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C-DEBI Newsletter – November 17, 2014
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Proposal Calls

IODP: Apply to Sail for Expedition 357 Atlantis Massif Serpentinization and Life
This expedition will address two exciting discoveries in mid-ocean ridge research: off-axis, serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal activity, exemplified by the Lost City Hydrothermal Field (LCHF) on the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, and the significance of tectono-magmatic processes in forming and exposing heterogeneous mafic and variably serpentinized ultramafic lithosphere that are key components of slow and ultraslow spreading ridges. The expedition objectives are 1) to explore the extent and activity of the subsurface biosphere in young ultramafic and mafic seafloor, 2) assess how abiotic and biotic processes change with aging of the lithosphere and with variations in rock type, 3) quantify the role of serpentinization in driving hydrothermal systems, in sustaining microbiological communities, and in the sequestration of carbon in ultramafic rocks, and 4) characterize tectono-magmatic processes that lead to lithospheric heterogeneities and the evolution of hydrothermal activity associated with detachment faulting. The offshore phase of this expedition will take place in the October to December 2015 timeframe and last for 46 days, with only a subset of the science party members participating. An onshore science party (OSP) will be held at MARUM, University of Bremen, in early 2016. The OSP is expected to last 2-3 weeks; the exact length will depend on core recovery during the offshore phase. All science party members must attend the entire duration of the onshore science party. Opportunities exist for researchers, including graduate students, to sail as sedimentologists, microbiologists, organic geochemistists, inorganic geochemistists, structural geologists, igneous petrologists, metamorphic petrologists, paleomagnetists, geophysicists, and petrophysics/downhole loggers. Other expertises may be considered. Additional information on this expedition can be found here: http://www.eso.ecord.org/expeditions/357/357.php. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; please visit: www.iodp-usssp.org/expeditions/apply-to-sail. The deadline to apply is 9 January 2015. E-mail co-chief scientist and C-DEBI Activity Theme Team Leader Beth Orcutt (borcutt@bigelow.org) with any questions.

C-DEBI Special Call for Deep Biosphere Research Proposals
C-DEBI invites proposals for one-year projects that will significantly advance our central research agenda—to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in sediments and the crust. C-DEBI intends to fund 2-3 proposals in response to this call, up to $100,000 each. Proposals will be considered for research on subseafloor samples, participation on upcoming expeditions (including C-DEBI field programs, IODP expeditions and other field opportunities relevant to C-DEBI objectives), and shore-based investigations. Proposed research can also focus on theoretical and experimental deep biosphere studies in a broader sense, which might include, for example, testing novel techniques for deep biosphere research, lab-based experiments with deep biosphere organisms, model development, and metabolic studies of growth under deep subsurface conditions. Fundamental studies of microbial metabolism that can be applied to subsurface conditions will also be considered. In this call, we especially encourage proposals with one of the following foci:

  1. Synthesis and integration of datasets that link microbiological processes to environmental conditions. A primary goal should be to provide insight into microbial activity, connectivity, limits, evolution, or survival in deep subseafloor ecosystems.
     
  2. Analysis of or experimentation with samples from a recent or upcoming field program with clear C-DEBI research objectives (e.g., North Pond cruise April 2014, Juan de Fuca Ridge flank cruise in August 2014, Guaymas Basin cruise in October 2014, Dorado Outcrop cruise in November 2014, North Atlantic long-coring expedition in October-December 2014, new site surveys in preparation of subsequent drilling).
The deadline for this call is January 15, 2015.
 
NSF: OCE  Research Initiation Grants
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals from early career researchers for OCE Research Initiation Grants (Solicitation #13-606). This program provides startup funding for researchers who have been recently appointed to tenure track (or equivalent) positions at US academic institutions, with the twin goals of enhancing their research careers and broadening the participation of under-represented groups in ocean sciences. Award amounts are up to $100,000 total for 12 to 24 months and no salary can be involved. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents, are in or have been accepted to a tenure track assistant professor/researcher or equivalent position at a US academic institution, and have not been in that position for more than three years. Qualified applicants must have no salary support as a principal investigator (PI) on any federal research grant since starting their position and must be doing research within the spectrum of the sciences funded by the Division of Ocean Sciences. The submission deadline is January 12, 2015.

