C-DEBI Newsletter – June 15, 2021
A biweekly digest of deep biosphere news and opportunities
from the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations


Ongoing 2021 C-DEBI Virtual Meeting Series:

Did you miss the last VMS "Building Capacity for a Thriving Research Lab at a PUI (Primarily Undergraduate Institution)"?  We've posted the presentations by plenary speakers Rika Anderson (Carleton College) and Terry McGlynn (California State University Dominguez Hills), as well as a variety of other resources identified by meeting participants including online communities with a focus on Science at PUIs.

Mark your calendars for the next virtual meeting "Techniques for Isolating DNA from Tough Samples" on July 9, 2021 (10:30AM – 12:00PM Pacific). This VMS features plenary speaker Jackie Goordial (University of Guelph) who will present “Squeezing DNA from a rock: DNA extractions from low biomass settings”.

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 contains about 90 minutes of programming, including plenary presentations by invited speakers, a community building breakout session, and a plenary Q&A session.


C-DEBI Virtual Series Meeting Organizers:
Joy Buongiorno, Maryville College
James Bradley, Queen Mary University of London
Beth Orcutt, C-DEBI Senior Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Rosalynn Sylvan, C-DEBI Managing Director, University of Southern California



Frontiers in Microbiology
The energetic potential for undiscovered manganese metabolisms in nature - NEW!

Douglas E. LaRowe*, Harold K. Carlson and Jan P. Amend*
*C-DEBI Contribution 567

Microorganisms are found in nearly every surface and near-surface environment, where they gain energy by catalyzing reactions among a wide variety of chemical compounds. The discovery of new catabolic strategies and microbial habitats can therefore be guided by determining which redox reactions can supply energy under environmentally-relevant conditions. In this study, we have explored the thermodynamic potential of redox reactions involving manganese, one of the most abundant transition metals in the Earth’s crust. In particular, we have assessed the Gibbs energies of comproportionation and disproportionation reactions involving Mn2+ and several Mn-bearing oxide and oxyhydroxide minerals containing Mn in the +II, +III, and +IV oxidation states as a function of temperature (0–100°C) and pH (1–13). In addition, we also calculated the energetic potential of Mn2+ oxidation coupled to O2, NO2, NO3, and FeOOH. Results show that these reactions—none of which, except O2 + Mn2+, are known catabolisms—can provide energy to microorganisms, particularly at higher pH values and temperatures. Comproportionation between Mn2+ and pyrolusite, for example, can yield 10 s of kJ (mol Mn)–1. Disproportionation of Mn3+ can yield more than 100 kJ (mol Mn)–1 at conditions relevant to natural settings such as sediments, ferromanganese nodules and crusts, bioreactors and suboxic portions of the water column. Of the Mn2+ oxidation reactions, the one with nitrite as the electron acceptor is most energy yielding under most combinations of pH and temperature. We posit that several Mn redox reactions represent heretofore unknown microbial metabolisms.


Meetings & Activities

USSSP Workshops: Advancing Scientific Ocean Drilling IMPACT, Summer 2021
Deadlines to apply are June 21, and July 1, 2021.

OceanHackWeek 2021: A Hybrid Workshop to Explore Data Science in Oceanography, August 3-6, 2021 - DEADLINE EXTENDED!
The application deadline for the virtual event has been extended to June 28, 2021.

UNOLS: Intro to Marine Facilities Planning (MFP) for Scientists, June 30, 2021 - NEW!
The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is moving away from the Ship-Time Request and Scheduling system (STRS) to a newer fully integrated scheduling and cruise planning system, Marine Facilities Planning (MFP). The UNOLS office will host a webinar to introduce the science community to MFP, focusing on the science user and will cover: System navigation, the Schedule module, the Science Portal and how to submit a request for ship-time, and the Research Planner module.  Register in advance of the webinar on June 30, 2021 at 2PM Eastern Time.

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 - NEW!
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
Please submit nominations by the deadline of July 26, 2021.

NSF: Nominate a National Medal of Science Awardee - NEW!
The National Medal of Science is the Nation's highest honor for scientists and engineers. The National Medals of Science are awarded by the President of the United States to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or behavioral or social sciences, in service to the Nation. Nominations are evaluated by a committee of eminent scientists and engineers appointed by the President. With this call, the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science asks you to help it identify a diverse cohort of excellent laureates. Nominations are due July 30, 2021.

