October 2017 Newsletter

From the Deep, a monthly newsletter from DCO
October 2017
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Deep Carbon Observatory
Deep carbon science on the covers of Science and Nature

Deep carbon science graces the cover of Science (13 October 2017) and Nature (28 September 2017). 

Letter from the Director

Science that may transform our understanding of the deep carbon cycle is featured on recent covers of Science and Nature. DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Community members Florian Schwandner (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA) and Simon Carn (Michigan Technological University, USA) are among the co-authors of a landmark paper in Science reporting the first detection of passive degassing of volcanic CO2 from space, which has been identified as a grand challenge in volcano science. Their paper is part of a special issue, “Eye in the sky: measuring carbon from space,” containing initial results from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Spaceborne measurements complement but do not replace ground-based measurements of volcanic emissions of CO2. DCO scientists also published important papers on ground-based measurements of volcanic emissions of CO2 in Italy and East Africa.

Deep Energy Community Co-Chair Edward Young (University of California Los Angeles, USA) wrote a commentary that is part of a cover story in Nature, “Earth in formation: the volatile processes that shaped the composition of the planet.” He discusses two papers indicating that evaporation of molten rock was intrinsic to the formation of Earth. As he explained in an interview, “If we’re seeing evidence for elements like magnesium and silicon evaporating away, then you can imagine that the water and carbon dioxide evaporated away too. That means, after you accrete Earth, you have to bring the volatiles back, by asteroids and comets, for example.”

We are excited to announce that the inaugural Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Deep Carbon Science will be held from 17-22 June 2018 at Bryant University in Rhode Island, USA. This biennial conference will extend the legacy of DCO International Science Meetings beyond the end of the DCO decadal program. In future years, early career scientists will be eligible to propose an accompanying Gordon Research Seminar on Deep Carbon Science, which would extend the legacy of DCO Early Career Scientist Workshops.

Congratulations to our DCO colleagues Magdalena Osburn (Northwestern University, USA) and Laurence Yeung (Rice University, USA), who have been named among 18 of the USA’s “most innovative, early-career scientists and engineers” as recipients of the 2017 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. Each Fellow will receive $875,000 over five years to pursue their research. These awards signify a bright future for deep carbon science.


Craig Schiffries, DCO Director
Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory
Washington DC, USA

News Features

Evaporating Rocks and Planetary Formation: An Interview with Edward Young
On Earth, no one thinks of molten lava as being able to evaporate into the atmosphere. But in the emptiness of space, such evaporation may have played an important role in the formation of Earth and other rocky bodies in our solar system. In a new paper in Nature, Remco Hin at the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues, examined magnesium isotopes to show that when materials in the early solar system collided and melted together into small bodies called planetesimals, evaporation occurred. This evaporation may be responsible for creating the current distribution of elements and isotopes that scientists observe in rocky bodies in the solar system. In a paper published concurrently in Nature, Ashley Norris and Bernard Wood at the University of Oxford, UK, measured the vaporization of different elements at high temperatures in a controlled lab setting and came to the same conclusion. If these processes occurred as described, then they may explain the longstanding question of why the chemistry of Earth and other rocky planets differs from the primitive meteorites, called chondrites, that likely aggregated to form them. Co-Chair of the DCO’s Deep Energy community, Edward Young, a professor of geology at the University of California Los Angeles, USA, wrote a News and Views commentary to accompany these papers. In his own research at UCLA, Young uses isotope profiles to understand the processes that formed the solar system. Read more...

A Simple, Affordable Way to Measure Diffuse Carbon Release at Volcanoes
Keeping tabs on carbon dioxide emitted from volcanoes can be valuable, both for forecasting potential eruptions and for determining how much deep carbon the volcano releases to the atmosphere. Some volcanoes, however, release more carbon dioxide as diffuse degassing along the flanks than through the main plume of the volcano. These volcanoes are difficult to study using a single monitoring station, complicating scientists’ attempts to monitor the “state and evolution” of volcanoes. DCO members Matteo Lelli and Brunella Raco (both at the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources–CNR, Italy), in collaboration with West Systems S.r.l., have developed a new carbon dioxide monitoring device that is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than existing designs. It continuously measures diffuse carbon dioxide released from soil, as well several relevant environmental factors. The researchers described their successful test run of the instrument in a new paper in Applied Geochemistry. Ultimately, they hope that the device will be used to set up monitoring networks that will yield more complete estimates of volcanic carbon release. Read more... 

