences and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) spacers revealed highly diverse viral assemblages and evidence of active infection. Network analysis revealed that viral host range was relatively narrow, with very few viruses infecting multiple microbial lineages. Viruses were largely endemic to individual vent sites, indicating restricted dispersal, and in some cases, viral assemblages persisted over time. Thus, we show that hydrothermal vent fluids are home to novel, diverse viral assemblages that are highly localized to specific regions and taxa.

Environmental Microbiology Reports
Cryptic metabolisms in anoxic subseafloor sediment - NEW!

Arkadiy I. Garber, Gustavo A. Ramírez*, Sean M. McAllister, William Orsi, and Steven D’Hondt*
*C-DEBI Contribution 569

Microbial gene expression in anoxic subseafloor sediment was recently explored in the Baltic Sea and the Peru Margin. Our analysis of these data reveals diverse transcripts encoding proteins associated with neutralization of reactive oxygen species, including catalase, which may provide an in situ source of oxygen. We also detect transcripts associated with oxidation of iron and sulfur, and with reduction of arsenate, selenate and nitrate. Given limited input of electron acceptors from outside the system, these results suggest that the microbial communities use an unexpectedly diverse variety of electron acceptors. Products of water radiolysis and their interactions with sediment continuously provide diverse electron acceptors and hydrogen. Cryptic microbial utilization of these oxidized substrates and H2 may be an important mechanism for multi-million-year survival under the extreme energy limitation in subseafloor sediment.

Marine Technology Society Journal
COBRA: A Research Accelerator for the Crustal Ocean Biosphere - NEW!

Julie A. Huber* and Beth N. Orcutt*

The deep seafloor covers two-thirds of Earth's surface area, but our understanding of the ecosystems and resources found in the deep ocean, as well as the ability of deep-sea ecosystems to withstand human perturbation, is limited. These deep-sea habitats demand urgent study as there are emergent human uses in the form of deep-sea mining and carbon sequestration that will fundamentally alter physical, chemical, and biological conditions that took millions of years to establish. We propose the international network COBRA, a research accelerator for the crustal ocean biosphere. COBRA will bring together diverse stakeholders and experts, including interdisciplinary academic and government scientists, private institutions, policy makers, data systems engineers, industry experts, and others to coordinate efforts that generate new knowledge and inform decision making about activities that could affect the deep ocean and, by extension, all of society. We will also train the next generation of leaders in ocean exploration, science, and policy through an innovative virtual program to carry this effort into future generations of ocean and earth science research. COBRA will inform policies relating to emergent industrial uses of the deep ocean, decrease the likelihood of serious harm to the environment, and maintain ecosystem services for the benefit of society.

Meetings & Activities

USSSP Workshops: Advancing Scientific Ocean Drilling IMPACT: Preparing the Next Generation, August 2 & 4, 2021
The "Preparing the Next Generation" Workshop is a virtual workshop over two days: August 2nd and 4th, each day from 3 pm to 6 pm EDT. This third workshop of the IODP IMPACT series focuses on key areas related to strengthening and broadening the impact of scientific ocean drilling in the coming decades and are in direct support of the 2050 Framework for Scientific Ocean Drilling. Specifically, the IMPACT workshop on Preparing the Next Generation will include discussions related to education and training of the next generation of scientists. Application deadline: July 1, 2021.

NAS: Call for "Ocean-Shot" Concepts: Transformative Research for the Decade
The next call for submissions is due July 1, 2021.

C-DEBI Virtual Meeting Series: Techniques for Isolating DNA from Tough Samples, July 9, 2021
Our next virtual meeting features plenary speaker Jackie Goordial (University of Guelph) who will present "Squeezing DNA from a rock: DNA extractions from low biomass settings" on Friday July 9 (10:30AM - 12:00PM Pacific). The virtual meeting series is held monthly during the first week of each month, with a regular rotation of science workshops and professional development workshops. Each workshop will contain about 90 minutes of programming, including invited speakers to give plenary tutorials and presentations, breakout icebreaker and discussion sessions, and plenary Q&A sessions. Register in advance for the meeting on July 9, 2021.

NASA RCN Community Workshop: NfoLD/NExSS Standards of Evidence for Life Detection, July 19-22, 2021
We are now considering applications for workshop participation.

IODP: Volunteer for an IODP Board, Committee, or Panel
Deadline to apply: July 23, 2021.

IODP: Nominate an Ocean Discovery Lecturer
Submit nominations by the deadline of July 26, 2021.

NSF: Nominate a National Medal of Science Awardee
Nominations are due July 30, 2021.

AGU: Abstract Submission Open for the AGU 2021 Fall Meeting, December 13-17, 2021 - NEW!
#AGU21 is the leading forum for advancing Earth and space science and leveraging this research toward solutions for societal challenges. Submit an abstract (or two now) to #AGU21 to contribute to these goals and to share your science in-person (New Orleans, LA) and online with >25,000 attendees from 100+ countries representing the global Earth and space sciences community. Most sessions will be recorded and available to this global community of researchers, scientists, educators, students, policymakers, partners, science enthusiasts, journalists and communicators. Abstracts should focus on new scientific results, enabling Earth and space science or its application, and/or the contribution of Earth and space science to society. Submit your deep biosphere abstract to Session B037 - Geomicrobiology of the Deep Biosphere convened by Beth Orcutt, Maggie Osburn, James Bradley, and Julie Huber. Abstracts due August 4, 2021.

