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September 2008

Research Feature: A "Smart Tracer" to Detect Subsurface Microbiological Activity

Field experiment with resazurin.

In August, the journal Water Resources Research published a paper by geosciences professor Roy Haggerty and colleagues from Spain about their work to develop a “smart tracer” that can detect microbiological activity in stream and groundwater systems.  Read a short Web interview where Roy describes the concept of a “smart tracer” and his experiments with resazurin, a nontoxic compound historically used to detect spoiled milk. 

Recent OSU Publications Related to the Subsurface Biosphere

Behrens, S., M. F. Azizian, P. J. McMurdie, A. Sabalowsky, M. E. Dolan, L. Semprini, and A. M. Spormann. 2008. Monitoring Abundance and Expression of "Dehalococcoides" sp. Chloroethene Reductive Dehalogenases in a PCE-Dechlorinating Flow Column. Applied & Environmental Microbiology (August 2008).

Chastanet, J., and B. D. Wood. 2008. Mass transfer process in a two-region medium. Water Resources Research 44:W05413 (May 2008).

Haggerty, R., A. Argerich, and E. Marti. 2008. Development of a "smart" tracer for the assessment of microbiological activity and sediment-water interaction in natural waters: The resazurin-resorufin system. Water Resources Research 40:W00D01 (August 2008).

Starkenburg, S. R., D. J. Arp, and P. J. Bottomley. 2008. D-Lactate metabolism and the obligate requirement for CO2 during growth on nitrite by the facultative lithoautotroph Nitrobacter hamburgensis. Microbiology 154:2473-2481 (August 2008).

Thomas, C., J. G. Martin, M. Goeckede, M. B. Siqueira, T. Foken, B. E. Law, H. W. Loescher, and G. Katul. 2008. Estimating daytime subcanopy respiration from conditional sampling methods applied to multi-scalar high frequency turbulence time series. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 148:1210-1229 (April 2008).

Wood, B. D. 2007. Inertial effects in dispersion in porous media. Water Resources Research 43: W12S16 (December 2007).


Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 18, LaSells Stewart Center. University Day.

Thursday, September 25 3:30-5:00 p.m., Burt 193. Oregon Climate Change Research Institute - Candidate Seminar. Speaker: Dr. David Gutzler, University of New Mexico, "Analyzing and Discussing Climate Change Lessons from the Southwest."

Monday, September 29. OSU Courses Begin.

Friday, October 3. Abstract Deadline for the National Ground Water Association, Ground Water Summit, April 19-23, Tucson, Arizona.

October 3-4, Eagle Crest Resort, Redmond, OR. Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing Fall Conference. All individuals with an interest in molecular biosciences are invited to attend and participate. The fall conference will feature excellent science from invited guests, OSU faculty, students and staff, and a fun set of social activities. The early registration deadline is September 12.

Monday, October 6, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Burt 193.Oregon Climate Change Research Institute - Candidate Seminar. Speaker: Dr. Dan White, University of Alaska: "Climate Change Adaptation: An Opportunity Not to be Missed."

Wednesday, October 8. Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing Seminar Series Begins. The first speaker is Soren Impey from OHSU.

Monday, October 13 - Tuesday, October 14, CH2MHill Alumni Center, OSU, Corvallis. Assessing the Response of Streams to Contemporary Forest Practices: A Conference on Paired Watershed Studies. The purpose of this conference is to report on the state-of-the-science of the environmental effectiveness of contemporary forest practices. The conference will feature reports on preliminary results, current status, and future directions for the three WRC paired watershed studies. Also, results will be presented from similar research from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The early registration deadline is Sept 16.

Link to a calendar of other related events...


Opportunities for Students

2008 Fulbright Program for U.S. Students. The U.S. Student Fulbright Program operates in more than 140 countries worldwide; grants are available in all fields of study. You can apply if you are a graduating senior; hold a B.S./B.A. degree; or are a master's or doctoral degree candidate and are thinking of studying, teaching or conducting research abroad. Contact Marit Legler OSU Fulbright Advisor for more information. Applications due: September 29, 2008.

Sigma Xi, Research Grants for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. Sigma Xi, a scientific organization, offers grants-in-aid to fund research in science and engineering disciplines. Grant amounts range from $100 to $1,000 (with an average award of $600). Deadlines are October 15 and March 15.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Consider applying for one of these prestigious fellowships! They provide three years of support for graduate study leading to research-based master’s or doctoral degrees and are intended for students who are in the early stages of their graduate study. Applications are due November 3-12, depending on discipline.

NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology. These fellowships support recent recipients of doctoral degrees. Currently the targeted programs are:

  1. Broadening Participation of Under-Represented Groups in Biology. These fellowships are described in the Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and Supporting Activities program solicitation.
  2. Biological Informatics: These fellowships support researchers who are developing and using computational, statistical, visualization, and data-intensive technology in the collection, organization, dissemination, and use of information in biological research or are developing mathematical or statistical models to test theories and address empirical problems in areas of biology supported by BIO.

Applications are due: November 3, 2008.


Funding Opportunities for Faculty

(listed by due date)

13 October 2008. OSU General Research Fund (GRF).

Description: The intent of the GRF is to enable OSU faculty to carry out scholarly, creative work that should lead to the pursuit of other funding sources, or promote the development of scholarly activities. Projects funded through the GRF could include pilot research, emergency funding, emerging research opportunities, new research field or new research field for investigator, developing research laboratories, or centrally shared research resources.
Funding Details: Maximum award is $10,000.

October 15, 2008 and April 15, 2009. American Society for Microbiology International Professorships Program.

Description: The Indo-US Professorships in Microbiology enables microbiologists in India and the United States to visit institutions in the other country to teach an interactive short course on a topic in any of the microbiological disciplines (Teaching Professor); and microbiologists in India to participate in an interactive short course on a topic in any of the microbiological disciplines, or conduct a research project in partnership with colleague in a research facility in the US (Research Professor). The Professorships for Asia, Africa and Latin America provide funding for an ASM member from the US to teach a hands-on, highly interactive microbiology short course in one of these locations. Awards are for up to $6000, depending on the program.

18 November 2008. NSF Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH).

Description: This competition promotes quantitative, interdisciplinary analyses of relevant human and natural system processes and complex interactions among human and natural systems at diverse scales. Projects usually have three components: an integrated, quantitative systems-level method of inquiry, an education component, and a global perspective. Grants are for up to $1.5M.

Continuous Submission. NSF-DOE/PNNL Interaction in Environmental Molecular Sciences.

Description: $20,000 supplements for NSF projects that allows researchers to use facilities in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL in Richland, WA. The facilities cover an array of topics, including fundamental research on the chemistry and physics of complex systems; minerals and microbe surfaces; structural biology; proteomics research; the interfacial and nanoscale science of materials; computational studies of physical, chemical, and biological processes.

The SBI has funding available for proposal development and maintains a list of external grant opportunities related to the subsurface biosphere.

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