Microbes Dine (Very Slowly) on Coal and Shale, 2 Km Beneath the Seafloor
Scientists drill ever-deeper holes to discover the limits of subsurface life, but, so far, keep finding live microbes at the bottom. During Expedition 337 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the crew of the scientific drilling vessel Chikyu set a record for deepest scientific ocean drill hole, reaching 2,466 meters below the seafloor. New studies of microbes living in the coal and shale beds sampled on that trip reveal a slow but still active community eating these ancient buried carbon reserves. DCO member Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA), with Deep Life Community members Yuki Morono, Akira Ijiri, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, Fumio Inagaki, (all at JAMSTEC, Japan), and Katherine Dawson and Victoria Orphan (both at California Institute of Technology, USA) measured the activity level and generation times of microbes living in coal and shale beds up to two kilometers below the seafloor. Despite low cell numbers and slow reproduction, the microbes were actively consuming carbon and nitrogen compounds from their environment. The researchers report their findings in a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more...  

Researchers Track Sneaky Carbon Dioxide Flux to Estimate Eastern Rift Emissions
Volcanoes release significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but their contribution goes beyond the impressive plumes of gases and ash that occur during eruptions. Even near some seemingly inactive volcanoes, carbon dioxide from melted rock seeps out through cracks in the surrounding crust. These diffuse emissions likely represent an important part of the global carbon budget, but it is challenging to make good estimates of the size of these leaks. In a new paper in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, Jonathan Hunt (University of Oxford, UK), working with Reservoirs and Fluxes Community members Tamsin Mather, Peter Barry, David Pyle (all at the University of Oxford, UK), and Amdemichael Zafu (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia), attempts to estimate the total carbon emissions emanating from the Eastern Rift. The Eastern Rift is the eastern branch of the East African Rift, a zone near the horn of East Africa where the crust stretches and splits. By extrapolating from soil carbon dioxide surveys, the researchers estimate that the Eastern Rift emits somewhere between 3.9 and 32.7 million metric tons (Mt) of carbon dioxide each year. Their estimate is at the lower end of those of previous studies. The difference is likely due to the extreme variability in gas emissions across and along the rift. Read more... 

Deep Microbes Thrive in Baltic Sea Sediments
The Baltic Sea has had a dramatic geologic past, complete with advancing and retreating glaciers and shifting inputs of fresh and salt water. All of these changes are recorded in the layers of sediments that collect at the seafloor—layers that were buried along with the microbes colonizing them. Scientists have long debated whether these organisms beneath the Baltic Sea, as well as other bodies of water, are thriving and dividing or just barely surviving. A new paper in Environmental Microbiology Reports suggests that deep microbes are doing just fine. Deep Life Community members Laura Zinke, Jan Amend (both at University of Southern California, USA), Jordan Bird, Karen Lloyd (both at University of Tennessee, USA), Bo Barker Jørgensen (Aarhus University, Denmark), and Brandi Kiel Reese (Texas A&M University, USA), along with Ian Marshall (Aarhus University, Denmark) and Megan Mullis (Texas A&M University, USA), analyzed Baltic Sea sediments to see what kinds of microbial activities occur at depths down to 42 meters below the seafloor. The researchers found that resident microbes are surprisingly active in this high-carbon, low-energy environment. Read more...

News from the Carbon Mineral Challenge: New Carbon Mineral #11 has Strong Family Ties
The newly discovered – and exquisitely beautiful – mineral triazolite is intricately linked to another mineral, chanabyaite. And, interestingly, like another recently discovered carbon mineral tinnuculite, triazolite was discovered in a guano deposit. The path to formal acceptance of triazolite as a mineral began in 2008 when German mineral dealer Gunnar Färber first collected specimens containing triazolite and chanabayaite (the product of natural alteration of triazolite) in a guano deposit situated on the lower part of the steep northern slope of Pabellón de Pica Mountain, 1.5 km south of Chanabaya village, Iquique Province, Tarapacá Region, Chile. The Guanay cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillei) is the most likely producer of this Chilean guano. This guano deposit is unique because it is in contact with chalcopyrite-bearing gabbro, a dark, coarse-grained rock with crystalline texture that forms deep below the Earth’s surface. Such contact allows numerous organic minerals of copper to form, and provides a suitable substrate upon which crystals of triazolite can grow. Read more...