MBL: 2015 Visiting Research Award Program
Application Deadline: December 1, 2014.

NSF: Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF)
Full proposal target date: December 8, 2014.

NSF: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)
Fellowship Competitive Area 1: Broadening Participation in Biology. Proposal deadline: January 08, 2015.

National Academies Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
There are four annual review cycles and the next closes February 1.

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, next submission deadline May 15, 2015, related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).


Publications


Hot off the press: From deep-sea volcanoes to human pathogens: a conserved quorum-sensing signal in Epsilonproteobacteria (C-DEBI Contribution 232), in ISME Journal
Chemosynthetic Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents colonize substrates exposed to steep thermal and redox gradients. In many bacteria, substrate attachment, biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes and host colonization are partly controlled via a cell density-dependent mechanism involving signal molecules, known as quorum sensing. Within the Epsilonproteobacteria, quorum sensing has been investigated only in human pathogens that use the luxS/autoinducer-2 (AI-2) mechanism to control the expression of some of these functions. In this study C-DEBI postdoctoral fellow Pérez-Rodríguez and research grantee Vetriani et al. showed that luxS is conserved in Epsilonproteobacteria and that pathogenic and mesophilic members of this class inherited this gene from a thermophilic ancestor. Furthermore, they provide evidence that the luxS gene is expressed—and a quorum-sensing signal is produced—during growth of Sulfurovum lithotrophicum and Caminibacter mediatlanticus, two Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Finally, they detected luxS transcripts in Epsilonproteobacteria-dominated biofilm communities collected from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Taken together, their findings indicate that the epsiloproteobacterial lineage of the LuxS enzyme originated in high-temperature geothermal environments and that, in vent Epsilonproteobacteria, luxS expression is linked to the production of AI-2 signals, which are likely produced in situ at deep-sea vents. They conclude that the luxS gene is part of the ancestral epsilonproteobacterial genome and represents an evolutionary link that connects thermophiles to human pathogens.


Education & Outreach

Congratulations to the "North Pond" film crew for winning best documentary at the 2014 Yosemite Film Festival and honorable mention at BLUE Ocean Film Festival! [short trailer] [long trailer]
A feature film documentary chronicling drilling activities and the installation of seafloor observatories (CORKs) at North Pond on IODP Expedition 336 was completed as a result of this award. This is the only feature film ever made of an ocean drilling expedition and will provide valuable public exposure to the scientific ocean drilling program (IODP) and C-DEBI. In April of 2012, a follow-up expedition with the ROV Jason 2 was conducted to retrieve data and instrumentation from the CORKs along with installing new instrumentation packages and conducting geologic surveys of the North Pond area. They included this expedition as part of the North Pond documentary to provide a contextual relevance of the seafloor observatories. Showing scientists using the observatories adds a sense of accomplishment and purpose to the overall film that cannot be attained with only the IODP expedition footage.

Sea Change: Notes from Researcher Ridge
The Blog: We are a team of University of Rhode Island oceanographers who will spend more than a month at sea collecting sediment cores from the Atlantic Ocean seafloor. Our effort, supported by the National Science Foundation, will enable us to learn more about how ancient climate changes can inform scientists about the changes taking place in the climate today. These are the daily notes, photos, and ephemera culled from our experiences aboard the R/V Knorr. The Science: Our Graduate School of Oceanography-based team will collect samples at water depths from 1,000 to 6,000 meters in and around Researcher Ridge, an underwater mountain chain in the Atlantic Ocean just north of the equator. We are interested in how climate, the carbon dioxide system, and ocean circulation have interacted from the last glaciation to the present. We’ll be testing several hypotheses about what controls our climate and how it might act in the future based on how it has behaved in the past. Follow along with the North Atlantic Sediment Coring expedition scientists on their blog!

