Jayme Feyhl-Buska

 

E-mail: jfeyhlbuska@gmail.com

Address: University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences

825 Bloom Walk, ACB 302

Los Angeles, California 90089-0740

INTRODUCTION TO MY RESEARCH

 

DEEP SUBSURFACE MICROBIAL ACTIVITY

Earth’s deep continental subsurface provides an analog environment to the subsurface of Mars and other planetary bodies. The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), a former gold mine in South Dakota, USA, allows for the study of microbial life present in depths ranging from 244 m to 1478 m below the surface of the Earth. The metabolic strategies that deep continental subsurface microbes use to survive in-situ are not well understood, with low cell densities, low activity rates, and cryptic elemental cycles complicating many methods of activity measurement. To examine potential in-situ microbial activity and redox species use, I directly measure cellular heat flow via nanocalorimetry coupled with the addition of energetically favorable electron donors and acceptors. My results show that at least a fraction of the microbial community at SURF is not as energy limited as it is nutrient limited.

METABOLISMS AND NOVEL TAXA FROM SUBGLACIAL LAKES

The volcanically-heated Skaftarkatlar subglacial lakes of Iceland sit 300m below the surface of the Vatnajokull ice cap and are cold, dark, and nutrient limited. Through enrichments targeted towards certain metabolisms of interest, I have described the underrepresented microbes within this community using metagenomic and culturing techniques. Additionally, I have described multiple new candidate lineages, and have isolated and characterized a variety of psychrophilic sulfur oxidizers and thermophilic anaerobes. I have linked the described taxa back into the lake geochemistry to provide a better understanding of the microbial ecology of these difficult-to-access systems, and to clarify the mechanisms by which life survives in the extreme conditions found in volcanic subglacial lakes.

EDUCATION

 

University of Southern California, Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, NOW

 

Summa Cum Laude, Montana State University, Bozeman, B.S. in Biological Sciences, Minors in Astrobiology and Microbiology  2014

2010 - present

RESEARCH POSITIONS

 

  • Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California (2015-)

Advisor: Dr. Jan Amend

Describing the metabolisms of minor taxa from volcanic subglacial lakes through targeted enrichment, isolation, and metagenomics. Investigating microbial activity in the deep continental subsurface using extremely small changes in heat flow via nanocalorimetry.

 

  • Lab Manager and Research Associate, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University (2014-2015)

Advisor: Dr. Eric Boyd

Characterizing the properties of a novel acidophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium, and assessing the genetic similarities between communities of planktonic and sediment-associated microbes in Yellowstone hot springs

 

  • REU in Environmental Microbiology, Tengchong PIRE Program, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Key State Laboratory of Marine Geology at Tongji University in Shanghai, China (2014)

Advisors: Dr. Chuanlun Zhang and Dr. Eric Boyd

E0ffects of growth phase and sub-optimal environmental conditions of the lipid membrane composition of the hyperacidophile Picrophilus torridus

 

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Chemistry andBiochemistry, Montana State University (2013-2014)

Advisors: Dr. Eric Boyd and Dr. John Peters

Assessing the role of microorganisms in the geochemical stratification of a seasonally stratified high mountain lake.

 

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University (2012-2013)

Advisor: Dr. Gary Strobel

Examining the potential of a variety of novel endophytic species for use in biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications and fuel-production

 

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant,Department of Ecology, Montana State University  (2012-2013)

Mentored by Dr. Andrea Litt

Determining the breadth of research concerning the impacts of herbivory and climate
change on the Northern Great Plains

2010 - present

TEACHING POSITIONS

 

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California 

Oceanography (GEOL107)  (2016 Fall)

Earth History (GEOL 125)  (2016 Spring)

Introduction to Geosystems (GEOL160) (2015 Fall)

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

 

  • Feyhl-Buska, J., Wu, F., Smith, I.E, LaRowe, D.E., Robador, A., Amend. J.P. Low in-situ activity in the deep continental subsurface visualized by calorimetry and virus-to-prokaryote ratios. In prep.

  • Feyhl-Buska, J., Smith, I.E, Wu, F., LaRowe, D.E., Robador, A., Amend. J.P. Potential amino acid limitation in the deep continental subsurface. In prep.

  • Feyhl-Buska, J., Aronson, H.A., Barco, R.A., Amend, J.P. Putative metabolisms for 4 candidate taxa from an Icelandic subglacial lake. Abstract accepted at Frontiers in Microbiology.

  • Feyhl-Buska, J., Smith, I.E., Skoog, E.J., Rowe, A.R., Gaidos, E., Amend, J.P. Targeted enrichments reveal potential metabolisms, novel taxa, and thermophiles in Icelandic subglacial lakes. In prep.

