C-DEBI Newsletter – May 1, 2014
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Hot Off the Press: Sulphide oxidation and carbonate dissolution as a source of CO2 over geological timescales (C-DEBI Contribution 197) in Nature
C-DEBI Graduate Fellow Torres et al. The observed stability of Earth’s climate over millions of years is thought to depend on the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) release from the solid Earth being balanced by the rate of CO2 consumption by silicate weathering. During the Cenozoic era, spanning approximately the past 66 million years, the concurrent increases in the marine isotopic ratios of strontium, osmium and lithium suggest that extensive uplift of mountain ranges may have stimulated CO2 consumption by silicate weathering, but reconstructions of sea-floor spreading do not indicate a corresponding increase in CO2 inputs from volcanic degassing. The resulting imbalance would have depleted the atmosphere of all CO2 within a few million years. As a result, reconciling Cenozoic isotopic records with the need for mass balance in the long-term carbon cycle has been a major and unresolved challenge in geochemistry and Earth history. Here we show that enhanced sulphide oxidation coupled to carbonate dissolution can provide a transient source of CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere that is relevant over geological timescales. Like drawdown by means of silicate weathering, this source is probably enhanced by tectonic uplift, and so may have contributed to the relative stability of the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 during the Cenozoic. A variety of other hypotheses have been put forward to explain the ‘Cenozoic isotope-weathering paradox’, and the evolution of the carbon cycle probably depended on multiple processes. However, an important role for sulphide oxidation coupled to carbonate dissolution is consistent with records of radiogenic isotopes, atmospheric CO2 partial pressure and the evolution of the Cenozoic sulphur cycle, and could be accounted for by geologically reasonable changes in the global dioxygen cycle, suggesting that this CO2 source should be considered a potentially important but as yet generally unrecognized component of the long-term carbon cycle. 

Hot Off the Press: IODP Deep Biosphere Research Workshop report – a synthesis of recent investigations, and discussion of new research questions and drilling targets (C-DEBI Contribution 200) in Scientific Drilling
C-DEBI Activity Theme Team Leader Orcutt et al. During the past decade, the IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program) has fostered a significant increase in deep biosphere investigations in the marine sedimentary and crustal environments, and scientists are well-poised to continue this momentum into the next phase of the IODP. The goals of this workshop were to evaluate recent findings in a global context, synthesize available biogeochemical data to foster thermodynamic and metabolic activity modeling and measurements, identify regional targets for future targeted sampling and dedicated expeditions, foster collaborations, and highlight the accomplishments of deep biosphere research within IODP. Twenty-four scientists from around the world participated in this one-day workshop sponsored by IODP-MI and held in Florence, Italy, immediately prior to the Goldschmidt 2013 conference. A major topic of discussion at the workshop was the continued need for standard biological sampling and measurements across IODP platforms. Workshop participants renew the call to IODP operators to implement recommended protocols.

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. Please feel free to share this will your colleagues who can click on the “Your Ocean Story” tab to submit ideas, abstracts, photos, links, etc. directly to the people at BBC who are producing the series. They are currently at the phase of setting up partnerships, researching stories and considering voyages that coincide with the editorial mission of the series. Filming starts in late 2014 and continues through 2015, 2016 and early 2017.

Activities, Workshops and Courses

The workshop is scheduled on 21st-23rd August 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, prior to the ISME conference (24th-29th August 2014 in Seoul). Scientists who wish to participate in this workshop are requested to contact Jan W. de Leeuw before May 5th 2014.

MARUM: ECORD Summer School, "Subseafloor Biosphere: Current Advances and Future Challenges," September 22 - October 2, Bremen, Germany
Applications due May 9, 2014.

Ocean Leadership: Apply to Host Deep Biosphere IODP Distinguished Lecturer Beth Orcutt
Applications due June 1, 2014.

Proposal Calls

L'Oreal For Women in Science: Five Postdoctoral Grants
Applications are due on Monday, May 19, 2014.

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

NSF: Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA) Program Solicitation
Full Proposal Deadline: June 9, 2014.

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


Montana State University, Bozeman: Postdoctoral Researcher in Geomicrobiology
Screening of applications will begin on April 16, 2014 and will continue to be accepted until an adequate candidate pool has been established.

Texas A&M, College of Geosciences: 4 Faculty Positions
The search committee will commence review of applications starting 1 May and will continue until the positions are filled.

ABYSS: PhD and Post-Doctoral fellowships in Geodynamics, Mineralogy, Hydrodynamics, Thermodynamics and (Bio-)Geochemistry
We are now recruiting 10 PhDs and 1 post-doctoral fellow, including PhD position ESR11 in geobiology, "The ocean crust as microbial incubator." The deadline for application is June 1, 2014.
UNC-CH: Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor in Marine Environmental Genomics or Particle Dynamics
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
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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