2017 Carnegie Science Venture Grant Benefits DCO Science
Comparing the rapid cooling of Mars to the slow cooling of Earth after both planets formed has profound implications for understanding Earth’s deep carbon cycle. DCO Extreme Physics and Chemistry researcher Alexander Goncharov and his Carnegie Institution for Science colleague, modeler Peter van Keken, are joint recipients of a 2017 Carnegie Science Venture Grant. The award will support a unique collaboration where Goncharov’s novel methodology to generate experimental measurements of thermal conductivity will provide data necessary for van Keken to develop 3-D thermal evolution models of Mars and Earth’s Moon. Carnegie Science Venture Grants transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, partnering researchers from diverse backgrounds to creatively address pressing scientific questions. Read more...

Inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Deep Carbon Science
In 2018, the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) will hold their first conference focused entirely on the emerging field of deep carbon science. Since 2009, the Deep Carbon Observatory has supported several Gordon Research Conferences that dovetail with DCO themes, including GRCs on biomineralization, origins of the solar system, high pressure, geobiology, and natural gas hydrates. However, each of these conferences has only covered a small subset of DCO research. DCO is excited to announce that GRC has established a new conference fully dedicated to the deep carbon cycle. The inaugural Deep Carbon Science GRC will focus on deep carbon in the context of geological time and will be held from 17-22 June 2018 at Bryant University in Rhode Island, USA. The conference “will spotlight the evolution of deep carbon in Earth’s biological and nonbiological reservoirs over 4.6 billion years.” It will gather Earth, life, and physical scientists to explore planetary assembly, early deep carbon reservoirs, early forms of deep life, and the carbon cycle through geological time. Read more...

2017 AGU Fall Meeting: Sessions, Talks, and Posters of Interest to DCO
A large contingent of DCO researchers will participate in the AGU Fall Meeting on 11-15 December 2017 in New Orleans, USA. This day-by-day listing will help you find sessions, talks, and posters of interest to DCO scientists, as well as those featuring members of the DCO Science Network. To add items to these listings, please contact the DCO Engagement Team

Help Wanted: Calling All Gamers
If you’re a scientist who enjoys building cities, shooting the moon, jumping over flaming barrels, or simply leveling up, this could be the opportunity for you. The Deep Carbon Observatory Engagement Team seeks a scientist and game-lover to take the lead creating and facilitating a deep carbon-related game development plan. The proposed plan would include a DCO Game Jam and the possibility to foster development of one or more game projects from the jam. Read more...

Upcoming Events

DCO Webinar Wednesday: A Blueprint for Creating a Box Model, 2pm EDT, 15 November 2017
Join modeling and visualization expert Louise Kellogg of the University of California Davis, USA who will provide a virtual "construction manual" for how to create a box model. 

AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, 11-15 December 2017 
AGU’s Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. This is a day-by-day guide to DCO talks and posters

Fourth International Diamond School, Bolzano-Bozen, Italy, 29 January - 2 February 2018
The school will provide a general overview of recent advances in diamond research, combining geology, exploration, and gemology of diamond. 

Earth in Five Reactions Workshop, 21-23 March 2018
Through keynote talks, panel discussions, and breakout sessions, invited participants will agree upon the five most important and relevant reactions that impact deep carbon science. 

Deep Carbon Science Gordon Research Conference, 17-22 June 2018
The meeting will cover deep carbon science in the context of time. We will spotlight the evolution of deep carbon in Earth’s biological and nonbiological reservoirs over 4.6 billion years. Application deadline: 20 May 2018 

Goldschmidt 2018, Boston, USA 12-17 August 2018
Goldschmidt, the foremost annual, international conference on geochemistry and related subjects, will be held in Boston in 2018. Session submission deadline: 1 November 2017

Honors and Awards

Laurence Yeung, Deep Energy
Rice University, USA
2017 Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering 

Magdalena R. Osburn, Deep Energy and Deep Life
Northwestern University, USA
2017 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering

Alexander Goncharov, Extreme Physics and Chemistry
Carnegie Institute for Science, USA
2017 Carnegie Science Venture Grant

