C-DEBI Newsletter – March 1, 2018
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.



Congratulations to C-DEBI scientists Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert and Victoria Orphan for the selection of their PNAS paper, Methyl-compound use and slow growth characterize microbial life in 2-km-deep subseafloor coal and shale beds (C-DEBI Contribution 389), for the 2017 Cozzarelli Prize. The annual award acknowledges papers that reflect scientific excellence and originality and is given annually to six papers published in PNAS.

Geomicrobiology Journal
Nitrogen Cycling of Active Bacteria within Oligotrophic Sediment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Flank - NEW!
Brandi Kiel Reese*, Laura Zinke*, Morgan. S. Sobol, Douglas E. LaRowe*, Beth N. Orcutt*, Xinxu Zhang, Ulrike Jaekel, Fengping Wang, Thorsten Dittmar, Delphine Defforey*, Benjamin J. Tully*, Adina Paytan*, Jason B. Sylvan, Jan P. Amend*, Katrina J. Edwards*, Peter R. Girguis
*C-DEBI Contribution 378

Microbial ecology within oligotrophic marine sediment is poorly understood, yet is critical for understanding geochemical cycles. Here, 16S rRNA sequences from RNA and DNA inform the structure of active and total microbial communities in oligotrophic sediment on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Sequences identified as Bacillariophyta chloroplast were detected within DNA, but undetectable within RNA, suggesting preservation in 5.6-million-year-old sediment. Statistical analysis revealed that RNA-based microbial populations correlated significantly with nitrogen concentrations, whereas DNA-based populations did not correspond to measured geochemical analytes. Bioenergetic calculations determined which metabolisms could yield energy in situ, and found that denitrification, nitrification, and nitrogen fixation were all favorable. A metagenome was produced from one sample, and included genes mediating nitrogen redox processes. Nitrogen respiration by active bacteria is an important metabolic strategy in North Pond sediments, and could be widespread in the oligotrophic sedimentary biosphere.

Current: The Journal of Marine Education
Take the Plunge: A STEM Camp Centered on Seafloor Science - NEW!
Charles Geoffrey Wheat*, Trevor Fournier, Karen Monahan, Claudia Paul
C-DEBI Contribution 411

While most of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) efforts center on classroom programs, many lack hands-on activities that allow students to experience phenomenon-based learning and produce a complex scientific project. To meet this need, we developed week-long STEM summer day camps ( for two age groups: rising 3rd-5th and 6-9th graders. Campers learn about seafloor exploration through multiple hands-on, technology-rooted, team-based activities. At the end of the week, campers design and present research missions for an actual seafloor feature, incorporating hypotheses, methods, and operations. 

Current: The Journal of Marine Education, is a journal produced by NMEA, the National Marine Educators Association.

Tracking Electron Uptake from a Cathode into Shewanella Cells: Implications for Energy Acquisition from Solid-Substrate Electron Donors - NEW!
Annette R. Rowe*, Pournami Rajeev, Abhiney Jain, Sahand Pirbadian, Akihiro Okamoto, Jeffrey A. Gralnick, Mohamed. Y. El-Naggar, Kenneth H. Nealson
*C-DEBI Contribution 417

While typically investigated as a microorganism capable of extracellular electron transfer to minerals or anodes, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 can also facilitate electron flow from a cathode to terminal electron acceptors, such as fumarate or oxygen, thereby providing a model system for a process that has significant environmental and technological implications. This work demonstrates that cathodic electrons enter the electron transport chain of S. oneidensis when oxygen is used as the terminal electron acceptor. The effect of electron transport chain inhibitors suggested that a proton gradient is generated during cathode oxidation, consistent with the higher cellular ATP levels measured in cathode-respiring cells than in controls. Cathode oxidation also correlated with an increase in the cellular redox (NADH/FMNH2) pool determined with a bioluminescence assay, a proton uncoupler, and a mutant of proton-pumping NADH oxidase complex I. This work suggested that the generation of NADH/FMNH2 under cathodic conditions was linked to reverse electron flow mediated by complex I. A decrease in cathodic electron uptake was observed in various mutant strains, including those lacking the extracellular electron transfer components necessary for anodic-current generation. While no cell growth was observed under these conditions, here we show that cathode oxidation is linked to cellular energy acquisition, resulting in a quantifiable reduction in the cellular decay rate. This work highlights a potential mechanism for cell survival and/or persistence on cathodes, which might extend to environments where growth and division are severely limited.

