First ever non-science publication!

A few months ago, on a bit of a whim, I submitted a little piece of creative/experiential writing I did for publication in the Belle Reve Literary Journal. After over 70 science publications that involved coauthors, peer-reviewers as well as numerous rejections, re-writes and revisions, I was pleasantly surprised when two days later I got a simple email from the editor saying they wanted to publish it in there summer issue! Anyway, here is a link to the journal issue containing my first ever non-science publication!

Photos from our field trip to sample cottonwood cuttings on the Caney Fork River last month

Field trip for sampling cottonwood cuttings on the Caney Fork River last month

Thought I would post some photos of the first field work outing of the year. We were out on the Caney Fork River in Central Tennessee where we have done several studies in the last few years. Primary objective was to obtain cuttings of trees for some upcoming greenhouse experiments. Secondary objective was to play with the “big shot” which is the giant sling shot we used to get lines over the tall limbs to bring them down to get the cuttings. Both were a success!

New Lab Members – People page has been updated!

In the last month we have welcomed both Cyd Hamilton and Laurel Kluber into our group at ORNL.  Cyd is a Visiting Scientist and ORISE Fellow working with us on plant fungal interactions on the PMI Project.  Laurel Kluber is a Postdoctoral Associate working with us on the SPRUCE project as well as our Soil Carbon Cycle Modeling collaborative projects with ESD staff scientists Melanie Mayes and Gangsheng Wang.  Check out the updates on the “People” page!

Three new in press papers on microbial and geochemical characterization of the peatland ecosystem at the future SPRUCE site

Here are links to three new accepted papers that are just out online.  These papers represent some of the first of our hopefully continued fruitful efforts to characterize the peatland SPRUCE site characteristics prior to the onset of warming treatments next year.  These come from core support of the SPRUCE project itself as well as an additional DOE funded effort led by my long-time collaborator Joel Kostka at Georgia Tech and of course the hard work of several fabulous students and postdocs!

Lin et al. Microbial metabolic potential for carbon degradation and nutrient acquisition (N, P) in an ombrotrophic peatland. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, In Press. http://aem.asm.org/content/early/2014/03/24/AEM.00206-14.abstract

Lin et al. Microbial community stratification linked to the utilization of carbohydrates and phosphorus limitation in a boreal peatland at Marcell Experimental Forest. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, In Press. http://aem.asm.org/content/early/2014/03/24/AEM.00205-14.abstract

Tfaily et al. Organic Matter Transformation in the Peat Column at Marcell Experimental Forest: Humification and Vertical Stratification. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, In Press. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JG002492/abstract

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It has been some time since I posted on the blog and I hope this will be one of several upcoming updates on projects, papers and personnel!

Summer internship programs at ORNL (and other DOE labs)

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Summer Department of Energy (DOE) Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI), Community College Internship (CCI) and Visiting Faculty (VF) programs!

If you are aware of students or faculty that may be interested in a summer internship (dates are June2 – August 8, 2014), please have them visit http://science.energy.gov/wdts/ to apply or obtain additional information!  The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. ET on January 10 – applications received after this time WILL NOT be considered for placement.  Summer appointments are 10 weeks in duration and selected applicants must be available to participate for the entire appointment period.

The SULI program encourages undergraduate students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers by providing research experiences at DOE laboratories. The Community College Internship (CCI) program seeks to encourage community college students to enter technical careers relevant to the DOE mission by providing technical training experiences at the DOE laboratories. The Visiting Faculty (VF) program seeks to increase the research competitiveness of faculty members and their students at institutions historically underrepresented in the research community in order to expand the workforce vital to the DOE mission areas.

NOTE: If you are interested in an internship opportunity through this program in my lab directly I will probably be accepting one or two with interests in microbial ecology and/or soil  biogeochemistry. Please drop me an email (schadtcw at ornl dot gov) when you complete your application so that I know to specifically look for your application amongst the 100s in the overall program which ranges from ecology to particle physics!