Ocean Leadership: Ocean 180 Video Challenge
Submissions for the 2015 Ocean 180 Video Challenge will be accepted from October 1-December 1, 2014.

Ocean Leadership: Share Your Ocean Story with the BBC
Ocean Leadership has built a website to help BBC solicit ideas/content/contacts for their upcoming seven-part series follow-up to Blue Planet entitled Ocean: New Frontiers.


Meetings, Workshops and Activities

Regional Graduate Network in Oceanography: Microbial and Geochemical Oceanography in Upwelling Ecosystems
We are pleased to announce a second international research training course in southern Africa to take place in 2015. We'd like to invite PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, honors MSc students, but also professsors to apply, if they consider the microbiological and geochemical topics of interest to their own research. Participation is limited to 14. Course participants will learn about microbial and geochemical oceanography, in particular about ways in which microbes participate in geochemical cycles in upwelling ecosystems and how chemical, physical and atmospheric processes in turn influence microbial physiology. Among many other things, the famous Thiomargarita spp. and other benthic and pelagic microbes of the sulfur and carbon transformation cycles and mud from their habitats will be collected and studied. During two six day cruises on Namibia's R/V MIRABILIS and together with scientists from Nat MIRC, we will perform in situ measurements and collect samples for later work on land. Before embarking and after the cruises students will practise techniques and design experiments in the laboratories of the San Nujoma Campus & Marine Research Center in Henties Bay. During lectures and discussions students will also learn about the complex relationships between the microbiome and ecosystem health, which ultimately influences the productivity and the harvestable yield of ecosystems. The interdisciplinary approach merges microbial and geochemical oceanography into comprehensive views about upwelling ecosystems. The research results will support decisions about sustainable ecosystem management based on an in-depth understanding of environmental changes and natural variability in the BCE. We'd like to invite you to study the course description and the conditions given below and to send in your application before January 15, 2015.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership: Apply for the Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium
The deadline to apply is December 22, 2014.

IODP Primer: An Introduction to Ocean Drilling Programs
The course will be held the afternoon before the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco (December 14, 1-5pm). Registration is free, but space is limited. To register, please visit: http://usssp-iodp.org/workshop/iodp-primer-2014/

 
Employment

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology: Postdoc position in marine biogeochemistry
Applications are invited for a 2-year postdoctoral scientist position to study sulfur and iron biogeochemistry of the seabed. The position is available from 1st March, 2015. The successful candidate will be employed by the Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology (http://geomicrobiology.au.dk) and will be a part of the Microbiology/Geomicrobiology research group at the Department of Bioscience. The Center for Geomicrobiology studies the microbiology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments, targeting microbial communities that live in the sub-seafloor and affect geological processes and global element cycles. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an academic background and documented experience in marine biogeochemistry. The chosen candidate will study the coupled sulfur and iron cycles in marine sediments combining radiotracer and stable isotope techniques. Particular focus will be on the cryptic sulfur cycle with concurrent sulfate reduction and re-oxidation of sulfide. The candidate should be experienced in analytical techniques of inorganic geochemistry and in isotope ratio mass spectrometry. All applications must be made online and received by 01/01/2015.

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology: Postdoc position in marine microbial ecology
Applications are invited for a 2-year postdoctoral scientist position to study microbial communities and their activity in the seabed at the single-cell level. The position is available from 1st March, 2015. The successful candidate will be employed by the Center for Geomicrobiology (http://geomicrobiology.au.dk) and will be a part of the Microbiology/Geomicrobiology research group at the Department of Bioscience. The Center for Geomicrobiology studies the microbiology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments, targeting microbial communities that live in the sub-seafloor and affect geological processes and global element cycles. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an academic background and documented experience in marine microbial ecology. The chosen candidate will study microbial communities and their metabolic activity in subsurface sediments using a combination of molecular ecological techniques. We seek a candidate with experience in high-resolution techniques for cell imaging combined with elemental and isotopic analysis. All applications must be made online and received by 12/15/2014.