Proceedings of the IODP
Expedition 366: Mariana Convergent Margin and South Chamorro Seamount - NEW!
P. Fryer, C.G. Wheat, T. Williams, E. Albers, B. Bekins, B.P.R. Debret, J. Deng, Y. Dong, P. Eickenbusch, E.A. Frery, Y. Ichiyama, K. Johnson, R.M. Johnston, R.T. Kevorkian, W. Kurz, V. Magalhaes, S.S. Mantovanelli, W. Menapace, C.D. Menzies, K. Michibayashi, C.L. Moyer, K.K. Mullane, J.-W. Park, R.E. Price, J.G. Ryan, J.W. Shervais, O.J. Sissmann, S. Suzuki, K. Takai, B. Walter, and R. Zhang

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 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 19 km, the Mariana forearc region (between the trench and the active volcanic arc) provides a means to access materials from this zone.


Meetings & Activities

USRA: 3rd Ocean Worlds meeting, May 21-24, Houston, TX
Abstracts due March 7, 2018.

COL: Save the date for COL's Public Policy Forum: March 7, 2018
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s annual Public Policy Forum will be at the Reserve Officers Association on Capitol Hill.

NSF: Spring 2018 NSF Grants Conference – Save the Date
Registration will open on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at 12:00 PM EST.

SoCal Geobiology Symposium: Register/Submit Abstracts for the Symposium, April 21 @ UCR - NEW!
Registration for the 15th Annual Southern California Geobiology Symposium is now open! The due date for abstract submissions and registration is March 26, 2018.

Goldschmidt 2018: Call for Abstracts
Abstracts due March 30, 2018.

AGU: 2018 Fall Meeting Session Proposals - NEW!
This year, the Fall Meeting Program Committee invites you to submit session proposals that elevate our understanding of the ways that our science is evolving. Scientific advances that contribute to the health and welfare of people worldwide, that spur innovation within and beyond our fields of study, and that inform decisions critical to the sustainability of the Earth are of particular interest. In brief, sessions that support this year’s theme: What Science Stands For. The deadline for submissions is April 18, 2018.

C-DEBI: Workshop on deep sea mining impacts on microbial ecosystem services
If you have an interest in using your expertise in deep sea microbial ecology and/or biogeochemistry to define possible microbial ecosystem service impacts that may result from deep sea mining activities, please consider attending a small workshop focused on this topic that will be held April 18-19, 2018, at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine.

IODP-USSSP: Host an Ocean Discovery Lecturer - NEW!
For over 20 years, the Ocean Discovery Lecturer Series has brought the remarkable scientific results and discoveries of the International Ocean Discovery Program and its predecessor programs to academic research institutions, museums, and aquaria. For the 2018-19 academic year, an exciting lineup of distinguished lecturers is available to speak at your institution, and the nomination period is now open. The topics of their lectures range widely, and include monsoon history, ice sheet dynamics, sediment diagenesis, and more. USSSP will provide support for the lecturer’s travel to your institution, while hosting venues are responsible for housing, meals, and local transportation. The application period will close on May 18, 2018.

GRC: Apply to attend the 2018 Conference on Deep Carbon Science, June 17-22, Smithfield, RI - NEW!
The meeting will cover deep carbon science in the context of time. We will spotlight the evolution of deep carbon in Earth’s biological and nonbiological reservoirs over 4.6 billion years. Oral sessions and discussions will focus on how carbon is incorporated into a growing planet, what fraction is sequestered in the interior and what fraction returned to space, and how early planetary processes mediate these transfers. After focusing on planetary assembly, we will turn to the evolution of carbon reservoirs in the first 800 million years of Earth history (the Hadean). We will then explore early deep life, the population of terrestrial niches, the challenges that were overcome, and the feedbacks and interactions between the geosphere and the biosphere. The final phase of the conference will address the carbon cycle and how it has evolved through time. A goal of the conference is to engage a diverse and interdisciplinary group of Earth scientists, planetary scientists, and geobiologists. Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 20, 2018. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline.

