February 2007

Research In the News

Experimental forest in running as national research site (Eugene Register-Guard, 1/27/07) - The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River could become part of the biggest and most ambitious ecological research project ever, one that will draw scientists from all over the world in an attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in ecology. The forest is one of several candidates to serve as a core research site for the National Ecological Observatory Network, which will establish 20 biological test sites in every major ecological zone in the country. NEON "is seen as the way to address some of what we call the grand challenge questions,” said Oregon State University forestry professor Barbara Bond, co-director of the Andrews forest. Read more...

Nitrogen Study May Improve Accuracy of Ecological Predictions (OSU News Service, 1/18/07) - The pattern of nitrogen release from decaying plant material is remarkably similar and predictable across the planet, researchers have concluded in a new study, which should make it easier to understand nutrient dynamics, vegetation growth, estimate carbon release and sequestration, and better predict the impacts of climate change. The findings, to be published Friday in the journal Science, are the results of one of the largest and longest studies ever done on nitrogen release during plant decomposition, involving dozens of researchers working for 10 years in 27 sites, ranging from Arctic tundra to tropical forests of North and Central America. “The availability of nitrogen is one of the key factors limiting vegetation growth around the world, but its release from plant litter can be very slow,” said Mark Harmon, a professor of forest science at Oregon State University and the coordinator of the study. “For the first time, we studied this process at enough sites and over a long enough time period to really understand what’s happening.” Read more...

Featured Student Research

Rebecca Poulson

Rebecca Poulson is a doctoral student in Oceanography whose research focuses on molybdenum isotopes in marine sediments. Rebecca published some of her findings in the journal Geology in August 2006.  Co-authors on the paper were Christopher Siebert, her faculty advisor - James McManus, and William Berelson. Read more about Rebecca's research in a short Web feature.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 8, 4:00 p.m., Wilkinson 106. How aerobic and anaerobic bacteria grow using acetone: elucidating a 50 year old puzzle (Earth's Subsurface Biosphere IGERT Seminar). Speaker: Dr. Scott Ensign, Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Utah State University. FMI: Julie Cope jcope@coas.oregonstate.edu, 737-9316.

Thursday, February 15, 4:00 p.m., ALS 4001.Genetic Variation in the Interaction Between Arabidopsis and its Natural Bacterial Pathogen Pseudomonas viridiflava (Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar). Speaker: Dr. Erica Goss, Research Biologist, USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis. FMI: David Gent (738-4167) and John Fowler (737-5307).

Thursday, February 22, 4:00 p.m. in Burt 193. - Soil is more than skin deep: the microbial ecology of the soil subsurface (Earth's Subsurface Biosphere IGERT Seminar). Speaker: Dr. Noah Fierer, Assistant Professor Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado. FMI: Julie Cope jcope@coas.oregonstate.edu, 737-9316.

Wednesday, February 28. OSU Water Resources Graduate Program Open House, poster session to be held 1:30-3:00 p.m., MU 109. This event is designed to showcase the WR graduate program, and is intended for prospective students, the academic community, alumni, our External Advisory Board and potential employers. Graduate students are invited to submit a poster, and there will be a $100 prize. FMI: Mary Santelmann http://oregonstate.edu/gradwater/.

Link to a calendar of other related events...

Funding Opportunities for Faculty

National Research Initiative: Microbial Genome Sequencing Program - NSF and CSREES invite research proposals (i) to support high-throughput sequencing of the genomes of microorganisms (including viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, oomycetes, protists and agriculturally important nematodes) and (ii) to develop and implement strategies, tools and technologies to make currently available genome sequences more valuable to the user community. The sequences are expected to be available to and used by a community of investigators to address issues of scientific and societal importance. Proposals due March 8, 2007.

National Research Initiative: Functional Genomics of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms- Research activities should characterize, on a large scale, the function of genes or networks of genes in microbe(s) having a completely, or almost completely, sequenced genome. The genome(s) of study must be of importance to U.S. agriculture. Proposals due June 5, 2007.

Don't forget that the SBI has funding available for proposal development...see http://sbi.oregonstate.edu/research/smallgrants.htm.

For a list of other external grant opportunities related to the subsurface biosphere, click here...

Funding Opportunities for Students

National Water Research Institute Fellowships - Fellowships of up to $10,000 a year support master's or doctoral graduate research related to water treatment technologies, water quality, water environmental chemistry, water policy and economics, public health and risk assessment, water resources management. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2007.


This newsletter is distributed by OSU's Subsurface Biosphere Initiative - an interdisciplinary consortium of faculty and students who share interests in underground ecosystems. The newsletter is distributed through the SBI email lists. To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to http://sbi.oregonstate.edu/news/listserv.htm. Questions, comments and newsletter topics may be sent to the sbi@oregonstate.edu. Newsletters are also available on the Web at http://sbi.oregonstate.edu/newsletter/.