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Courtesy of Caltech Information Science and Technology Initiative – Wierman Cray 2 Supercomputer

Grants List


Courtesy of Julie Huber

Marine Biological Laboratory

Modeling how virus-microbe interactions influence carbon flow at a deep-sea volcano

In support of investigating the microbial ecosystems that thrive at a deep-sea volcano to model the rates of their activities, their influence on carbon flow beneath the seafloor, and how that influence is altered by viral infection.

Title: Modeling how virus-microbe interactions influence carbon flow at a deep-sea volcano
Date Awarded: May 2012
Amount: $2,258,548
Term: 42 months
Grant ID: GBMF3297
Funding Area: Science, Marine Microbiology Initiative
Organization Name: Marine Biological Laboratory


Our research program investigates deep-sea microbial ecosystems with an emphasis on using crustal fluids to interrogate the rocky subseafloor habitat. The potential for production of new biomass within the seafloor is rarely considered in traditional oceanographic paradigms of carbon cycling or microbial food webs due to how little we know about this under-explored and potentially ubiquitous microbial habitat. The functional consequences of an extensive population of microbes living in the subseafloor remains unknown, as does our understanding of how these organisms interact with one another and influence the biogeochemistry of the oceans.

We are investigating autotrophy in the rocky subseafloor using molecular biological, cultivation, and geochemical techniques at Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano that is part of the NSF OOI seafloor cabled observatory.  The project addresses the functional roles of various autotrophic subseafloor microbial community members across temperature and metabolism classifications; their relationships with each other, with viruses, and with other sources of syntrophic metabolic energy; and their collective impact on carbon biogeochemistry as dictated by environmental gradients in temperature and geochemistry. Our comprehensive suite of land-based, shipboard, and in situ analyses will yield cross-disciplinary advances in our understanding of the microbial ecology and geochemistry of carbon cycling in the subseafloor biosphere at mid-ocean ridges. 

Read more:

Ver Eecke, H. C., D. A. Butterfield, J. A. Huber, M. D. Lilley, E. J. Olson, K. K. Roe, L. J. Evans, A. Y. Merkel, H. V. Cantin, & J. F. Holden. (2012). Hydrogen-limited growth of hyperthermophilic methanogens at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109(34), 13674-13679. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1206632109

Akerman, N. H., D. A. Butterfield, & J. A. Huber. (2013). Phylogenetic diversity and functional gene patterns of sulfur-oxidizing subseafloor Epsilonproteobacteria in diffuse hydrothermal vent fluids. Front Microbiol, 4, 185. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00185

Meyer, J. L., N. H. Akerman, G. Proskurowski, & J. A. Huber. (2013). Microbiological characterization of post-eruption "snowblower" vents at Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Front Microbiol, 4, 153. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00153


From MBL press office

Highlight of Moore-funded work for cruise on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s website

Highlight of NSF-funded work published in PNAS last summer that provided a foundation for Moore-funded work

PI Huber interview in article about SOI’s  new research vessel R/V Falkor

PI Huber interview in article about subseafloor microbes, published in Smithsonian Blog


Return to the main Marine Microbiology Initiative page

Other grants to Marine Biological Laboratory (2)

All Grants