C-DEBI Newsletter – March 2, 2014
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Dear C-DEBI,

Our next C-DEBI Annual Meeting will be held October 2-4, 2014, just prior to the 2014 International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM) October 5-10 in nearby Pacific Grove, CA. Submit your abstracts to the ISSM by April 1 (details below). As a reminder, the size of the C-DEBI Annual Meeting will be limited to support well-integrated discussions as last year. Invitations to active C-DEBI researchers and others to come late summer; due to limited working space at our meeting venue, we are unable to support "All Hands" at these meetings and are more appropriately referring to our community meeting as the "Annual Meeting." Proposals for our Spring 2014 calls for research and education grants and postdoctoral and graduate fellowships are also due April 1.

Activities and Workshops

NASA Astrobiology NPP Alumni Seminar: Jennifer Glass, THIS MONDAY, 3/3/14, 11AM Pacific
Participate in the virtual seminar "Microbes, Methane, and Metals: Insights From Geochemistry, Omics, and Single Cell Imaging" presented by recent C-DEBI research grant awardee Jennifer Glass (Georgia Institute of Technology). Consortia of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria consume the majority of methane produced in marine sediments. In this talk, she will discuss insights from trace metal geochemistry and omics sequencing of methane seep ecosystems that shed light on novel deep sea microbial metabolisms. She will also discuss new findings from single-cell imaging that explore the effects of methane on the trace element composition and geomicrobiology of uncultured methanotrophic symbionts.

2014 DEBI RCN Meeting: Bioenergetics and Subsurface Metabolisms, April 9-11, 2014, USC
Join us for a joint scientific conference and workshop focused on bioenergetics and metabolisms in deep subsurface ecosystems. This meeting will provide a forum for discussing and establishing what is known, unknown but knowable, and unknowable about microbial metabolisms in the deep subsurface. This next and final DEBI RCN meeting will include a hands-on modeling component for a subset of the participants on the final day. We invite graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and more “seasoned” researchers interested in the geochemical supply of energy for microorganisms, their catabolic and anabolic demands, and novel approaches to investigating these. Due to space and financial limitations, participation will be limited to approximately 30 participants. Some travel funding is available. Applications due March 10, 2014.

Southern California Geobiology Sypmosium, April 5th at USC: Call for Abstracts
We are pleased to announce that abstract submission for the 11th annual Southern California Geobiology Symposium is now open! The Southern California Geobiology Symposium is a regional conference that brings together graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in Geobiology and related fields to share recent findings in a friendly environment. This year, we will hold both oral and poster sessions over the course of one day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee will be provided for attendees. We strongly encourage faculty members to attend, however only presentations from students and post-docs will be accepted. The symposium will be held at the University of Southern California on April 5th. Abstracts can be submitted through the symposium website ( starting today. Abstract submission will close on March 15th and participants will be informed of their presentation format (i.e. poster or oral presentation) by March 22nd. 

2014 International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM), October 5-10
Submit your abstracts to sessions such as "Astrobiology/Microbiology of Extreme Subsurface Environments" chaired by Tori Hoehler and Karsten Pedersen at the forthcoming International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology meeting, which will be held at Asilomar this October.  Abstracts due April 1.  See submission instructions at

Proposal Calls

C-DEBI: Spring 2014 Calls for Research Grants, E&O Grants, Postdoc Fellowships and Graduate Fellowships
Our Spring 2014 calls for deep biosphere proposals for our Research Small GrantsEducation Small GrantsPostdoctoral Fellowships and Graduate Fellowships are now open. Help us further our mission to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins. C-DEBI’s research objectives include support of research activities related to the study of life in the deep marine subsurface, including analysis of samples and data from past cruises; participation in upcoming cruises; and field, laboratory and theoretical studies of the deep subsurface biosphere. Our overall education goal is to create distinctive, targeted, education programs at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in order to train and foster the next generation of deep subseafloor biosphere researchers. The deadline for the Spring 2014 calls is April 1, 2014. C-DEBI values a diverse research and education environment and encourages proposals from applicants who would help to improve diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields. Funding is only available to individuals sponsored in US institutions.
DCO: Call for Proposals: Census of Deep Life Sequencing
Since 2011, the Deep Carbon Observatory’s Deep Life Community has sponsored the Census of Deep Life (CoDL), which in turn has supported surveys of the diversity of microbes present in several deep continental and subseafloor environments. The first surveys (2011-2012) were conducted using 454 pyrosequencing and subsequently (2013) Illumina sequencing strategies were adopted. Through this initiative, the Deep Life Community has allowed the characterization of diversity of subsurface microbial communities at numerous sites worldwide, including the subseafloor and deep continental locations from a range of geologic settings (e.g., large igneous provinces, subglacial lakes, methane hydrate-rich sediments, cratons). The Illumina platform provides increased numbers of reads for more samples at reduced cost. For DNA samples submitted to the CoDL for sequencing, proponents have the option of obtaining 400-450 nt bacterial sequences that span the V4V5 region or bacterial and archaeal sequences of very high quality that span V6 regions. The V6 analyses allow accurate sequence determinations and provide rich datasets in terms of numbers of reads per sample. These data can be compared at the taxonomic level when targeting different hypervariable regions but cluster/diversity analyses will be restricted to comparisons of samples for which there are data available from the very same hypervariable region. Shotgun metagenomic DNA sequencing for key samples can also be performed. This call for proposals aims to support sequencing that represents expanded analyses from ongoing Deep Life Community projects or projects that represent sites and investigators new to the DCO’s Deep Life Community. Proposal submission deadline, 31 March, 2014.
The DLC will accept 3 to 4 page, electronic submissions prior to 31 March 2014, 30 June 2014, 30 September 2014, and 31 December 2014.

National Academies Research Associateships for Graduate, Postdoctoral and Senior Researchers
The National Research Council of the National Academies sponsors a number of awards for graduate, postdoctoral and senior researchers at participating federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. These awards include generous stipends and provide the opportunity for recipients to do independent research in some of the best-equipped and staffed laboratories in the U.S. Research opportunities are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and for some of the laboratories, foreign nationals. There are four annual review cycles and the next closes May 1.

IODP: Call for Scientific Ocean Drilling Proposals
The proposal submission deadline is April 1, 2014. For more information and proposal guidance, please visit or contact

IODP-USSSP: Rolling Proposals for Pre-Drilling Activities and Workshops
The U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) accepts proposals on a rolling basis for pre-drilling activity and workshops related to the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).
Summer Courses and Internships
DCO: Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Summer School for students, postdocs and early-career researchers, 13-18 July 2014
The first Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Summer School will be held 13-18 July 2014 at Big Sky Resort in Montana with fieldwork in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The purpose of the Summer School is to introduce 30 students, postdocs, and/or early-career researchers interested in deep carbon science to the interdisciplinary concepts which are the cornerstone of DCO’s approach to understanding Earth. Lodging and meals will be provided at no cost to summer school students, and expenses for economy travel to the school location will be fully reimbursed in most cases. (For guidance, transportation stipends are not to exceed: $1000 for travel in North America; $2000 for travel from Europe, South America, and Africa; $2500 for travel from Asia and Australia. Exceptions may be considered in special cases.) To be eligible, applicants must be pursuing research related to one of the DCO themes as a current graduate student or postdoc within three years of completing his/her PhD. Applications are due by Monday, 31 March 2014.

Wrigley Institute: High School Marine Science Lab at USC's Wrigley Marine Science Center
Please see the flyer or download the application, due March 31.


Bigelow: Bioinformatician at Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC)
We are seeking a Bioinformatician to provide computational support to the Bigelow Laboratory Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC) and research projects conducted by Stepanauskas' group and collaborating scientists. Requirements:
  • BS or higher in bioinformatics or life sciences with strong bioinformatics component and 2 years of relevant, post-degree experience
  • Solid knowledge of next-generation sequencing and common bioinformatics tools
  • Experience with Unix/Linux, SQL, XML, Python, R, HTML5, JavaScript, version control and shell scripting
  • Willingness to work in a team composed of field, laboratory and computational biologists
To apply for the position, please follow this link: Applications will be reviewed starting January 15, 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
Administrative Assistant
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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