October 16-17, 2018 | Lincoln, Nebraska
nsf logo link
2018 NRIC speakers
portrait of Julie Huber


Julie Huber
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations
Microbes, fluids and rocks:
Life beneath the seafloor
Exploration of the sea over the last 40 years has resulted in astounding discoveries about the extent and diversity of life in the deep ocean, pushing our understanding of the intimate connections between the biosphere and geosphere to the extremes, including the discovery of chemosynthetic ecosystems at hydrothermal vents and active microbes buried in sediments, kilometers beneath the seafloor. This lecture will focus on microbial communities in the largest actively flowing aquifer system on Earth, the fluids circulating through oceanic crust underlying the oceans and sediments, and include recent discoveries and the technology that enabled such discoveries at both well-studied underwater volcanoes and completely novel and unexplored systems, including the worlds’ deepest hydrothermal vents.
Julie Huber, Ph.D., is an oceanographer by training and is broadly interested in how basic earth processes- rocks forming, fluids moving, sediments accumulating- interact to create and maintain life in the oceans. Her research addresses some of the most central questions about the nature and extent of microbial life on Earth in one of its least explored corners, the subseafloor habitat beneath the ocean floor. Julie received her B.S in Marine Science from Eckerd College in 1998 and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2004. In 2007, she received the L’Oréal USA Fellowship for Women in Science. Beyond her duties as an Associate Scientist in Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Julie also serves as the Associate Director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), whose mission is to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inform and inspire the general public about discoveries in ocean sciences and related disciplines. You can find her on twitter @julesdeep. is the Dr. George and Sally Haddix Community Chair of STEM Education in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He won the 2016 Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award from the University of Nebraska system, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in interdisciplinary STEM learning and research. Grandgenett has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on nearly $18 million in NSF grants from the ITEST, DRK12, TUES, and Noyce programs, with four of these grants focused on using educational robotics as a core instructional strategy in formal and informal STEM learning.