C-DEBI Newsletter – December 2, 2013
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Proposal Calls

DCO: Deep Life Community Call for Proposals
The Deep Life Community (DLC) of the Deep Carbon Observatory invites proposals for short-term funding of exploratory projects and/or activities aimed at addressing the DLC’s decadal goals and/or strengthening the international DLC community and its abilities to generate funding for new and ongoing initiatives. The DLC, which explores the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth’s deep biosphere and its interactions with the carbon cycle, embraces three primary Decadal Goals: 1) Determine the processes that define the diversity and distribution of deep life as it relates to the carbon cycle; 2) Determine the environmental limits of deep life; and 3) Determine the interactions between deep life and carbon cycling. The DLC will accept 3 to 4 page, electronic submissions prior to 31 December 2013, 31 March 2014, 30 June 2014, 30 September 2014, and 31 December 2014.

IODP: Apply to Sail: Two Indian Ocean Expeditions
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has begun accepting applications for two expeditions aboard the JOIDES Resolution: Indian Monsoon Rainfall and Bengal Fan. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; please visit: The deadline to apply is 15 January 2014. To learn more about the scientific objectives of the Indian Monsoon Rainfall expedition, life at sea, and how to apply to sail, please join us for a web-based seminar on 17 December 2013 at 4 PM EST. To participate in the webinar, you need access to the Internet and a computer with a microphone and speaker capability or a telephone. To register, please send an email to with your name and your institution, with Expedition 353 Webinar Registration in the subject line. After registering, you will receive an email response with instructions on how to access the webinar. Expedition 354 Bengal Fan is also having a webinar at 18 December 2013 at 4 PM EST. Registration is the same as above, but list Expedition 354 in the subject line.
Schmidt Ocean Institute: Pre-Proposals Invited for Oceanographic Research on R/V Falkor in 2016
Submissions will be excepted through December 6, 2013.

NSF: Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12)
The Discovery Research K-12 program (DRK-12) seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools (RMTs). Full proposal deadline: December 06, 2013.

NSF: Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OCE-PRF)
The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) offers postdoctoral research fellowships to provide opportunities for scientists early in their careers to work within and across traditional disciplinary lines, develop partnerships, and avail themselves of unique resources, sites and facilities. Full proposal target date: January 13, 2014.

Hot off the Press: Strain-Level Genomic Variation in Natural Populations of Lebetimonas from an Erupting Deep-sea Volcano (C-DEBI Contribution 180) in The ISME Journal
Chemolithoautotrophic Epsilonproteobacteria are ubiquitous in sulfidic, oxygen-poor habitats, including hydrothermal vents, marine oxygen minimum zones, marine sediments and sulfidic caves and have a significant role in cycling carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in these environments. The isolation of diverse strains of Epsilonproteobacteria and the sequencing of their genomes have revealed that this group has the metabolic potential to occupy a wide range of niches, particularly at dynamic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. C-DEBI Postdoctoral Fellow J. Meyer and Executive Committee Member J. Huber expand on this body of work by examining the population genomics of six strains of Lebetimonas, a vent-endemic, thermophilic, hydrogen-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacterium, from a single seamount in the Mariana Arc. Using Lebetimonas as a model for anaerobic, moderately thermophilic organisms in the warm, anoxic subseafloor environment, they show that genomic content is highly conserved and that recombination is limited between closely related strains. The Lebetimonas genomes are shaped by mobile genetic elements and gene loss as well as the acquisition of novel functional genes by horizontal gene transfer, which provide the potential for adaptation and microbial speciation in the deep sea. In addition, these Lebetimonas genomes contain two operons of nitrogenase genes with different evolutionary origins. Lebetimonas expressed nifH during growth with nitrogen gas as the sole nitrogen source, thus providing the first evidence of nitrogen fixation in any Epsilonproteobacteria from deep-sea hydrothermal vents. In this study, they provide a comparative overview of the genomic potential within the Nautiliaceae as well as among more distantly related hydrothermal vent Epsilonproteobacteria to broaden our understanding of microbial adaptation and diversity in the deep sea.

Hot off the Press: Data Report: Microbial Diversity in Sediment Near Grizzly Bare Seamount in Holes U1363B and U1363G (C-DEBI Contribution 181), in Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, 327
Microorganisms inhabiting sediment in close proximity to recharging basement outcrops are of interest because of the enhanced advective fluid flow in these locations, which is expected to exert unique selective pressures on the resident microbial communities. Here, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) boreholes were used to access sediment microbial communities near Grizzly Bare recharge seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge eastern flank. The two locations examined in this study by C-DEBI Graduate Fellow S. Jungbluth et al., Holes U1363G and U1363B, are 50 and 177 m away from the center of the outcrop, respectively. In general, small subunit ribosomal RNA gene clones from all three domains of life were detected; these groups were predominantly related to microorganisms known to reside in marine sediment. A large fraction of environmental gene clones recovered from Hole U1363B and U1363G sediment were related to uncultivated, candidate phyla of Bacteria such as BHI80-139, BRC1, JS1, OPB41, and TA06. Hole U1363B and U1363G sediment clone libraries were generally dominated by the domain Bacteria and particularly the phylum Chloroflexi, which comprised approximately one-quarter of the total gene clones identified. However, borehole sediment also contained several archaeal lineages that were phylogenetically affiliated with the Miscellanenous Crenarchaeotal Group. Eukaryotic fungi were only detected within the interstitial water sample from Hole U1363B. Finally, a minor portion of clones recovered from sediment in this study were also recovered from basement fluid samples previously characterized from Baby Bare discharge seamount and Ocean Drilling Program and IODP borehole Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit Observatories (CORKs) in Holes 1026B and U1301A, which are ~50 km to the north-northeast.