Funding Opportunities

Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program
DCO's Deep Life Community (DLC) realizes that the majority of deep microbial life has been resistant to cultivation in the laboratory, which complicates the characterization of physiological characteristics of deep community members. However, recent studies using bioreactor-cultivation techniques, under high pressure and/or temperature, have resulted in successful enrichment of previously uncultivable archaeal and bacterial components that mediate biogeochemical carbon cycling in the deep subsurface. To maintain and strengthen cultivation strategies in future deep life missions, the DLC will support early career researchers to visit some key laboratories (Inagaki - Kochi, Japan, Bartlett - La Jolla, USA, and others) to learn and practice newly developed cultivation and cultivation-dependent molecular/biogeochemical techniques, using samples from the DLC’s field missions.

C-DEBI: Rolling Call for Research Exchange Proposals
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) facilitates scientific coordination and collaborations by supporting student, postdoctoral, and faculty exchanges to build, educate, and train the deep subseafloor biosphere community. We award small research exchange grants for Center participants. These grants may be used to support research, travel for presenting C-DEBI research at meetings, or travel exchanges to other partner institutions or institutions that have new tools and techniques that can be applied to C-DEBI research. We anticipate ~10 awards of $500-5,000 with additional matched funds to be granted annually. 

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology, US National Science Foundation
The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For FY 2015 and beyond, these BIO programs are Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, Research Using Biological Collections, and National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.  These areas change periodically as new scientific and infrastructure opportunities present themselves. For this reason, this solicitation will be changed as necessary to reflect the areas being funded. Application deadline: 7 November 2017

C-DEBI Research Grant Program
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for 1-year research projects (in the anticipated range of $50,000-$80,000) and 1-2 year graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships that will significantly advance C-DEBI’s central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales. C-DEBI’s research agenda balances exploration-based discovery, hypothesis testing, data integration and synthesis, and systems-based modeling. Application deadline: 1 December 2017

Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
The Schlanger Fellowship Program offers merit-based awards for outstanding graduate students to conduct research related to the International Ocean Discovery Program. Research may be related to the objectives of past expeditions or it may address broader science themes. Selected fellows will receive an award of $30,000 for a 12-month period that can be used for research, stipend, tuition, or other approved costs. Schlanger Fellowships are open to all graduate students enrolled at U.S. institutions in full-time MS or PhD programs. Applications require reference material from two referees, one of whom must be the student’s faculty advisor. Application deadline: 15 December 2017

New Publications

View more papers in the DCO publications browser.

Magnesium isotope evidence that accretional vapour loss shapes planetary compositions 
Remco C. Hin, Christopher D. Coath, Philip J. Carter, Francis Nimmo, Yi-Jen Lai, Philip A. E. Pogge von Strandmann, Matthias Willbold, Zoë M. Leinhardt, Michael J. Walter, and Tim Elliott
Nature doi:10.1038/nature23899

Earth’s volatile contents established by melting and vaporization 
C. Ashley Norris and Bernard J. Wood
Nature doi:10.1038/nature23645

Geochemistry: Evaporating planetesimals
Edward D. Young
Nature doi:10.1038/549461a

A reliable and effective methodology to monitor CO2 flux from soil: The case of Lipari Island (Sicily, Italy)
Matteo Lelli and Brunella Raco 
Applied Geochemistry doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.08.004

Methyl-compound use and slow growth characterize microbial life in 2-km-deep subseafloor coal and shale beds
Elizabeth Trembath-Reichert, Yuki Morono, Akira Ijiri, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, Katherine S. Dawson, Fumio Inagaki, and Victoria J.Orphan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi:10.1073/pnas.1707525114

Thriving or surviving? Evaluating active microbial guilds in Baltic Sea sediment
Laura A. Zinke, Megan M. Mullis, Jordan T. Bird, Ian P. G. Marshall, Bo Barker Jørgensen, Karen G. Lloyd, Jan P. Amend, and Brandi Kiel Reese
Environmental Microbiology Reports doi:10.1111/1758-2229.12578

Spatially variable CO2 degassing in the Main Ethiopian Rift: Implications for magma storage, volatile transport and rift-related emissions
Jonathan A. Hunt, Amdemichael Zafu, Tasmin A. Mather, David M. Pyle, and Peter H. Barry
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems doi:10.1002/2017GC006975

