C-DEBI Newsletter – August 1, 2014
This newsletter is also accessible via our website.

We submit the renewal proposal for another 5 years of C-DEBI to the National Science Foundation today! If we are funded, we will continue to support all the community programs you know and love and more through 2020! Thanks to all of you for your achievements as part of our Center!

Meetings, Workshops and Activities

C-DEBI: Networked Speaker Series Seminar: Julie Meyer, August 13, 2014 from 12:00-12:45pm PT, Online!
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) is a “networked” Science and Technology Center (STC), gathering expertise, ideas, and participation from institutions across the U.S. and around the world. C-DEBI runs the Networked Speaker Series as one means to enhance communication and the exchange of ideas via short (30 minute) presentations with time for questions and discussion. The series is presented live online for remote participants (login instructions will be distributed before the talk), and is recorded and available on the website for those unable to attend the live broadcasts. 

Missed the last Networked Speaker Series seminar with Jason Sylvan on "Microbial life in old subseafloor basaltic crust"? Watch it now online.

C-DEBI's next Networked Seminar Speaker is Dr. Julie Meyer from the University of Florida:

Microbial life in cold, hydrologically active oceanic crustal fluids at North Pond
The cold, basalt-hosted, oceanic crustal aquifer is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth, yet little is known about its indigenous microorganisms. Seawater enters the aquifer through porous, exposed basaltic rocks in the upper layers of young oceanic crust, circulates underneath sedimented seafloor and is later discharged in other regions of exposed basaltic crust. During its residence beneath the ocean floor, seawater undergoes both biotic and abiotic transformations that may impact global biogeochemical cycles. Recently installed subseafloor observatories on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge penetrate hundreds of meters into the crust and provide an unprecedented opportunity to investigate microbial life in this understudied realm. I will present our findings from the initial microbiological and geochemical characterization of low-temperature basaltic formation fluids, as the first is a series of related studies documenting the progression of borehole equilibration. Our results reveal an active and diverse bacterial community in the crustal aquifer engaged in both heterotrophy and autotrophy.

Dr. Meyer was a C-DEBI Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Julie Huber from 2011-2013, investigating formation fluids from North Pond. She is now a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Florida, working to uncover microbial community dynamics and microbe-microbe interactions in the establishment of coral diseases. Overall, her research interests focus on the role of microbial genomic variation in marine ecosystem functioning and how microbial genomes reflect adaptation to environmental niches.

Deep Carbon Observatory Deep Life Workshop to Develop an ICDP Drilling Project 
The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Deep Life Community announces a workshop to be held November 3-4, 2014 at the GeoForschungsZentrum in Potsdam, Germany for the purpose of selecting and developing a deep-life-inspired drilling site/project for submission as a proposal to the International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP). Participation is solicited from scientists wishing to propose a deep-life driven deep drilling site and research project for ICDP funding. The ICDP solicits proposals on a variety of subsurface science topics, including the deep biosphere. While a number of ICDP projects have included biological components, none was conceived and designed as a deep-life-centric project. This in part reflects the deep life community not having provided compelling sites and projects. This workshop is intended to bring together ideas for deep life drilling, to select one or possibly more than one project, and to develop a preproposal for a January 2015 deadline. Drilling projects should be consistent with the DCO Deep Life Community Decadal Goals and the ICDP criteria. Participants should submit a one-page abstract to workshop organizers Tom Kieft ( and Tullis Onstott ( by September 1, 2014. On-line participation will be available for those who can’t be present in Potsdam. Funding is available to support travel expenses for a limited number of participants.  

AGU: Submit your abstracts to deep biosphere-related Sessions, due August 6!
EGU General Assembly 2015: Call for Sessions
The call for sessions for the next EGU general Assembly (Vienna, Apr 2015) has just been launched. As a Science Officer for the "BG7. Geomicrobiology and Extreme Environments", Helge Niemann would like to ask you to suggest a session (perhaps about the deep biosphere?). Just go to to make suggestions.

Hot Off the Press: Biosphere frontiers of subsurface life in the sedimented hydrothermal system of Guaymas Basin (C-DEBI Contribution 223), in Frontiers in Microbiology
Temperature is one of the key constraints on the spatial extent, physiological and phylogenetic diversity, and biogeochemical function of subsurface life. A model system to explore these interrelationships should offer a suitable range of geochemical regimes, carbon substrates and temperature gradients under which microbial life can generate energy and sustain itself. In this theory and hypothesis article, C-DEBI Extent Theme Team Leader Teske, Callaghan and fellowship recipient LaRowe make the case for the hydrothermally heated sediments of Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California as a suitable model system where extensive temperature and geochemical gradients create distinct niches for active microbial populations in the hydrothermally influenced sedimentary subsurface that in turn intercept and process hydrothermally generated carbon sources. They synthesize the evidence for high-temperature microbial methane cycling and sulfate reduction at Guaymas Basin – with an eye on sulfate-dependent oxidation of abundant alkanes – and demonstrate the energetic feasibility of these latter types of deep subsurface life in previously drilled Guaymas Basin locations of Deep-Sea Drilling Project 64.