Ongoing Activities:


Proposal Calls

NASA: Postdoctoral Program
Current cycle deadline: July 1, 2021.

NSF BIO: Research Experience for Post-Baccalaureate Students (REPS) Supplemental Funding
To receive full funding consideration for FY2021, requests should be submitted by July 2, 2021.

NSF: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1)
Letter of Intent Due Date: July 14, 2021.

NSF: Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Excellence in Research  (HBCU-EiR) - NEW!
NSF established the HBCU Excellence in Research program to provide opportunities for both public and private HBCUs, particularly for those who have not been successful in larger NSF Research & Related Activities competitions, in order to stimulate sustainable improvement in their research and development capacity. EiR supports such capacity building by funding research projects aligned with NSF's research programs. The program aims to establish stronger connections between researchers at HBCUs and NSF's research programs. Letter of Intent Due Date: July 22, 2021.

NSF: Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) 
Full proposal deadline: July 26, 2021.

NSF BIO: Research Experiences for Teachers Sites in Biological Sciences (BIORETS)
Full Proposal Deadline: August 2, 2021.

NSF: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions (ADVANCE)
Various deadlines from August 2, 2021 and onward.

NSF OCE: Chemical Oceanography
Full proposal target dates: August 16, 2021 and February 15, 2022.

NSF OCE: Physical Oceanography
Full proposal target dates: August 16, 2021 and February 15, 2022.

NSF: Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
Full proposal deadline date: September 6, 2021.

NSF OISE: International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
Track I: IRES Sites (IS) due date: September 21, 2021. Track II: Advanced Studies Institutes (ASI) due date: September 28, 2021.

NSF: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES)
Letter of intent deadline date: October 4, 2021.

NSF: Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet)
Full proposal deadline: October 11, 2021.

NSF GEO: Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF)
Full proposal deadlines: November 12, 2021.

NSF HRD: Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP)
See the program solicitation for proposal windows and deadlines through 2021.

NSF BIO: Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO)
Full proposal deadline date: January 25, 2022.

NSF: Mid-Career Advancement (MCA)
Full proposal target date: February 7, 2022.

NSF BIO / NIH: Enabling Discovery through GEnomics (EDGE)
Full proposal deadlines: February 17, 2022.

Rolling Calls:


Nature Communications: Associate or Senior Editor (Geochemistry) - NEW!
Nature Communications is Nature Research's leading multidisciplinary Open Access journal, publishing high-quality scientific research. To help us to build on the success of this journal, we're seeking a geochemist with a strong background in either environmental geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, biogeochemistry or solid Earth geochemistry (geology) who has a critical eye, a deep understanding of their subject and interests beyond, and who can think on their feet. The Associate/Senior Editor role at Nature Communications is ideal for researchers who love science but feel that a career at the bench isn't enough to sate your desire to learn more about the natural world and for those who enjoy reading papers outside their chosen area of research. This role can be located in our London, Berlin or New York offices. The position is offered on a full-time, permanent basis. Editorial experience is not required, although applicants with significant editorial experience are encouraged to apply and will potentially be considered for Senior Editor positions. The deadline for applications is July 14, 2021.

CUNY Queens College: Lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences - NEW!
The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences (SEES) at Queens College, CUNY is currently conducting a search for a Lecturer- Doctoral Schedule for a 1-year teaching appointment starting in August 2021. Coursework would include lecturing and coordinating laboratories for our large general-education environmental science course, Environmental Science 99 - A Practical Guide to Environmental Choices. Applications will be reviewed as received until July 20, 2021.

NSF OCE: Marine Geology and Geophysics Program Director (Rotator) - NEW!
The Marine Geology and Geophysics Program within the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) in the Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) announces a nationwide search for a Program Director (Rotator) with experience and expertise in the general fields of paleoceanography, sedimentary and/or nearshore processes, or marine geochemistry. The MG&G Program supports research on all aspects of the geology and geophysics of ocean basins and margins and those of the Great Lakes. The person selected for this position will work with the other Program Directors who oversee the MG&G Program to balance the award portfolio across the broad range of disciplines supported by the Program. The Program Director's core duties and responsibilities will be administering the merit review process, proposal recommendations, and coordinating and working with other programs in NSF and other Federal agencies and organizations. The deadline for applications is August 2, 2021.

Texas A&M University: Assistant Professor in Oceanography
Initial review of applications will begin on September 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

MBARI: Principal Investigator (Focus on Seafloor Processes)
Initial review of applications will begin on October 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

Pennsylvania State University: Postdoctoral Researcher on Microbial Metabolic Networks

University of Pittsburgh: Visiting Assistant Professor in Geology and Environmental Sciences

Northeastern Illinois University: Instructor in Earth Science

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Group Leader in Earth System Modeling

Email me with any items you'd like to share in future newsletters. You are what makes our deep biosphere community!

Rosalynn Sylvan
C-DEBI Managing Director
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371

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