Active microbial communities in deeply buried sediments
Location: Baltic Sea Basin (IODP Expedition 347)
The Baltic Sea Basin is a eutrophic intercontinental sea that experiences seasonal hypoxia, high
sedimentation rates, and drastic salinity gradients. Over the last glaciation-deglaciation cycle,
variations in these attributes were recorded in the sediment, and changed the types of microbial
communities deposited in the sediment. We are using metatranscriptomics to examine the active
portion of the microbial communities in the basin's sediments, and connect the active processes
to the in situ geochemistry.
Antimicrobial gene expression in marine deep biosphere
Location: Mariana Forearc (IODP Expedition 366)
The marine deep subsurface biosphere has advanced our knowledge of early Earth processes,
carbon cycling, and microbe-mineral interactions, but the role antimicrobials have played in
competition and survival strategies is poorly understood. We are using metatranscriptomics to
analyze the active microbial community structure and function, as well as the diversity of
antimicrobial gene expression in subsurface sediment. This study is heavily focused on the
ecological roles that antimicrobials play within the marine deep biosphere. High-throughput
culturing from the deep subsurface biosphere. The goal of this project is to isolate and culture single
cells from the marine deep subsurface biosphere. Single cells from the sediment are isolated
using a BD FACSJazz and cultured using targeted media. Using 16S rRNA gene targets, the isolates a
re identified and growth conditions are further characterized.
Characterization of Deep Marine Subsurface Fungi from South Pacific Gyre Sediments
Location: South Pacific Gyre (IODP Expedition 329)
The South Pacific Gyre is known for some of the most nutrient and organic carbon replete
sediments in the world. Within the last decade, it has been shown that eukaryotes, such as fungi,
are thriving in these marine sediments. For this study, we are using both culture-dependent and
independent methods to characterize the fungal community and determine their role in
biogeochemical cycling as well as their adaptation to harsh environments.
From Genomes to Ecosystems: A new look at carbon cycling within a wetland mangrove
Location: Mission-Aransas National Estuary Research Reserve
To determine the amount of methane emitted from wetlands, it is imperative that we first
accurately determine the process of methane production, consumption, and oxidation. Wetlands
may only cover a small fraction of Earth’s coasts (0.5%), but they are a significant contributor to
coastal sediment carbon storage (10-15%) (Alongi, 2014).
Along the Texas coast, these ecosystems are expanding unchecked due to lack of annual freeze
s, replacing native salt marsh habitat. The overall goal of this project is to better understand carbon
remineralization in a wetland mangrove ecosystem through molecular and geochemical analyses. This
project will evaluate carbon and sulfur cycling over a diurnal and seasonal timescale.