Acetoclastic Methanosaeta are dominant methanogens in organic-rich Antarctic marine sediments
Stephanie A Carr, Florence Schubotz, Robert B Dunbar, Christopher T Mills, Robert Dias, Roger E Summons, and Kevin W Mandernack
The ISME Journal doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.150

Aragonite-II and CaCO3-VII – new high-pressure high-temperature polymorphs of CaCO3
Pavel N. Gavryushkin, Naira S. Martirosyan, Talgat M. Inerbaev, Zakhar I Popov, Sergey V. Rashchenko, Anna Yu. Likhacheva, Sergey S. Lobanov, Alexander F Goncharov, Vitali B. Prakapenka, and Konstantin D. Litasov
Crystal Growth and Design doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00977

Publication Opportunities

Special Issue of Minerals
Mineralogy of Natural Graphite
Guest Editor: John A. Jaszczak
The science of carbon is both old and vast, yet the study of carbon materials seems to be ever expanding, due in part to the discoveries of fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. Studies of the importance of carbon in Earth is the focus of the Deep Carbon Observatory international research program. Composed solely of carbon, natural graphite forms in a wide variety of geological and even extraterrestrial environments, and in parallel with synthetic graphite, it also occurs in a wide assortment of morphologies, including not only tabular hexagonal crystals but also cones, spheres, pyramids, and even tubes. Although graphite has been used and studied for centuries, new studies continue to reveal surprises in regard to occurrences, morphologies, properties and applications. For this Special Issue, we invite authors to submit original research spanning topics among all areas of the mineralogy of natural graphite. Topics of particular interest may include studies of new or unusual graphite occurrences, morphological and structural studies of graphite crystals or aggregates, graphite nucleation and growth, microtopography of graphite surfaces due to growth or etching mechanisms, carbon isotope geochemistry of graphite, origin of large- or small-scale graphite deposits, role of graphite in precious metal and gemstone deposits, and extraterrestrial graphite, etc. Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2018

Employment Opportunities

Two Postdoctoral Positions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
The Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is searching for two Postdoctoral Investigators to join their team. These are temporary positions and the initial appointment will be for one year (available immediately) with the possibility of an extension for up to two years. These positions will work in Julie Huber's laboratory. Huber's research focuses on the composition and function of microbes in the deep sea to understand microbial dynamics and the resulting biogeochemical implications. Much of her work has involved the ocean crustal aquifer (e.g., hydrothermal systems; ocean ridge and arc volcanoes; and off-ridge sub-seafloor crust). More broadly, her research interests span from the deep sea to coastal ponds and astrobiology. The postdoctoral investigator positions will participate in studies of subseafloor crustal microbial communities. While the primary focus of the work will be in research, the postdoctoral investigator will have an opportunity to participate in educational and outreach activities associated with the project.

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Geological Sciences at Stanford University, USA
The Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, seeks a scientist to lead a research and educational program that will contribute to one or more of prioritized departmental themes to which we plan to make additional hires in the coming years: Earth resources; geologic and environmental hazards; and planetary science, including surface and interior processes as well as processes and evolution of the early Earth. The appointment will be at the Assistant Professor level. The successful candidate will use theoretical, observational, and/or experimental approaches to study fundamental problems in geology relevant to the prioritized departmental themes. The successful candidate will also be expected to develop an excellent record of teaching and mentoring our diverse student body at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Application deadline: 31 October 2017

Assistant Professor of Solid Earth Petrology/Geochemistry, University of Florida, USA
The Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida invites applications for a tenure track position in Solid Earth Petrology/Geochemistry at the Assistant Professor level. Applicants should be able to contribute to an existing internationally known program in analytical, observational and theoretical petrology, solid Earth geochemistry, and geodynamics. We have a preference for candidates who have expertise in magmatic and chemical processes of the whole Earth (and planets), rock-fluid interactions, tectonics, geochronology, and volcanic/hydrothermal systems. We seek scholars with the desire to teach classes in their discipline at the undergraduate and graduate levels and who show evidence of strong research trajectories. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an active, externally funded research program that includes supporting and mentoring graduate students. Preference will be given to candidates whose research interests compliment and enhance existing research programs in the Department. Application deadline: 31 October 2017 

