DCO Deep Life Community Launches New International Center

On 30 October 2018 the new International Center for Deep Life Investigation held its inaugural symposium at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, followed by the Deep Life Community's final all hands meeting.

On 30 October 2018 the new International Center for Deep Life Investigation (IC-DLI) held its inaugural symposium at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China. Following the symposium, DCO’s Deep Life Community held its final all hands meeting, from 31 October – 2 November. The meetings marked a new phase for deep life research, with the IC-DLI poised to carry on deep life research beyond the culmination of the DCO decadal program in 2019. 

The meeting captured the ongoing excitement of deep life exploration. It celebrated many revelations including documentation of greater than anticipated deep life microbial diversity, insights about nitrogen cycling in the deep subsurface, the ability of life to survive in ultra-low energy habitats, and the discovery that oxygen is present in a large fraction of the subseafloor. Many of these advances are the result of improved sampling efficiency (both in terms of depth and site distribution), improved detection limits of ultra-low abundance microbial communities, the ability to identify and measure biotic versus abiotic formation of organic carbon in the deep biosphere, and enhanced interdisciplinary efforts aimed towards understanding life in the deep subsurface. 

Discussions about a potential international deep life Center began in March 2018 when Deep Life co-Chairs Mitch Sogin (Marine Biological Laboratory, USA) and Kai-Uwe Hinrichs (University of Bremen, Germany) met with Shanghai Jiao Tong University representatives. A short seven months later, the new IC-DLI formally launched. Led by Xiang Xiao and Fengping Wang of SJTU, the Center will provide a platform for continued international collaborations that seek to address key scientific issues including, but not limited to: 

  • the relationship and interaction of deep life with surface life and their role in mediating the carbon cycle,
  • characterizing the composition, accessibility, and amount of organic matter, electron acceptors, and electron donors (energy compounds),
  • determining the temporal and geographical distribution patterns of microbial community compositions and how they control specific taxon abundance,
  • determining how energy flux, temperature, and pressure define the limits of life
  • exploring the diversity and function of the deep virosphere,
  • and measuring evolutionary rates in the deep subsurface and their consequences.

Organizational structure of IC-DLI

Executive Dean
Xiang Xiao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Advisory Committee (Alphabetical order of surname)
Jan Amend, University of Southern California, USA
Douglas Bartlett, University of California San Diego
Rick Colwell, Oregon State University
Zixin Deng, Academician, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Steve D'Hondt, University of Rhode Island
Kang Ding, Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Science
Hailiang Dong, China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, University of Bremen, Germany
Li Huang, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science
Fumio Inagaki, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
Nianzhi Jiao, Academician, Xiamen University
Jens Kallmeyer, Potsdam University, Germany
Tom Kieft, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Mark Lever, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich
Karen Lloyd, University of Tennessee, USA
Beth N. Orcutt, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Yongxin Pan, Academician, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Science
Peiyuan Qian, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Matt Schrenk, Michigan State University, USA
Shuzhong Shen, Academician, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Science
Mitch Sogin, Marine Biological Laboratory, USA
Li Sun, Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Science
Weidong Sun, Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Science
Chengshan Wang, Academician, China University of Geosciences (Beijing)
Pingxian Wang, Academician, Tongji University
Roland Winter, TU Dortmund University, Germany
Xiaolei Wu, Peking University
Shucheng Xie, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)
Jianmin Yang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tandong Yao, Academician, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Science
Hongfu Yin, Academician, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)
Chuanlun Zhang, Southern University of Science and Technology
Guoping Zhao, Academician, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science
Meixun Zhao, Ocean University of China
Meng Zhou, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Jizhong Zhou, Tsinghua University
Zhonghe Zhou, Academician, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology,
Chinese Academy of Science

Executive Committee (Alphabetical order of surname)
Jiasong Fang, Shanghai Oceanic University
Guodong Jia, Tongji University
Yongqin Liu, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Science
Xiaotong Peng, Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Science
Zongze Shao, Third Institute of oceanography, State Oceanic Administration
Fengping Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Hongmei Wang, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)
Xiang Xiao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Jun Xu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Xuewei Xu, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration
Rui Zhang, Xiamen University
Xiaohua Zhang, Ocean University of China
Xin Zhang, Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Science

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