Recent discoveries of new types of sulfur bacteria prompt a revision of out thinking on the marine sulfur cycle and the role of microbial agents in cycling. This research will concentrate on the reductive and oxidative transformations of elemental sulfur, sulfite, thiosulfate and sulfate both within and below the oxic/anoxic interface in the Black Sea, with comparisons of biological vs. chemical nature of these transformations. The focus on the Black Sea will take advantage of the excellent oceanographic and geochemical background knowledge on the strong oxic/anoxic interface and the anoxic sediments and bottom waters. It will also facilitate significant collaborations on this important topic. Dr. Jannasch is one of the world's leading marine microbiologists with a strong record of productivity and major discovery with Foundation support. He has already provided significant leadership in the initiation of the proposed Black Sea multidisciplinary research expedition.