  • Ferrer F.M., Rosen, M.R., Feyhl-Buska, J.., Russell, V.V., Sønderholm, F., Loyd, S., Shapiro, R., Stamps, B.W., Petryshyn, V., Demirel-Floyd, C., Bailey, J.V., Johnson, H.A., Spear., J.R., Corsetti, F.A. Active microbial metabolisms influence both carbonate precipitation and microfabric of rapidly formed modern tufas. Submitted to Nature Geoscience on March 26th, 2020.

  • Feyhl-Buska, J. (2020). Lessons learned at the biology–geology interface. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 1(3), 135–136. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0034-1

  • Merino, N, Aronson, H.S., Bojanova, D.P, Feyhl-Buska, J., Zhang, S, Giovannelli, D. (2019) Living at the extremes: extremophiles and the limits of life in a planetary context. Frontiers in Microbiology (LINK)

  • Feyhl-Buska, J.., Chen Y., Jia C., Wang J-X., Zhang C.L. and Boyd E.S. (2016). Influence of Growth Phase, pH, and Temperature on the Abundance and Composition of Tetraether Lipids in the Thermoacidophile Picrophilus torridus. Front. Microbiol. 7:1323. (LINK)

  • Colman, D.R., Feyhl-Buska, J., Robinson, K.J., Fecteau, K.M., Xu, H., Shock, E.L., Boyd, E.S. (2016). Ecological differentiation in planktonic and sediment-associated chemotropic microbial populations in Yellowstone hot springs. FEMS Microbiol Ecol., 92, 2016, fiw137. (LINK)

    • Awarded Editor’s Choice article for Issue 92.9 of FEMS Microbiology Ecology

  • Parker, S.R., West, R.F., Boyd, E.S., Feyhl-Buska, J., Gammons, C.H., Johnston, T.B., Williams, G.P., Poulson, S.R. (2016). Biogeochemical and microbial seasonal dynamics between water column and sediment processes in a productive mountain lake: Georgetown Lake, MT, USA. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 121, 2064–2081. (LINK)

AWARDS, GRANTS, AND FELLOWSHIPS

 

 

  • 2nd Place in the AbSciCon Student Poster Competition, Astrobiology Science Conference (2019)

  • Spring Semester Department Travel Award, University of Southern California (2019)

  • Department Award for Summer Workshops, University of Southern California (2019)

  • Fall Semester Department Travel Award, University of Southern California (2018)

  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2017)

  • Teaching Award, USC Department of Earth Sciences (2016)

  • Provost Fellowship, University of Southern California (2015)

  • Turner Foundation Award for Thermal Biology Research (2014)

  • Undergraduate Scholars Program Research Grant, Montana State University (2013)

  • Institute on Ecosystems Research Grant (2012)

  • Presidential Scholarship, Montana State University (2010)

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

 

Scientific Workshops

  • Telluride Workshop in Calorimetry and Microbial Ecology, 2019, Telluride Research Center

  • R for Bioinformatics, 2018, University of Southern California

  • Python Workshop, 2017, University of Southern California

  • ECOGEO Bioinformatics Workshop, 2017, University of Southern California

  • Practical Workshop on Chemostat Operation, 2016, University of Southern California

  • Teaching Workshops

  • Future Faculty Training Institute, 2018, USC Center for Excellence in Teaching

Career Workshops

  • Across the STEMverse Career Conference, 2018, University of Southern California

Special Courses

  • International Geobiology Course, Directed by Drs. Frank Corsetti and John Spear

MENTORING EXPERIENCE

  • Mentored Sophia Jensen, a USC undergraduate, on bioinformatic analysis (2020-present)

  • Mentored Charles Lambert, a USC undergraduate, on geochemical lab techniques and data analysis. (2019)

  • Mentored Isaiah Smith, a USC SOAR undergraduate, on microbial ecology, geochemical lab techniques, and bioinformatics analysis (2018-2020)

  • Mentored Emilie Skoog, a USC SOAR undergraduate, on lab techniques in geomicrobiology and preparation for graduate school (2016-2017)

  • Trained undergraduates in basic lab techniques, provided them with projects of their own, or guided them as they assisted with pre-existing studies (2015)

  • Taught English and basic scientific writing to Chinese graduate and undergraduate students at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. (2014)

  • Mentored a Chinese high school student in lipid extraction procedures and basic lab techniques while attending an REU at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. (2014)

  • Mentored Native American high school students on projects examining the microbial communities of agricultural soil horizons through MAP (Montana Apprenticeship Program). (2013)

OUTREACH
  • Presented at STEMBytes, a talk series designed to introduce USC undergraduate students to research in engineering and science. (2020)

  • Volunteered at Across the STEMverse, an industry career conference targeted primarily towards women in science and engineering. (2020)