Ocean Leadership: Ocean 180 Video Challenge
A total of $9,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to ocean scientists who best communicate their research through film. Sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE Florida) and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, Ocean 180 challenges scientists to communicate and share the meaning, significance, and relevance of their research with a broader audience. To enter, ocean scientists are asked to produce a 3-minute video abstract summarizing a recent publication. Scientists at any career stage, including graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to participate. Publications focused in marine debris and policy are eligible as well and are strongly encouraged. Submissions will ultimately be viewed and evaluated by thousands of middle school students from around the world. In 2014, during Ocean 180’s inaugural year, entries were seen by over 30,000 students participating as judges in 13 countries. This is a fantastic way to develop your communication skills and make a broader impact with your research. Submissions for the 2015 Ocean 180 Video Challenge will be accepted from October 1-December 1, 2014. Information, previous winners, and full contest guidelines can be found at All questions may be directed to

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

IODP: Apply to Sail for Expeditions 359, 360 and 361
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has begun accepting applications for three expeditions aboard the JOIDES Resolution: Expedition 359 (Maldives Monsoon), Expedition 360 (Indian Ridge Moho), and Expedition 361 (Southern African Climates). Opportunities exist for researchers, including graduate students, to sail as sedimentologists, paleontologists, biostratigraphers, paleomagnetists, stratigraphic correlators, petrophysicists, borehole geophysicists, microbiologists, and inorganic/organic geochemists on the Maldives Monsoon and South African Climates Expeditions, and for igneous/metamorphic petrologists, structural geologists, geochemists, paleomagnetists, petrophysicists, borehole geophysicists, and microbiologists on the Indian Ridge Moho Expedition. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in these expeditions should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership; please visit: The deadline to apply is 1 October 2014.

Sloan Foundation: Call for Research Fellowship Nominations
The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. The deadline for nominations for the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships is September 15, 2014.

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

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).


Georgia Tech, Biology Department: Postdoc in Marine Microbial Genomics
The Stewart lab in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech is looking for a postdoctoral fellow in marine microbial genomics. The postdoc will work jointly with Dr. Stewart and Dr. Jennifer Glass in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences on a project to understand microbial methane and sulfur cycling in marine oxygen minimum zones and freshwater sediments. Research tasks will involve comparative analysis of single-cell genomic, metagenomic, and metatranscriptomic datasets, molecular analysis of microbial DNA and RNA, and the preparation of samples for next generation sequencing. The postdoc will be encouraged to develop independent lines of research within the broader goals of the project and the lab, and will work collaboratively with Dr. Stewart, Dr. Glass, and other lab members to perform research and synthesize results for publication. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, motivated by experimental and analytical challenges, and proficient in a range of bioinformatics and molecular techniques. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in genomics, microbiology or a related discipline, with demonstrated expertise in comparative genomics, metagenomics, or transcriptomics. Knowledge of the physiology of anaerobic microorganisms, microbial evolution, and marine microbiology is desirable. This position is available immediately, although there is flexibility in the start date.

Texas A&M, IODP: Assistant Research Scientist
The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University invites applications for an Assistant Research Scientist (Expedition Project Manager/Staff Scientist) with expertise in any aspect of borehole geophysics. A Ph.D. in geosciences or related field, and demonstrated on-going research experience is required. Experience as a seagoing scientist, especially in scientific ocean drilling, is preferred. This position will serve as the Expedition Project Manager to coordinate all aspects of precruise expedition planning, sea-going implementation, and postcruise activities. These duties include sailing as the IODP scientific representative on a two-month IODP expedition approximately once every 1 to 2 years. Individual scientific research, as well as collaboration with colleagues at Texas A&M University in fulfilling its educational mission, is required. This position will also provide scientific advice on laboratory developments in their area of specialization. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience of the applicant. This is a regular full time position, contingent upon continuing availability of funds for IODP. We will begin reviewing applications on 30 September 2014, but will continue to accept applications until candidates are selected for interviews.

University of Oldenburg Institute for Chemistry of the Marine Environment: PhD Graduate Student
Review of applications will begin August 1st, 2014; applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Expected appointment is fall 2014. Questions may be directed to Dr. Bert Engelen at

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Associate Director for Microbiology
See the flyer for more details.

University of Minnesota, Department of Earth Sciences: Assistant Professor in Geomicrobiology and Bioremediation  
Review of applications will begin September 8, 2014; applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Expected appointment is Fall 2015.

LUBEM, University of Brest (UBO), France: 12-month Postdoctoral Position
Interested candidates are encouraged to send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter outlining previous experience and support letters from 2 colleagues with first-hand knowledge of their work experience as soon as possible by e-mail to Gaëtan Burgaud ( See the flyer for more information.

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.

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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