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, USA
The Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) of the Carnegie Institution for Science seeks a highly qualified and motivated postdoctoral research scientist to develop a better understanding of the geochemical evolution of the Earth’s mantle and crust using geodynamical and geochemical modeling. The postdoc will work primarily with DTM researchers Peter van Keken and Erik Hauri. This project is funded for two years by the National Science Foundation's Cooperative Studies Of The Earth's Deep Interior (NSF CSEDI) with the primary goal to improve understanding of the geochemical consequences of geodynamical models of planetary-scale mantle convection, in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in geodynamical modeling, geochemical modeling, or both. Experience in Python and shell scripting on linux computers is essential; experience with C++, Fortran, and/or parallel computing is a plus. The successful candidate will become part of an active solid Earth geophysics and geochemistry group that has ten staff scientists and several postdocs who study the structure, composition, and dynamics of the Earth and solar system. Application deadline: 1 November 2017

Wiess Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University, USA
The Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University is inviting applications for the Wiess Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. We are seeking candidates with independent research interests that intersect with one or more faculty within our department. Applicants must have a Ph.D. awarded within three years of the time of appointment. The research fellowship will be supported for two years, pending satisfactory progress during the first year. It covers an annual stipend of $60,000 with a benefits package and an additional annual discretionary research allowance of $3,500. Applicants are requested to develop a proposal of research to be undertaken during the fellowship period. The principal selection criteria are scientific excellence, a clearly expressed research plan to address questions at the forefront of their field of study, and research synergies with at least one faculty. Application deadline: 10 November 2017

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geomicrobiology, CSIRO, Australia
Postdoctoral Fellowships at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships will help launch their careers, provide experience that will enhance their career prospects, and facilitate the recruitment and development of potential leaders for CSIRO. Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for up to three years and will work closely with a leading Research Scientist or Engineer in their respective field. They carry out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO with the possibility of novel and important scientific outcomes. They present their findings in appropriate publications and at conferences. Application deadline: 12 November 2017

Postdoctoral Fellowships in Experimental Petrology and Modeling at Laboratory of Geology at Lyon, University of Lyon1, France
The Laboratory of Geology at Lyon (University Lyon1 & ENS de Lyon, France) invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships in experimental petrology and modeling. Research focuses on experimental hydrothermal alteration of ultramafic minerals under conditions relevant to natural systems with emphasis on CO2 conversion and carbon speciation during reactions. Our institution has facilities for high-pressure/high-temperature fluid-rock experiments (large volume autoclaves with fluid sampling, low-pressure diamond-anvil cells) and for extensive fluid and rock characterization (GC-MS, ICP-MS, and Raman spectroscopy). Complementary techniques are available on the campus (e.g. X-Ray Diffraction, electron microscopy). Synchrotron-based experiments or analyses are also considered. The successful applicant will work in close collaboration with an international group of scientists of the Deep Carbon Observatory Science Network. The candidate should hold a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, or Chemistry. An experience or a strong affinity for laboratory experimental work and analytical techniques is mandatory. Experience in thermodynamic modeling of fluid-rock reactions and/or of organic chemistry will be appreciated. Application deadline: 15 November 2017

Assistant Professor with expertise in geobiology and/or biogeochemistry - School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, USA
The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) invites applications for an Assistant Professor with expertise in geobiology and/or biogeochemistry. Anticipated start date is August 2018. We desire a candidate who addresses fundamental questions in the interdependence of biological and geochemical processes on Earth and other habitable planets, and can develop collaborations with other closely affiliated research programs in SESE (possibilities include astrobiology, geochemistry, ecosystem dynamics, hydrology, geodynamics, planetary science, and surface processes). Application deadline: 20 November 2017

Tenure-Track/Tenured Faculty Positions, Isotope Geochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
The Department of Geoscience at The University of Wisconsin-Madison invites applications for two faculty positions in Isotope Geochemistry. Appointment will be at the assistant professor (tenure-track) or associate professor (tenured) level, depending on qualifications. We seek colleagues who are innovative in using isotopes to address fundamental problems in any domain from the Earth's deep interior to its surface environments. Successful applicants will be expected to contribute to the research and teaching mission of the Department through the development of a vibrant, internationally recognized, and externally funded research program, and through teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in geoscience. Successful candidates will be expected to perform university and professional service as appropriate for career stage. Appointment at the tenured level will require evidence of excellence in research and teaching. We are particularly interested in candidates who can contribute to an inclusive environment, bring new perspectives on mentoring and educating students from diverse backgrounds, and propel novel approaches to research. Application deadline: 27 November 2017