Ongoing Activities:


Proposal Calls

NOAA OER: Ocean Exploration
Required pre-proposals are due June 21, 2021.

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: 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:


NSF OCE: Marine Geology and Geophysics Program Director
The deadline for applications is June 28, 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 - UPDATED!
The Department of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University is seeking a Postdoctoral Scholar to conduct fundamental research in the area of microbial metabolic networks in the Macalady Lab beginning Sept. 1, 2021. A successful candidate will have experience in metagenomics / metatranscriptomics and aqueous geochemistry and/or microbiology. Responsibilities include generation and analysis of environmental omics datasets, overseeing the operation of microbial bioreactors, and mentoring students. The candidate will also be expected to prepare project reports, manuscripts, and research presentations in collaboration with team members and thus good technical writing and presentation skills are essential. The postdoc will have the opportunity to join the Astrobiology Research Center and/or the Microbiome Center at Penn State, and will be provided with mentorship and professional development opportunities tailored to their career goals. Applicants should provide evidence, either woven through their application materials or as a separate diversity statement, of a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, inclusive excellence, and belonging and of engagement which creates an inclusive environment in their department/workplace. Interested applicants should submit the following pdf documents: (i) a cover letter detailing scientific interests, qualifications, future goals, (ii) a CV including contact information for three references and (iii) 1-2 representative publications to Application review will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

University of Pittsburgh: Visiting Assistant Professor in Geology and Environmental Sciences - NEW!
The Department of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for a full-time one-year visiting assistant professor position beginning in the fall of 2021. The position is outside of the tenure stream. The successful candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate courses in GIS, Environmental Science and others that fit their area of expertise. Applicants should email questions and the following materials to the Visiting Assistant Professor Search Committee ( 1) a statement of teaching and research interests, 2) a CV, 3) a personal statement demonstrating your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your research, teaching, and service, and 4) names and contact information of three references.  Please direct questions to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Daniel Bain,  Review of applicants will begin immediately and proceed until the position is filled.

Northeastern Illinois University: Instructor in Earth Science - NEW!
The Department of Earth Science at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), a Hispanic-serving Institution in Chicago, IL, invites applications for a full-time Instructor position beginning Fall 2021. An M.S. degree in geology or a closely related field is required, Ph.D. preferred. Broadly trained geologists who can contribute to a variety of courses in the curriculum, including Introduction to Earth Science, Environmental Geology, Historical Geology, and Sedimentology-Stratigraphy, while providing a strong foundation in the fundamentals of geology, are especially encouraged to apply. Candidates are expected to have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching in both face-to-face and online delivery. Applicants should send a cover letter that includes information on their teaching philosophy and interest in the position, a curriculum vita, and 3 references, at least one of which addresses the applicant's teaching ability, to: Elisabet Head, Coordinator, Department of Earth Science, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625-4699. Electronic applications to are encouraged.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Group Leader in Earth System Modeling - NEW!
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA seeks a Group Leader for Earth System Modeling to lead a scientific research organization of about 50 principal investigators, staff scientists and postgraduates, and to build research programs, equivalent to tenured faculty or department head position. The successful individual will provide leadership to advance climate sciences broadly at PNNL as well as excellent management of a productive and influential research organization. The successful candidate will quickly learn about the group’s science, capabilities and operations to advance the effectiveness and S&T impact of the group. The successful candidate will value multidisciplinary collaborations, will develop teams for program development, and will have responsibility for asset management to ensure facilities, equipment, and computational resources are adequate and ready to carry out our research portfolio. Senior candidates are expected to establish themselves as independent principal investigators through competitive proposals, and serve as an active resource for others, mentoring early career staff in proposal and scientific career development. Minimum Qualifications: BS/BA with 7 years of experience MS/MA with 5 years of experience PhD with 3 years of experience; Demonstrated experience using models, data sets, and/or advanced instruments to address Earth system science.

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

Connect with C-DEBI on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (@deepbiosphere | #CDEBI)
Exploring life beneath the seafloor and making transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp