C-DEBI Newsletter – November 3, 2014
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.


Katrina J. Edwards - In Memoriam
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Katrina Edwards, in Los Angeles on the 26th of October, 2014. Katrina was an internationally recognized leader in subseafloor biosphere research and the founding Director of C-DEBI. Katrina was a tenacious and enthusiastic practitioner of interdisciplinary science, with a clear vision of fundamental questions in geobiology. She also had an innate ability to build and lead strong teams, to nurture a community of young researchers and educators, and to secure the resources necessary to accomplish her important goals. The entire C-DEBI community will miss Katrina’s scientific collaboration and leadership, keen humor, and excitement for exploration and discovery. Our thoughts are with Katrina's family, students, postdocs, and colleagues. Share your memories of Katrina on the memorial site created by her family, friends, and colleagues. Contribute to the Girlstart Katrina Edwards Memorial Fund to empower girls in science, technology, engineering and math.

C-DEBI 2014 Annual Meeting
C-DEBI Research and E&O project participants met October 3-4 at our Annual Meeting in Marina, CA to discuss current work not previously presented. The focus of this C-DEBI Annual Meeting was integration and collaboration. At this time, we had submitted our renewal proposal and discussed future plans as well as reported on active C-DEBI projects. The purpose of the meeting was to continue to give community members from different field sites and/or with different interests a significant opportunity to make new connections that will help us to collectively solve especially interesting problems in study of subsurface life. Consequently, a relatively large fraction of the meeting was set aside for (i) many very brief presentations and (ii) open-mic discussions. This annual meeting was preceded by a C-DEBI/MARINE Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Professional Development Workshop on October 2, 2014 co-hosted by MARINE (Monterey Area Research Institutions' Network for Education) and in part led by our Education Director, Stephanie Schroeder. This day-long workshop "Preparing for Interdisciplinary Careers" aimed to help participants examine and prepare for a variety of interdisciplinary career paths, using the perspective of current professionals and through mock interview practice. Final agenda (pdf)

C-DEBI and the 2014 SACNAS National Conference:  Creativity, Vision & Drive: Toward Full Representation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
C-DEBI and other STEM-focused departments at the University of Southern California were a premiere sponsor of this year’s SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) conference held last month in Los Angeles. SACNAS is an inclusive, interdisciplinary, minority professional organization that seeks to support students to advanced degrees in STEM subjects through local chapters, regional events and an annual national conference that attracts almost 4,000 STEM students and professionals. As in previous years, C-DEBI engaged STEM students in deep biosphere research specifically by sponsoring a science session and a professional development session, hosting student tours of C-DEBI laboratories, and interacting with graduate program-seeking students in the exhibit hall. Next year’s conference, Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The Role of Diversity in STEM Innovation, will be held in Washington D.C. from October 29-31, 2015, and C-DEBI will be there! If you are interested in presenting research, sending students, promoting C-DEBI research, or participating in a session, please contact Diversity Director, Cynthia Joseph at

Meetings, Workshops and Activities

As global headlines focus on climate change, ocean acidification, and tsunamis, marine geoscientists stand well positioned to serve the needs of society while pushing the frontiers of scientific research. To solve these challenges and forge the necessary links between science and society, marine geoscientists must reach beyond their individual laboratories, form interdisciplinary collaborations, and communicate their discoveries to the public and policymakers. The Marine Geoscience Leadership Symposium (March 16-20, 2015; Washington, D.C.) introduces these skills to early career marine geoscientists. Participants will engage in small group discussions, participate in proposal workshops, and meet with funding agencies, media representatives, and policymakers. The symposium will provide leadership and communications training and begin the process of forming interdisciplinary research collaborations. Applicants may be from any subfield of marine geology or geophysics and should have completed their Ph.D. between December 2011 and December 2014. Selected participants will receive full participation support. International applicants may be considered. 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:

Education & Outreach
"North Pond" documentary receives honorable mention at the 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival
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 an E&O award to Samuel Hulme (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories). 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. Watch the trailer!

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.

Proposal Calls

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.

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 November 15, 2014, related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).

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.


