C-DEBI Newsletter – November 15, 2017
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.



The ISME Journal
A dynamic microbial community with high functional redundancy inhabits the cold, oxic subseafloor aquifer NEW!
Benjamin J. Tully*, Charles Geoffrey Wheat*, Brian T. Glazer, Julie A. Huber*
*C-DEBI Contribution 395

The rock-hosted subseafloor crustal aquifer harbors a reservoir of microbial life that may influence global marine biogeochemical cycles. Here we utilized metagenomic libraries of crustal fluid samples from North Pond, located on the flanks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a site with cold, oxic subseafloor fluid circulation within the upper basement to query microbial diversity. Twenty-one samples were collected during a 2-year period to examine potential microbial metabolism and community dynamics. We observed minor changes in the geochemical signatures over the 2 years, yet the microbial community present in the crustal fluids underwent large shifts in the dominant taxonomic groups. An analysis of 195 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) were generated from the data set and revealed a connection between litho- and autotrophic processes, linking carbon fixation to the oxidation of sulfide, sulfur, thiosulfate, hydrogen, and ferrous iron in members of the Proteobacteria, specifically the Alpha-, Gamma- and Zetaproteobacteria, the Epsilonbacteraeota and the Planctomycetes. Despite oxic conditions, analysis of the MAGs indicated that members of the microbial community were poised to exploit hypoxic or anoxic conditions through the use of microaerobic cytochromes, such as cbb3- and bd-type cytochromes, and alternative electron acceptors, like nitrate and sulfate. Temporal and spatial trends from the MAGs revealed a high degree of functional redundancy that did not correlate with the shifting microbial community membership, suggesting functional stability in mediating subseafloor biogeochemical cycles. Collectively, the repeated sampling at multiple sites, together with the successful binning of hundreds of genomes, provides an unprecedented data set for investigation of microbial communities in the cold, oxic crustal aquifer.

Frontiers in Earth Science
Editorial: Deep Carbon in Earth: Early Career Scientist Contributions to the Deep Carbon Observatory NEW!
Donato Giovannelli*, Benjamin. A. Black, Alysia. D. Cox, Cody S. Sheik
*C-DEBI Contribution 396

Since its inception, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) has coalesced a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers focused on understanding and quantifying Earth's deep carbon budget. Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, and understanding carbon chemistry under a variety of environmental conditions impacts all aspects of planetary sciences. DCO recognizes that contributions of early career scientists are integral to the advancement of knowledge regarding the quantities, movements, origins, and forms of Earth's deep carbon. This research topic highlights the contributions of the DCO Early Career Scientist community.

IODP Publications
Expedition 366 Preliminary Report: Mariana Convergent Margin and South Chamorro Seamount NEW!
Patricia Fryer, Geoffrey Wheat, Trevor Williams, and the Expedition 366 Scientists

Geologic processes at convergent plate margins control geochemical cycling, seismicity, and deep biosphere activity in subduction zones and suprasubduction zone lithosphere. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 366 was designed to address the nature of these processes in the shallow to intermediate depth of the Mariana subduction channel. Although no technology is available to permit direct sampling of the subduction channel of an intraoceanic convergent margin at depths up to 18 km, the Mariana forearc region (between the trench and the active volcanic arc) provides a means to access this zone.


Meetings & Activities

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series #17 Now Online! NEW!
Missed the last Networked Speaker Series seminar on “Organic carbon utilization and preservation in a carbon desert” with Dr. Emily Estes? Watch it on YouTube.

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

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

C-DEBI: Subseafloor Cultures Database NEW!
Interested in looking up which microbial groups have been isolated or enriched from the deep biosphere? Having information about new isolates or enrichments that you would like to add to this list? C-DEBI maintains an unofficial list on the C-DEBI website as a Resource that the community is welcome to access and contribute to.

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

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
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 1, 2017
Application Deadline: February 1, 2018 at 5:00pm PST

For questions and comments, contact Gwen Noda at

C-DEBI: NSF REU: Community College Cultivation Cohort (C4) NEW!
C-DEBI’s NSF REU, C4, is a 9-week research internship targeting community college students nationwide. Students will spend their summer doing cutting edge research as they help grow, isolate, and describe previously unknown microorganisms. C4 students will work in teams in laboratories at USC, learning state-of-the-art techniques ranging from DNA sequencing to microscopy and sterile techniques to analytical chemistry. Applications due February 23, 2018.

Mentoring365: Become an Earth and Space Science Mentor or Mentee

NOAA: Graduate Research & Training Scholarship Program

Proposal Calls

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.

UNOLS: MSROC Letter of Interest Request NEW!
The UNOLS Marine Seismic Research Oversight Committee (MSROC) is requesting Letters of Interest from the marine seismic research community regarding proposals for experiments that would utilize seismic data acquisition capabilities similar to those currently provided by the R/V Langseth. Letters of intent 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.

IODP: Apply to Sail on IODP Expedition 358 NEW!
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is now accepting applications for Expedition 358 NanTroSEIZE Plate Boundary Riser 4 aboard the D/V Chikyu. The expedition is currently planned to begin on 7 October 2018 and finish on 21 March 2019 (164 days). This expedition is planned for more than five months at sea and therefore will not be staffed in the standard expedition “shipboard scientific party” model. Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) to sail on the expedition. Scientists with interest and expertise in: fault zone structure and mechanics, accretionary complex geology and evolution, lithostratigraphy, physical and hydrogeological properties, diagenetic/metamorphic processes and effects, micropaleontology, microbiology, rock magnetism, and core-log-seismic integration in structurally-complex settings are all invited to apply. Because of the nature of the drilling operation and need for near-real time analysis, expertise in the use of drill cuttings, mud gas, and modern well logging to address sedimentary petrology, structure, physical properties and geomechanics are all especially useful. The deadline to apply is January 4, 2018.

Duke: Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar
Application open until January 30, 2018.

NSF: International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
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.



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
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)
Review of applications will begin on January 5, 2018.

U Penn: Two Graduate Research Assistant Positions

Oberlin: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Computational Biology

MBL: Postdoctoral Scientist - Molecular Microbial Ecology

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.

C-DEBI is now on Twitter! Follow and tweet to us @deepbiosphere or tag #CDEBI.
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