Nature News Blog: US Ocean Drilling Ship Gets a New Lease on Life
The US National Science Board has approved funding for the next five years for the JOIDES Resolution, the research vessel that is a cornerstone of international scientific ocean drilling. The Resolution’s future had been in doubt given that its funder, the ocean sciences division of the National Science Foundation (NSF), is facing excruciatingly tight budgets.

Activities and Workshops

C-DEBI: Discover Dorado - Education & Outreach
Come join the Dorado Outcrop blogging team at Dec. 1-23 as they explore central Costa Rica –  rich with volcanos, rainforests, beaches and wildlife - then join our team of scientific researchers on the Research Vessel (R/V) Atlantis. There they’ll follow along and report on the activities of the Dorado Outcrop expedition. These scientists are interested in checking out the altered seawater flow that stems from deep under the sea floor – that’s right – seawater circulates within the earth’s crust, just like groundwater circulates through continental crust! It’s really very cool – literally! Our field experts know this water carries many different particles and dissolved substances with it; they know it’s getting into the ocean through exposed basalt, primarily at seamounts, large underwater mountains; and they have found that the water brings nutrients that support life that exists in – eeeek! – total darkness  It may explain how some creatures can live without any sunlight at all. A lot of this research is laying a foundation of understanding for work to come. And, you never know what they might find in the process. It’s exploration in its truest sense.

C-DEBI: Nominations now open for the 2013-2014 Networked Speaker Series
C-DEBI seeks nominations for the next three speakers for this program. Potential speakers can be nominated by colleagues, mentors, or those mentored by C-DEBI participants; they can also self nominate. Selected C-DEBI Networked Speakers will make a presentation online, using video conferencing tools, with assistance from the C-DEBI main office at USC. Presentations are to be about 30 minutes in length, with time allocated for questions and discussion. For more information about the Speaker Series and nomination request, please see:

C-DEBI at the AGU Fall Meeting
C-DEBI will return to the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco this December.  We hope to see you at the exhibitors booth and many C-DEBI-related sessions such as Deep Biosphere Research: Presence, Diversity and Activity of Microbes (see more in the 8/1 newsletter).  Tell us what other sessions/activities to advertise and we will see you there!

AGU: Mini-Workshop: IODP Drilling to Basement in the Aleutian Basin
The mini-workshop “IODP Drilling to Basement in the Aleutian Basin: What Can We Learn from the Sedimentary Section?” will take place during the AGU Fall Meeting on Wednesday, December 11, from 6pm to 9pm in the Marriott Marquis (780 Mission Street), Room Sierra E. This mini-workshop is being convened to discuss pre-proposal IODP 825-Pre (Establishing the Age and Origin of the Aleutian Basin, Bering Sea). The proposal plans to explore the tectonic development of the Aleutian Basin by drilling into one of the central ridges of the Vitus Arch and sample, determine ages, and further characterize the nature of Aleutian Basin basement rocks. Sampling the Aleutian Basin seafloor requires drilling through ~1 km of sediment, which is expected to range back to at least Oligocene time, and probably older. These sediments provide a wide range of rich research opportunities - such as a continuous high-latitude climate record extending back to early Cenozoic time, diagenesis of silica-rich sediments, methane hydrates, etc. We invite scientists who are interested in these studies to attend the mini-workshop and to discuss ideas and potential collaborations.  Attendance is free.  For further information, please contact Robert Stern (University of Texas at Dallas) at

AGU: TH15H. Community Input on the Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences
10 December 2013, 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM. Cosponsored by OS. The National Research Council is undertaking a Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences for NSF, which will review the current state of knowledge, identify compelling scientific questions for the next decade, analyze infrastructure needed to address these questions versus the current NSF portfolio, and identify opportunities to maximize value of NSF investments. The town hall will engage the community on its views for ocean research in the next decade. Contact: Deborah Glickson,

IODP: Two Workshops in Brazil for New Atlantic Ocean Proposals
Two workshops aimed at developing new IODP proposals for the Atlantic Ocean will take pace in Brazil early next year. Full and partial travel support is available for a limited number of U.S. participants, including graduate students and early career scientists.
  1. Paleoceanography of the Brazilian Equatorial Margin (February 4-6, 2014; Maresias, São Paulo): 
    The deadline to apply is December 7, 2013.  For more information, please visit:
  2. Deep Drilling of the Amazon Continental Margin (March 24-26, 2014; Buzios, Rio de Janeiro): This The deadline to apply is January 1, 2014. For more information, please visit:
ISSM 2014: Call for Abstracts
ISSM 2014 is seeking presentations on the newest developments in subsurface microbiology and microbial ecology. We are calling on microbiologists, ecologists, geoscientists, and others in the field to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation. Student oral and poster presentations are also welcome. Abstract Deadline: Feb 1, 2014.

The workshop takes place February 23, 2014 at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, HI.
Fill out our pre-registration form to reserve your spot now. For additional information, please contact Dr. Carrie Ferraro or Janice McDonnell.

To view posting and/or apply, go to and search for Microbiology.

We seek an internationally competitive researcher with a strong academic track record in Astrobiology. The application is due December 2, 2013.

Applications will be reviewed beginning January 7, 2014 and continue until the positions are filled. Visit for more information about the positions and GSO. The University of Rhode Island is an AA/EEOD employer and values diversity.


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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