  • Taught English and basic scientific writing to Chinese graduate and undergraduate students at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. (2014)

  • Mentored Native American high school and community college students in pursing a scientific career and learning basic lab techniques through the Montana Apprenticeship Program. (2014)

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
  • 2019 -2020   Chair of the 17th Southern California Geobiology Symposium Planning Committee

  • 2018 - 2019   Department Seminar Coordinator for the USC Earth Sciences Department

  • 2018 - 2019   Chair of the Geomicrobiology Journal Club at USC

  • 2017               Graduate Representative at the USC Earth Sciences Alumni Weekend

  • 2017               Committee member on the 14th Southern California Geobiology Symposium Planning Committee

  • 2016 - 2017   Earth Sciences Senator on the USC Graduate Student Government (GSG)

CONFERENCES

 

Posters

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Smith, I.E., Skoog, E.J., Rowe, A.R., Gaidos, E., Amend, J.P. (2019). Targeted enrichments reveal potential metabolisms, novel taxa, and thermophiles in Icelandic subglacial lakes. Astrobiology Science Conference, Bellevue, WA.

    • Winner of the Student Poster Competition Award​

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Smith, I.E., Skoog, E.J., Rowe, A.R., Gaidos, E., Amend, J.P. (2019). Novel taxa and microbial metabolisms in subglacial lakes revealed through targeted enrichment. Southern California Geobiology Symposium, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

  • Smith, I.E., Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Skoog, E.J., Rowe, A.R., Gaidos, E., Amend, J.P. (2019).  Thermophiles enriched from subglacial lakes. Southern California Geobiology Symposium, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Smith, I.E., Skoog, E.J., Rowe, A.R., Amend, J.P. (2018). Rare taxa and microbial metabolisms in subglacial lakes revealed through targeted enrichment. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska., Wu, F., Amend, J.P. (2018). Comparing potential and active microbial metabolisms in the deep continental subsurface. Southern California Geobiology Symposium, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA.

  • Skoog, E.J., Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Smith, I.E., Rowe, A.R., Amend, J.P. (2018). Physiology of sulfur oxidizing bacteria in a volcanic subglacial lake. Southern California Geobiology Symposium, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, (2017). Enriching and Isolating New Species from a Subglacial Volcanic Lake, and Assessing Microbial Catabolism in the Continental Subsurface. Department of Earth Sciences Poster Symposium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Emilie Skoog, Annette R. Rowe, Eric J. Gaidos, Mark L., Skidmore, Jan P. Amend (2017). Enrichment and isolation of sulfur oxidizing bacteria from volcanic lakes beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, Southern California Geobiology Symposium, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Annette R. Rowe, Eric J. Gaidos,  Mark L. Skidmore, Verena Heuer, Jan P. Amend (2016). Targeted cultivation of chemolithotrophs from volcanic lakes beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland. Southern California Geobiology Symposium, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, John Dore, Steve Parker, Chris Gammons, Trinity Hamilton, and Eric Boyd (2014). Physical and geochemical controls on the assembly of a water column community in Georgetown Lake, Montana. Undergraduate Research Conference, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. (Also presented at MSU Microbiology Department Retreat)

 

Presentations

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska (2020). Does mostly dead mean slightly alive? Reviving life from deep in the Earth’s crust. USC STEM Bytes Seminar Series, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska (2019). Slow and inactive: low growth rates and limited nutrient cycling by deep continental microbes revealed by nanocalorimetric measurement. Paleoenvironmental Seminar at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska (2019). Exploring microbial activity in the deep continental subsurface using calorimetry. Telluride Workshop in Calorimetry and Microbial Ecology, Telluride, CO.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska (2018). Physiology of sulfur oxidizing bacteria in volcanic subglacial lakes. Paleoenvironmental Seminar at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, (2017). Targeted enrichment and isolation of bacteria from the Skaftárkatlar Lakes. Symposium on Vatnajökull Subglacial Lake Research, Icelandic Meteorological Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, (2016). Chemolithotroph cultivation from an Icelandic subglacial lake. NASA Astrobiology Institute Life Underground All-Hands Meeting, Catalina Island, CA.

  • Fernando Medina Ferrer, Jayme Feyhl-Buska, Fredrik Sønderholm, and Virginia Russell, (2016). Assessing the Potential of Tufas as Biosignatures. International Geobiology Course, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska, (2014) Deciphering the role of microorganisms in the geochemical stratification of Georgetown Lake, Montana. Montana State University Honors Thesis Research Symposium, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.

  • Jayme Feyhl-Buska and Andrea Litt, (2012). A review of research relating to herbivory and climate change in the Northern Great Plains Region. Montana Institute on Ecosystems Undergraduate Research Symposium, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.