C-DEBI: Nominations now open for the C-DEBI 2018 Networked Speaker Series

C-DEBI: Rolling call for Community Workshop support

C-DEBI: Group Page

C-DEBI: Subseafloor Cultures Database


Education & Outreach

C-DEBI: Professional Development Webinar #6 Now Online!  - NEW!
Missed the last webinar on “Surviving (and Maybe Even Thriving!) in a Soft Money Position” with Julie Huber (C-DEBI Associate Director, Associate Scientist, WHOI)? Watch it on YouTube.

IODP: Onboard Outreach Program
The application period will close on March 5, 2018.

RGNO: Ocean Discovery Camp - Namibia, April 16-May 11, 2018 - NEW!
The overarching theme of the 2018 Regional Graduate Network in Oceanography training course is “Resilience and Responses of the Benguela Upwelling Ecosystem towards Changes in the global and regional Environment” with a focus on micro-scale microbial and biogeochemical ecosystem processes occurring in redox transition zones. RGNO training courses are collaborative, multidisciplinary efforts that include observing and monitoring the dynamics of this highly productive ocean ecosystem as well as performing experiments and conducting small research projects in the laboratory, evaluating micro-scale to macro-scale modeling approaches about microbial interactions and ecosystem evolution, etc. The website contains more details. Participants are being trained to contribute to a better understanding of the biogeochemical role microbes play in one of the most productive ocean ecosystems worldwide and the services microbes render to ocean ecology and to the local economy. Application deadline: March 12, 2018.

ICDP: Training Course on Planning, Management and Execution of Continental Scientific Drilling Projects
The application deadline is March 15, 2018.

IODP-USSSP: Travel Support for the Petrophysics Summer School 2018
To apply for U.S. travel support, complete an online application by March 23, 2018.

C-DEBI: Community College Research Internship for Scientific Engagement (CC-RISE)
CC-RISE is an eight-week, paid, summer research internship program for community college students run by the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations. Students will gain firsthand exposure to the scientific process by working in a faculty-led research lab at the University of California Santa Cruz or at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, MA. In addition to research, students will participate in activities focusing on how to transition from a two-year college to a university and information on graduate school. At the end of the program, students will present their results to an audience of peers and mentors. Applications are due March 31, 2018 for UCSC and March 23, 2018 for WHOI.

NSF: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Ocean Sciences
Application websites for most of these OCE REU’s are open now or will open soon and most application deadlines are in mid-February or March.

Institute for Broadening Participation: Not too late - STEM summer research programs
Deadlines are fast approaching, but we still have 100+ programs in our database that have deadlines coming up in the next 30 days.

Proposal Calls

AGU: The Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize
Deadline to nominate: March 15, 2018.

IODP: Apply to Sail on IODP Expedition 385: Guaymas Basin Tectonics and Biosphere
The deadline to apply is April 15, 2018.

NSF: Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation (CSSI) - Data and Software
Full proposal deadline: April 18, 2018.

NSF: Dear Colleague Letter: Stimulating Research Related to Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), One of NSF's 10 Big Ideas - NEW!
This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) invites proposals in FY 2018 that will advance Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) research through convergent approaches to emerging scientific, engineering, societal, and education challenges, and builds upon the NNA awards resulting from the FY 2017 DCL on Growing Convergence Research at NSF. A systems-based approach is strongly encouraged, including research that both contributes to, and leverages, large data sets from enhanced observational technology and networks. Knowledge co-production with local and indigenous communities, advancing public participation in research, and international partnerships are also strongly encouraged as possible means to achieve NNA objectives. This is not a special competition or a new program; proposals in response to this DCL must meet the requirements and deadlines of the program to which they are submitted. Organizations submitting proposals to programs and funding vehicles without deadlines are encouraged to submit proposals by May 1, 2018, to be considered for FY 2018 funding.

Kochi Core Center: Deep biosphere samples from IODP Expeditions 366 and 370 now available

DCO: Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program

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).

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



University of Western Brittany (UBO): Postdoctoral researcher position
Please send your application no later than April 1, 2018.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: Two Ph.D. Positions

U Penn: Two Graduate Research Assistant Positions

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.
You are receiving this e-mail because you opted in at our website or requested to be added via e-mail.

Unsubscribe <<Email Address>> from this list.
Forward this email to a friend
Subscribe to this list.
Update your profile
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp