C-DEBI Newsletter – November 2, 2015
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Congratulations to Dr. William Orsi who has accepted a faculty position at the University of Munich (LMU) Department of Palaeontology & Geobiology and will be part of the "GeoBio Center"!  Bill has been involved with C-DEBI as a research grantee and postdoctoral fellow while at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and University of Maryland Horn Point Laboratory. See his contributed publications here!

He also wanted to share the International Master's program "Geobiology and Paleobiology" (MGAP) that is run out of his new department: a consecutive, research-oriented, four-term international master program of the Faculty of Geosciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, in collaboration with researchers of the Bavarian State collections under the umbrella of the GeoBio-Center LMU.

Congratulations also to Dr. Julie Meyer, recently awarded a 2015 L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.! Julie was a C-DEBI postdoctoral fellow while at Marine Biological Laboratory, and currently studies the role of microbial interactions in the health and stability of coral reefs. The fellowship will support the further development of Meyer's research including the sequencing of whole genomes, as well as to produce a short documentary film highlighting the work of women in coral reef research.



Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Variations in microbial carbon sources and cycling in the deep continental subsurface
Danielle N. Simkus, Greg F. Slater, Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Kenna Wilkie, Thomas L. Kieft, Cara Magnabosco*, Maggie C.Y. Lau, Michael J. Pullin, Sarah B. Hendrickson, K. Eric Wommack, Eric G. Sakowski, Esta van Heerden, Olukayode Kuloyo, Borja Linage, Gaetan Borgonie, Tullis C. Onstott
*C-DEBI Contribution 278

Deep continental subsurface fracture water systems, ranging from 1.1 to 3.3 kilometers below land surface (kmbls), were investigated to characterize the indigenous microorganisms and elucidate microbial carbon sources and their cycling. Analysis of phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) abundances and direct cell counts detected varying biomass among sites that was not correlated with depth. Compound-specific carbon isotope analyses (δ13C and Δ14C) of the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and carbon substrates combined with genomic analyses did identify, however, distinct carbon sources and cycles between the two depth ranges studied. In the shallower boreholes at circa 1 kmbls, isotopic evidence indicated microbial incorporation of biogenic CH4 by the in situ microbial community. At the shallowest site, 1.05 kmbls in Driefontein mine, this process clearly dominated the isotopic signal. At slightly deeper depths, 1.34 kmbls in Beatrix mine, the isotopic data indicated the incorporation of both biogenic CH4 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) derived from CH4 oxidation. In both of these cases, molecular genetic analysis indicated that methanogenic and methanotrophic organisms together comprised a small component (<5%) of the microbial community. Thus, it appears that a relatively minor component of the prokaryotic community is supporting a much larger overall bacterial community in these samples. In the samples collected from > 3 kmbls in Tau Tona mine (TT107, TT109 Bh2), the CH4 had an isotopic signature suggesting a predominantly abiogenic origin with minor inputs from microbial methanogenesis. In these samples, the isotopic enrichments (δ13C and Δ14C) of the PLFAs relative to CH4 were consistent with little incorporation of CH4 into the biomass. The most 13C-enriched PLFAs were observed in TT107 where the dominant CO2-fixation pathway was the acetyl-CoA pathway by non-acetogenic bacteria. The differences in the δ13C of the PLFAs and the DIC and DOC for TT109 Bh2 were ∼-24‰ and 0‰, respectively. The dominant CO2-fixation pathways were 3-HP/4-HB cycle > acetyl-CoA pathway > reductive pentose phosphate cycle.

Special Issue of Frontiers in Microbiology: manuscript submission deadline extended
Deep biosphere researchers: please note that the deadline for submitting a manuscript to the special issue of Frontiers in Microbiology, Recent Advances in Geomicrobiology of the Ocean Crust (topic eds. B.N. Orcutt, J.B. Sylvan, C.M. Santelli), has been extended to January 04, 2016.

Workshops & Activities
AGU 2015: Ignite@AGU: Submit a Talk Proposal 
The call for presenters closes at midnight ET on November 02, 2015

25th International Geological Congress, Cape Town, South Africa, August 27-September 4, 2016: IODP Symposium call for abstracts
This symposium appears under the Marine Geosciences and Oceanography theme. The abstract submission is now open until January 2016

Education & Outreach

UNOLS: 2016 Chief Scientist Workshop Aboard the R/V Thompson
We are pleased to announce a Chief Scientist Training Cruise Opportunity that will take place in February 2016 aboard the R/V Thomas G Thompson. Please share with your colleagues and anyone else you think might be interested! This cruise, a 2 day pre-cruise informational workshop, and phone conferences planning sessions, will instruct early career marine scientists, including PhD students, postdocs and faculty, on how to effectively plan for, acquire, utilize, and report on time at sea for multi-disciplinary research and education. This 2016 Chief scientist program will be staged from San Diego and will include a 7 day research cruise aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson in coastal and offshore waters. It will take place between 11 February and 20 February 2016. Small stipends are provided for participant travel costs, research supplies, and shipping. Space is limited. To apply you must be an employee or student (U.S. Citizen or permanent resident) at a U.S. institution or a U.S. citizen working abroad. To be considered, applications must be received by November 30, 2015

C-DEBI E&O: Free Where Wild Microbes Grow iBook and PDF out today on iTunes! Help spread the word!
Please help us promote this C-DEBI education grant-supported eBook for K-12 students to anyone you know, and especially teachers, as they will help us reach the most kids! Also, please be sure to encourage anyone who downloads and likes the iBook version to leave a review on iTunes. The way iTunes is set-up, the more reviews the Where Wild Microbes Grow receives, the easier it will be to find!

The Rolex Scholarships
Application deadline: December 15, 2015.

Proposal Calls
BISAL: Biology and Planetary Exploration in the Deep Subsurface - Call for Experiments
The Boulby International Subsurface Astrobiology Laboratory (BISAL) is part of the Boulby Underground Laboratory, an STFC-funded deep underground science facility operating in Boulby Potash and salt mine in the northeast UK. The environment of the mine is a 250 million year old sequence of salts laid down in the Permian. Located at 1.1 km depth, the BISAL lab and supported access to the wider mine environment offers opportunity for a wide diversity of experiments including studies of biology at below background levels of radiation, life in deep subsurface environments, studies of deep subsurface biogeochemical cycling and deep carbon. The lab is also used as an environment for the testing of instrumentation for use in planetary exploration (MINAR – Mine Analog Research) and particularly technology that has potential for transfer into the mining sector. A dedicated ‘Mars-yard’ area allows for testing of instruments and robotics. The BISAL lab currently being expanded an improved as part of a recent £1.7 million upgrade to the Boulby Underground Laboratory infrastructure. This is a call for experiments wishing to use the BISAL facility. Experiments that cover any area of deep surface biology and astrobiology or planetary exploration are of potential interest.

Simons Foundation: Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards
The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (LOI) is November 02, 2015.

IODP-USSSP: Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship Program
Application deadline: November 15, 2015.

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 deadline: December 01, 2015), related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

NSF: Small Business Technology Transfer Program Phase I (STTR) Proposal Solicitation
Full proposal deadline: December 11, 2015.

NOAA: Ocean Exploration 2016 Funding Opportunity
Closing date for applications: January 8, 2016.

NSF: Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF)
Full proposal deadline: January 12, 2016

IODP-USSSP: Apply to Sail:Expeditions 367 and 368, South China Sea Rifted Margin
The deadline to apply is January, 15 2016.

National Academies: Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
There are four annual review cycles and the next closes February 01, 2016.

NSF: Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry Program Solicitation
Proposals accepted anytime.

Texas A&M University at Galveston: Assistant Professor in Marine Microbial Ecology
The Department of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Marine Microbial Ecology. We seek an individual with a Ph.D. and preferably postdoctoral or equivalent experience whose research complements that of faculty in the Department of Marine Biology ( Candidates with research interests in any area of marine microbiology will be considered, including environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, marine microbial genomics, pathogens of aquatic organisms, human pathogens in aquatic environments, and marine microbial natural products. Individuals should have experience with high throughput sequencing approaches, as well as classical microbial analytical and culture techniques. Competitive candidates will demonstrate the potential for interdisciplinary research collaborations across the departments of Marine Biology and Marine Sciences as well as with researchers on the main campus. Teaching responsibilities will include an upper-level undergraduate course in marine microbial ecology and undergraduate or graduate courses in laboratory techniques and/or data processing. The successful applicant will be expected to establish and sustain an externally funded research program as well as mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Applications should be received by November 30, 2015 for full consideration.

UC Berkeley: Two faculty positions, Earth and Planetary Science
All applications should be submitted online by December 04, 2015.

Bigelow: Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Review of applicants will begin on December 15, 2015.

USC: C-DEBI Seeks a Diversity Program Specialist
The full-time Program Specialist will serve as Diversity Specialist, helping to create, coordinate, and lead our education, outreach, and diversity efforts to serve our students, postdocs, faculty, and other participants at USC and across the nation. For more information and application instructions, please visit the USC careers website, job ID 1004620.

USC: Open-Rank, Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Geobiology
For further information, please contact the Chair of the search committee, Jan Amend ( Review of applications will begin October 15, 2015.

Georgia Tech: Postdoc in Environmental Microbiology and Genomics
Review of applications will begin on October 31, 2015 and continue until the position is filled.

UCSC: C-DEBI Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Marine Hydrogeology
More information on Fisher's research group, projects, and specifications for preparing an application for this postdoctoral position can be found here. Please contact Fisher ( with questions and/or to submit an application. Review of applications will occur in Fall 2015.

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!
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.

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