C-DEBI Newsletter – May 1, 2013
Dear C-DEBI,
We are happy to announce our new C-DEBI Education and Outreach Steering Committee, workshop reports from the Extent of Life and Evolution and Survival Theme Team Workshops held late February/early March, new C-DEBI Contributed publications from the South Pacific Gyre IODP Expedition, and the Metcalf Institute’s Marine Deep Biosphere Resources for Journalists!  See opportunities for serving on an IODP panel or committee and a postdoctoral position in bioinformatics and computational biology at the Naval Research Laboratory below.

1. New C-DEBI Education and Outreach Steering Committee
Welcome to our new Education and Outreach Steering Committee: Sharnnia Artis (UC Berkeley), Diana Dalbotten (UMN), Vanessa Green (Oregon Health & Science U), and Keith Oden (GA Tech), all current or former NSF Science and Technology Center Directors of Education and/or Diversity.  We are excited to have them on board as the review committee of our Education and Outreach Grant proposals, and sincerely thank our previous committee (Barb Bruno, Sharon Cooper, Mary Kadooka, Mary Whaley) for their service. 
2. Joint C-DEBI Extent Research Theme and Guaymas Basin Drilling Proposal Workshop Report
The latest Extent of Life, Biogeography and Dispersal Theme Team Workshop was a joint Extent Theme and Guaymas Drilling Proposal Workshop with sponsorship from the IODP U.S. Science Support Program. The workshop was held February 27 - March 1, 2013 at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, California.  The extensive thermal and geochemical gradients of Guaymas Basin fulfill a key criterion articulated during prior Evolution Theme Team meetings that abundance and activity of specific, physiologically and phylogenetically defined microbial groups should be studied within the context of well-constrained environmental gradients.  Read the report for how this approach was applied to Guaymas Basin and stay tuned for a full publication in the form of a “Theory and Hypothesis” paper in Frontiers in Microbiology.

3.  C-DEBI Evolution Research Theme Workshop Report
The latest Evolution and Survival Theme Team Workshop was held February 28 - March 1, 2013, at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, North Carolina. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current state of evolutionary research in the deep biosphere, and form an opinion as to what research directions should be prioritized in the near future. The workshop report summarizes the discussions and findings of the meeting.

4. Hot off the Press: IODP Expedition 329: Life and Habitability beneath the Seafloor of the South Pacific Gyre
Read C-DEBI Contribution 161 by Steve D'Hondt, Fumio Inagaki, Carlos Alvarez Zarikian, and the IODP Expedition 329 Scientific Party in the latest issue of Scientific Drilling.  Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329 made major strides toward fulfilling its objectives. Shipboard studies documented (1) fundamental aspects of habitability and life in this very low activity subseafloor sedimentary ecosystem and (2) first-order patterns of habitability within the igneous basement. A broad range of post-expedition studies will complete the expedition objectives.

5. Hot off the Press: Assessment and Use of NGR Instrumentation on the JOIDES Resolution (IODP Expedition 329) to Quantify U, Th, and K Concentrations in Marine Sediment
Read C-DEBI Contribution 162 by Ann Dunlea, et al. in the latest issue of Scientific Drilling. Concentrations of uranium (U), thorium (Th), and potassium (K) in geological materials provide insight into many important lithological characteristics and geologic processes.  Rapidly determining their abundance within cores of sedimentary and igneous rock sequences onboard a research vessel is a challenging but potentially very useful method to non-destructively and quickly provide important geochemical information about the concentrations of U, Th, and K within the sequences being cored.

6. Metcalf Institute's Resources on the Marine Deep Biosphere for Journalists Now Complete!
To help journalists cover scientific exploration of life deep beneath the ocean’s seafloor, the University of Rhode Island's Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting has developed a C-DEBI Experts List and backgrounder summaries of the four C-DEBI Research Themes. These resources were created as part of a C-DEBI Education and Outreach Grant in collaboration with URI Graduate School of Oceanography C-DEBI Postdoctoral Fellow John Kirkpatrick.

7. Volunteer for an IODP Panel or Committee
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership, in association with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), is seeking new U.S.-based members for the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) and the Science Advisory Structure (SAS), specifically the Proposal Evaluation Panel and Site Characterization Panel. We are also seeking new U.S. and international members for the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board. New members will serve three-year terms beginning in October 2013.  Scientists interested in volunteering for these opportunities should send a cover letter and a two-page CV to Charna Meth ( by June 5, 2013. Letters should clearly indicate your primary field of expertise, briefly document any previous committee experience, describe your interests in the scientific ocean drilling programs, and identify your preferred panel or committee assignment. We strongly encourage the involvement of early career scientists, as well as those with more experience.

8. Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC
The successful candidate will be joining a multidisciplinary team of scientists interested in understanding the organismal and biomolecular composition and function of complex marine microbial consortia. This candidate will be responsible for managing metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic data sets and developing analytical processes that utilize existing software packages and biostatistical analyses. The candidate must have acquired a Ph.D. in a bioinformatics or computational biology-related field within the past five years and have demonstrated experience in scripting and programming languages. This postdoctoral position is available through a competitive process with the National Research Council Associateship Program and will offer a salary of $74,872 per annum. Qualified candidates should send applications to Gary J. Vora at

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!

best, rosalynn.

Rosalynn Sylvan, Ph.D.
Co-Managing Director
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
University of Southern California
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF209E, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
Phone: 213-740-3997, 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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