JOB POST: Postdoctoral Position in the Classen Lab @ UTK

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 

Ecosystem Modeling Position
Funding is available for a post-doctoral research associate in the Classen Lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee (UT) (see lab webpage: http://web.utk.edu/~aclassen/Home.html). The post-doc will be expected to work collaboratively within an interdisciplinary research group on a project that will incorporate rhizosphere interactions and soil physical properties into a soil carbon degradation model.
Qualifications
Applicants must have a PhD in ecology or related field. Applicants with a proven track record in modeling and/or belowground processes are strongly encouraged to apply. Specifically, applicants with expertise in soil carbon or enzyme modeling will be given preference. Funding is available for one year with an additional two years possible pending funding. Preferred start date between November 15st and December 1st 2013. In addition to online application please include (in a single PDF) a CV, a statement of research interest and the names and contact information of three references by 1 November 2013 Attention: Aimée Classen.

JOB POST: Another faculty position at UC Berkeley

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, has an opening for an Assistant Professor (tenure track, nine-month appointment) starting July 1, 2014.

We seek a microbial biologist, who will develop a strong extramurally funded, nationally recognized research program in newly emerging areas of microbiology. Areas of particular interest include use of systems and/or synthetic biology approaches to the fundamental aspects of energy production, global geochemical cycles, anaerobic microbiology or marine microbiology. The desirable candidate will be expected to incorporate a broad spectrum of biochemical, computational, genomic, and proteomic technologies in their program linking microbial physiology to environmental function. The minimum qualifications required to be an applicant is the completion of all degree requirements except dissertation or equivalent by time of application. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent by the date of hire, a strong background in experimental microbiology and the ability to contribute to instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The successful candidate will join a dynamic and diverse community of microbiologists on the UC Berkeley campus in the Microbial Biology Division (http://pmb.berkeley.edu/), the Graduate Group in Microbiology (http://pmb.berkeley.edu/ggm/faculty) and the UC Berkeley Energy Biosciences Institute (http://www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org).

All reference letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality (http://apo.chance.berkeley.edu/evalltr.html) prior to submitting their letters.

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Send questions to pmbsearch@berkeley.edu. For additional information about the Department, the graduate programs and the campus visit http://pmb.berkeley.edu and http://berkeley.edu.

JOB POST: Faculty Positions at Kansas State

Tenure Track Faculty Position in Evolutionary Biology
Assistant Professor

The Division of Biology, Kansas State University invites applications
for a tenure-track position in Evolutionary Biology at the Assistant
Professor level beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.

We seek candidates addressing fundamental, cutting-edge questions in
Evolutionary Biology who will complement the existing strengths in
the Division of Biology and across campus. The candidate’s research
program may focus on any taxon or study system using techniques,
theory and analysis appropriate for successful resolution of the questions.
Minimum requirements include a Ph.D. and post-doctoral experience in
evolutionary biology at the time of appointment and demonstrated
research accomplishments. Successful candidates will be expected to
demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in scholarship, to
develop an innovative and independent extramurally-funded research
program, and to contribute collaboratively to interdisciplinary
research. Expectations also include teaching and mentoring a diverse
population of undergraduate and graduate students, and contributions
to service and outreach efforts of the Division. The salary will be
commensurate with experience.

The Division of Biology is a large, diverse and collegial faculty
with an excellent record of research and teaching. Extramural
research funding in the Division averages approximately $10M per
year. We have a broad research program that includes numerous faculty
scientists with research interests in evolutionary biology, cell
biology, development, ecology, genetics/genomics, microbiology and
related disciplines in multiple other KSU departments. Additional
information about the Division of Biology programs at Kansas State
University can be found at: http://www.ksu.edu/biology/.

TO APPLY, please email the following in a single PDF file: a cover
letter, complete curriculum vitae, statements of research and
teaching interests, and three representative publications. Please
request that letters from 3 referees be sent to the Evolutionary
Search Committee by email: biology@ksu.edu . Only applications
submitted by email will be accepted. Inquiries only may be directed
to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Anthony Joern (ajoern@ksu.edu).
Review of applications will begin November 15, 2013, and will
continue until the position is filled.

Kansas State University is located in the city of Manhattan
(www.ci.manhattan.ks.us), a dynamic college community of about 50,000
located in the scenic Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas. Local
recreational opportunities include a large lake/park system, diverse
outdoor activities, and a rich program in the performing arts.
Manhattan also serves as the regional center for education, health
care, commerce, entertainment and communications.

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
Employer, and actively seeks diversity among its employees. A
background check will be required prior to appointment.