Deep Life
We are exploring the frontier of the "deep biosphere" - microbial life in the rocks and sediments that makes up 70% of our planet's surface.
Background: Microbes "rust the crust" at Loihi Seamount (courtesy ROV JASON / WHOI)
Novel Organisms
This previously unknown bacillus living 342 meters below the ocean floor is one of very few isolated from the subseafloor crust.

Studying these organisms will reveal important, novel, and basic insights into the unique metabolic features of microbes in the deep biosphere.
Left: Novel Bacillus cells producing spores and right: actively growing (scanning electron microscope (SEM) image courtesy Lily Momper / USC).
Background: Core samples from IODP Leg 206 (photo credit: IODP-USIO).
It's Slow Growing: Novel Approaches
Visualization methods like "BONCAT" reveal important, novel, and basic insights into the unique metabolic features of microbes in the deep biosphere, as in the slow-growing, archaeal-bacterial consortium anaerobically oxidizing methane in deep sea sediments pictured here.
DAPI (DNA)   BONCAT (new proteins)   FISH (16s RNA)   Bar: 10μM
Figure: Hatzenpichler et al. 2016, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Global Implications
About 0.6% of Earth's total living biomass is in subseafloor sediments. This finding updates previous estimates made in 1998.
Figure: Kallmeyer et al. 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Science & Technology
We require specialized technologies to collect and analyze samples from the deep biosphere, including sensors, samplers, and platforms, deep-sea submersibles, scientific drilling research ships, and ROVs (remotely operated vehicles).
Above: HOV Alvin samples a hydrothermal vent (photo credit: WHOI). Background: Scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution (photo credit: IODP).
Training & Outreach
Get involved with our education, outreach and diversity opportunities for teachers, K-12, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctorals in our quest to train and foster the next generation of deep biosphere researchers.
Background: C-DEBI's undergraduate summer GEM course (photo credit: Ann Close, USC).
Announcements
New positions, Networked Speaker Series seminars
Posted: August 17, 2020

Message from the Director:

We hope this fall semester treats you safe and well. We also congratulate these C-DEBIers who have recently been promoted or are starting new positions: Brandon Briggs (Associate Professor at University of Alaska Anchorage); Joy Buongiorno (Assistant Professor at Maryville College); Jackie Goordial (Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph); Jeff Marlow (Assistant Professor at Boston University); Bill Orsi (Associate Professor at LMU Munich); Brandi Reese (Associate Professor at Dauphin Island Sea Lab); Haley Sapers (Assistant Professor at York University); Lauren Seyler (Assistant Professor at Stockton University); Jason Sylvan (Associate Professor at Texas A&M University); and Katrina Twing (Assistant Professor at Weber State University).

And stay tuned for our next season of Networked Speaker Series talks! Dr. Rose Jones (University of Minnesota) kicks it off with “Menu for a deep microbe: Attempts in understanding microbe-mineral interactions in the deep marine seafloor” on September 10 at 12:30PM Pacific Time. Our other distinguished speakers include Dr. Julia McGonigle (Bigelow), Dr. Jesse Colangelo-Lillis (CU Boulder), and Megan Mullis (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).

Cheers,

Jan Amend
C-DEBI Director

Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Annual Meeting Postponed to 2021
Posted: July 15, 2020
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Letter to the editor about recent New Yorker Article
Posted: July 1, 2020
Education and Outreach
Institute for Broadening Participation
STEM scholarship and fellowship deadlines @ PathwaysToScience.org
Expires on: November 15, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Recorded Webinar: Navigating Opportunities at the National Science Foundation
Posted: August 17, 2020
Frontiers for Young Minds
Microbial Life Deep Under the Seafloor—A Story of Not Giving Up
Posted: June 1, 2020
IODP U.S. Science Support Program
In Search of Earth's Secrets: Stories from the Cores video game trailer
Posted: December 16, 2019
Employment
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Principal Investigator or Principal Engineer (focus on seafloor patterns and processes)
Posted: September 2, 2020
NC State University
Assistant Professor - Chemical Oceanography
Posted: July 1, 2020
Montana State University
Postdoctoral Researcher position on Asgard archaea ecophysiology
Posted: June 1, 2020
Meetings and Activities
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Networked Speaker Series Seminar, Thursday, November 5, 2020,12:30pm PSTNEW!
Expires on: November 5, 2020
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine
Seeking Community Input on Advancing a Systems Approach to Studying the Earth
Posted: October 1, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Recorded Webinar: Navigating Opportunities at the National Science Foundation
Posted: August 17, 2020
Network for Ocean Worlds
Comment and endorse White Paper proposing an Ocean Worlds Exploration Program
Posted: July 15, 2020
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
C-DEBI now has a company page on LinkedIn - join us!
Posted: December 13, 2018
Press
Vice
Scientists Found Creatures So Inactive They Expanded Our Idea of Life Itself
Posted: August 17, 2020
Various
Scientists revive 100-million-year-old microbes
Posted: August 2, 2020
Gizmodo
‘It Really Is Otherworldly’: What It’s Like to Visit the Hot Springs of the Deep Sea
Posted: August 2, 2020
Quanta Magazine
Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun
Posted: June 1, 2020
The Cosmic Companion
Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion April 28, 2020 - Interview with Steven DHondt URI
Posted: April 28, 2020
Proposal Calls
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: Removal of target dates for the Biological Oceanography Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences in the Directorate for GeosciencesNEW!
Expires on: October 21, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
Expires on: October 22, 2020
Simons Foundation
2021 Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution AwardsNEW!
Expires on: October 30, 2020
CIFAR
Azrieli Global ScholarsNEW!
Expires on: October 31, 2020
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Aquatic Symbiosis Genomics Project Call for Proposals
Expires on: November 1, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into the Earth, Ocean, Polar and Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences (IUSE:GEOPAths)
Expires on: November 17, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)
Expires on: November 18, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP)
Expires on: December 10, 2020
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Mendenhall Research Fellowship: Geology, geochemistry and global context of deep-ocean marine mineralsNEW!
Expires on: January 4, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
Expires on: February 6, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Biological Oceanography
Expires on: February 15, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Physical Oceanography
Expires on: February 15, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Chemical Oceanography
Expires on: February 15, 2021
IODP
Call for Drilling Proposals
Expires on: April 15, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
Expires on: September 28, 2021
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding OpportunityNEW!
Posted: October 15, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Ocean Sciences' Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Opportunities for 2021NEW!
Posted: October 15, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: UKRI/BBSRC-NSF/BIO Lead Agency Opportunity in Biological Informatics, Microbes and the Host Immune System, Quantum Biology and Synthetic Cell
Posted: September 14, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
DCL: Collaborative Proposals under NSF and US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Collaborative Research Opportunities
Posted: June 14, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Antarctic Research Program Solicitation
Posted: May 15, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: Poorly Sampled and Unknown Taxa (PurSUiT)
Posted: April 1, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Enabling Discovery through GEnomic Tools (EDGE)
Posted: January 1, 2020
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Dear Colleague Letter: An Update to the Approach for the Provision of Marine Seismic Capabilities for the U.S. Research Community
Posted: September 16, 2019
UNOLS
Cruise Opportunity Program
Posted: June 27, 2019
Publications
Environmental Microbiology Reports
Time as a microbial resourceNEW!
Published: October 13, 2020
OSF Preprints
C-DEBI NextGen 2019 Early Career perspective on ‘What’s Next?’: Upcoming Challenges and OpportunitiesNEW!
Published: October 12, 2020
MethodsX
Sampling of basement fluids via Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kits (CORKs) for dissolved gases, fluid fixation at the seafloor, and the characterization of organic carbon
Published: September 15, 2020
Environmental Microbiology
Meta‐omics highlights the diversity, activity and adaptations of fungi in deep oceanic crust
Posted: September 14, 2020
PLOS ONE
Woeseiales transcriptional response to shallow burial in Arctic fjord surface sediment
Published: August 27, 2020
Spotlight
2019 GEM Course All-Stars
Posted: August 7, 2019
2018 GEM Course All-Stars
Posted: August 7, 2019
2018 C4 REU All-Stars
Posted: August 7, 2019

Media Highlights

Center Video Overview

C-DEBI is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center led by Drs. Jan Amend (C-DEBI Director, USC), Julie Huber (Marine Biological Laboratory), Steven D’Hondt (University of Rhode Island), Andrew Fisher (University of California, Santa Cruz), and C. Geoffrey Wheat (University of Alaska, Fairbanks).

C-DEBI/Sea Grant 15-second science videos

In partnership with C-DEBI, Delaware Sea Grant is expanding its collection of 15 Second Science videos and other multimedia to include resources about the deep biosphere and sub-seafloor life.

Menu