Exxon Mobil: Postdoctoral Fellow - Microbiology
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company has an immediate opening for a Postdoctoral Fellow in its Corporate Strategic Research Laboratory located in Annandale, New Jersey. 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.The successful candidate must have a strong background and demonstrated scientific excellence in biochemistry, molecular biology, microbial genetics, protein engineering, and/or synthetic biology. A Ph.D. in microbiology, biochemistry or related field is required. Experience with hydrocarbon metabolism, community analysis, and metatranscriptomics/metaproteomics is desirable. Candidates should also be willing to explore new areas and have excellent analytical skills, strong leadership skills, and outstanding communication skills allowing him or her to develop broad based research programs.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas: Postdoctoral Fellow in microbiology (“microbial dark matter” biology)
The postdoctoral fellow will work in the lab of Brian P. Hedlund ( on highly collaborative projects funded by NSF, NASA, and DOE focused on the biology of yet-uncultivated candidate phyla of microorganisms (“microbial dark matter”) in terrestrial geothermal springs and other ecosystems. The postdoctoral fellow will work with a team of collaborators to generate and integrate datasets with the central goal of learning about the biology of candidate microbial phyla and how they contribute to biogeochemical cycles. Collaboration with DOE labs and other teams will provide access to a powerful suite of technologies and experimental approaches, including single-cell genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, as well as cutting-edge stable isotope probing approaches such as FISH-SIMS and Chip-SIP. Skills and interest in cultivating thermophilic microorganisms would also be very useful. 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
The Environmental Soil Microbiologist will join a faculty of plant, soil and environmental scientists in a multidisciplinary department that teaches courses in support of BS, MS, and PhD degree programs. Teaching and advising at the graduate and undergraduate levels must be viewed as a vital career component. Teaching a course in soil microbiology, a second course in environmental or soil science, and an additional course(s) in the candidate’s specialty will be a major responsibility for the successful candidate. Research will be conducted in agricultural, natural, or urban environments and may include diverse disciplinary approaches to soils or other environmental microbiology issues dealing with land and water resources. Position will examine soil microorganism processes at the plant-water-soil interface. The successful candidate is expected to collaborate with researchers outside the department and college to achieve teaching and research goals. The successful candidate must develop an externally funded research program and effectively communicate research findings including publishing in refereed journals. Additionally, participation in professional and campus-wide service is expected. Application closing date: 12/31/2014.

New Mexico State University:  Environmental Science/Environmental Chemistry Postdoctoral Position
Job duties and responsibilities:
  • Applicant may conduct research focusing on “Facilitated Transport Enabled In Situ Chemical Oxidation of 1,4-Dioxane-Contaminated Groundwater"
  • Examine physical, chemical, and biological processes acting in subsurface systems using laboratory experiments. 
  • Participate enthusiastically in the multidisciplinary research laboratory.
  • May provide research support to additional project.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Degree in a science or engineering program.
  • Experience in chemistry, chemical analysis, hydrogeology, environmental science or engineering, numerical or geochemical modeling and soil science.
  • Proficient in chemical analysis;capacity to lead substantial research activities; prepare peer-reviewed publications.
Application closing date: 1/30/2015

Aarhus University: Professor in Geomicrobiology
The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, invites applications for a position as full Professor in Geomicrobiology. We seek an internationally competitive researcher with a strong academic track record in Geomicrobiology, Biogeochemistry or an associated field that complements expertise already present among the (geo)microbiology staff. Applicants must be able to document previous research of high international standard, ability to obtain research funding, and teaching/supervision experience. The applicants should present plans for future research and ideas for teaching in Geomicrobiology. The appointee is expected to build up a research group and develop a research program in this interdisciplinary field and to take a leading role in the integration of Geomicrobiology in the university curriculum. Two additional associate professor positions in Geomicrobiology are planned to strengthen the field. The appointee will be part of the Section for Microbiology ( The Section’s research spans the field of microbiology from molecular microbiology and physiology to biogeochemistry, ecology and evolution, with a strong focus on aquatic systems. The appointee will furthermore be associated with the Center for Geomicrobiology (, a Center of Excellence under the Danish National Research Foundation funded until 2017. The Center is focused on the microbiology and biogeochemistry of subsurface marine sediments, but compares the whole range of microbial communities and processes in the seabed. The appointee will have full access to modern laboratories and equipment as well as excellent technical assistance, shared with other members of the Section. The appointee is expected to participate in the teaching of courses on both undergraduate and graduate level and in the supervision of Master’s and Ph.D. students. All applications must be made online and received by 15 January 2015.

Bigelow: Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Review of applicants will begin on November 10, 2014, with video-conference screening interviews planned for successful candidates the week of November 24, 2014.

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 ( 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 (

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

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