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program
The Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) invites applications for postdoctoral and graduate fellowships. Active areas of research include mineral spectroscopy, biomineralogy, environmental mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, experimental petrology, volcanology, meteorite studies, solar system formation, and planetary formation and evolution. The department also houses the National Meteorite Collection, the National Rock and Ore Collection, the National Gem and Mineral Collection, and the Global Volcanism Program. Application deadline: 1 December 2017

Postdoctoral Fellowships, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, USA
Applications are invited for postdoctoral fellowship positions to conduct independent research in the fields of astronomy, cosmochemistry, geochemistry, geophysics, planetary science or volcanology. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) staff scientists pursue these fields in the general quest for improved understanding of the origin and evolution of Earth and other planets and planetary systems. The successful applicants' primary field of research should overlap with one or more of these fields, but collaboration with other research areas on campus is encouraged. Astronomy and planetary science at DTM focuses on the origin and evolution of stars and planets. We are seeking theorists and observers working in the fields of star and planet formation, extrasolar planet detection and characterization, planetary astronomy, and astrochemistry. DTM staff scientists Alan Boss and John Chambers head the theoretical effort to understand the formation of stellar and planetary systems. Paul Butler is a leader in the spectroscopic search for extrasolar planets. Alycia Weinberger observes circumstellar disks, including nearby debris and protoplanetary disks. Scott Sheppard studies small, primordial bodies in our solar system. Astronomy fellows are eligible to apply for time at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, including the twin 6.5-m Magellan telescopes. Scientific computing resources available to the campus include the Carnegie Memex cluster in addition to local computing resources. Application deadline: 1 December 2017

2018 Carnegie Fellowships for the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC, USA
The Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships. The Geophysical Laboratory emphasizes interdisciplinary experimental and theoretical research in fields ranging from geoscience, microbiology, chemistry, to physics. The Laboratory supports world-class facilities in high-pressure research; organic, stable isotope and biogeochemistry; mineral physics and petrology; and astrobiology. Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded once a year. The deadline for submitting an application is 1 December 2017 and the position begins the following summer or autumn.

Assistant Professor in Earth Materials, Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, USA 
The Department of Geology at the University of Maryland invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor in Earth Materials. Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to: experimental and theoretical aspects of petrology, mineral physics, nanogeoscience, and economic geology. The appointee will be expected to develop and maintain an active, externally funded research program that will involve both graduate and undergraduate students, and to participate fully in teaching at all levels, including mineralogy. We particularly encourage applications from those who integrate across traditional disciplinary boundaries within the Department of Geology, throughout the College of Computer, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, and area governmental and private entities. Review of applications will begin in December 2017, and will be ongoing until the position is filled.

DCO in the News

Read more DCO News here

28 September 2017: Rarer metals may have boiled off early Earth
By Sam Lemonick for Forbes
It’s been a mystery why Earth is low on silver, lead and other elements relative to the rest of the solar system...

27 September 2017: How Earth’s hellish birth deprived us of silver and gold
By Sarah Kaplan for The Washington Post
Earth should have a lot more gold and silver than it does. These elements are strewn throughout the solar system, but they're relatively rare here...

27 September 2017: Earth's explosive history explains its strange chemical make-up
By Ryan Mandelbaum for Gizmodo
If you made a building out of bricks and cinderblocks, then hundreds of years later you’d expect it to still be, well, a building made of bricks and cinderblocks...

Learn more about DCO's Scientific Communities


Deep Life

The Deep Life Community is dedicated to assessing the nature and extent of the deep microbial and viral biosphere by exploring the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth’s deep biosphere and its interaction with the carbon cycle.

Deep Energy

The Deep Energy Community is dedicated to developing a fundamental understanding of environments and processes that regulate the volume and rates of production of abiogenic hydrocarbons and other organic species in the crust and mantle through geological time.

Extreme Physics and Chemistry

The Extreme Physics and Chemistry Community is dedicated to improving our understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of carbon at extreme conditions, as found in the deep interiors of Earth and other planets.

Reservoirs and Fluxes

The Reservoirs and Fluxes Community is dedicated to identifying the principal deep carbon reservoirs, to determining the mechanisms and rates by which carbon moves among these reservoirs, and to assessing the total carbon budget of Earth.

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