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology: Postdoc position in marine microbial ecology
Applications are invited for a 2-year postdoctoral scientist position to study the microbiology associated with the turnover of light hydrocarbons in the seabed. The position is available from 1st March, 2015. The successful candidate will be employed by the Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology (http://geomicrobiology.au.dk) and will be a part of the Microbiology/Geomicrobiology research group at the Department of Bioscience. The Center for Geomicrobiology studies the microbiology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments, targeting microbial communities that live in the sub-seafloor and affect geological processes and global element cycles. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an academic background and documented experience in marine microbial ecology. The chosen candidate will study the production and degradation of light hydrocarbons in marine sediments, combining whole sediment incubation experiments with molecular ecology and cultivation techniques. The candidate should be experienced in the microbiology and biochemistry of hydrocarbon metabolism. All applications must be made online and received by: 12/15/2014.

Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology: Postdoc position in marine microbial ecology
Applications are invited for a 2-year postdoctoral scientist position to study the microbiology of methane turnover in the seabed. The position is available from 1st January, 2015. The successful candidate will be employed by the Department of Bioscience, Center for Geomicrobiology (http://geomicrobiology.au.dk) and will be a part of the Microbiology/Geomicrobiology research group at the Department of Bioscience. The Center for Geomicrobiology studies the microbiology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments, targeting microbial communities that live in the sub-seafloor and affect geological processes and global element cycles. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an academic background and documented experience in marine microbial ecology. The chosen candidate will study methanogenic archaea in subsurface marine sediment. The goal is to characterize and quantify the communities and, in combination with a concurrent project on the rates of methane turnover, to understand the controls on metabolic rates in archaeal communities. The candidate should be experienced in methods of microbial molecular ecology. All applications must be made online and received by 12/1/2014.

Exxon Mobil: Postdoctoral Fellow - Microbiology
We are seeking a candidate to join a team executing programs aimed at understanding and manipulating microbial metabolism related to the oil and gas industry. Experience with hydrocarbon metabolism, community analysis, and metatranscriptomics/metaproteomics is desirable.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Postdoctoral Fellow in microbiology (“microbial dark matter” biology)
The review of materials will begin December 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.

New Mexico State University: Assistant Professor / Environmental Soil Microbiology
Application closing date: 12/31/2014.

New Mexico State University:  Environmental Science/Environmental Chemistry Postdoctoral Position
Application closing date: 1/30/2015

Aarhus University: Professor in Geomicrobiology
All applications must be made online and received by 15 January 2015.

UCSC: C-DEBI research opportunities in Marine Hydrogeology and related fields
Andy Fisher anticipates bringing in one new PhD student and a new postdoctoral researcher for Fall 2015 (postdoc might start Winter or Spring 2016). Please contact Fisher (afisher@ucsc.edu) with questions and/or to express interest in one of these positions. Graduate student applications to UCSC must be completed by January 5, 2015.

Skidaway Institute of Oceanography: Two Tenure Track Faculty Positions in Oceanography
The committee will begin to review applications on October 24, 2014 and will continue until the positions are filled.

Michigan State University: Postdoctoral Positions in Molecular Geomicrobiology
Applications should be received by December 1, 2014, but will be considered on an ongoing basis.

Michigan State University: Ph.D. Opportunities in Molecular Geomicrobiology
Applications for the Ph.D. programs in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics or Geological Sciences are due December 1, 2014 (http://biomolecular.msu.edu/index.html).



Don’t forget to email me with any items you'd like to share in future newsletters! 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
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF 209, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
Phone: 708-691-9563, Fax: 213-740-2437

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