Earth Scientist, Lab Fellow
Earth Scientist, Lab Fellow


Vanessa Bailey studies microbially mediated soil carbon cycling with an emphasis on the roles of physical structure and water dynamics in these processes. Coastal systems are of particular interest. She uses a suite of molecular chemical and multi-omic approaches to answer questions about the stability and vulnerability of soil carbon. Her research is conducted both in the field, where landscape processes are observed and soils sampled, as well as in the laboratory where studies occur in controlled microcosms.

Research Interest

  • Microbial community composition and functional potential
  • Soil microbiology
  • Carbon cycling
  • Metagenomics and metabolomics
  • Terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems


  • PhD in Soil Science, University of Alberta, 1999
  • BSA in Soil Science, University of Manitoba, 1994

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Microbiology
  • Soil Science Society of America



  • Jian J., M. Bahn, C. Wang, V.L. Bailey, and B. Bond-Lamberty. 2020. "Prediction of annual soil respiration from its flux at mean annual temperature." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 287. PNNL-SA-147713. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.107961
  • Ward N.D., P. Megonigal, B. Bond-Lamberty, V.L. Bailey, D. Butman, E. Canuel, and H.L. Diefenderfer, et al. 2020. "Representing the Function and Sensitivity of Coastal Interfaces in Earth System Models." Nature Communications 11. PNNL-SA-147328. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16236-2


  • Bailey V.L., C. Hicks Pries, and K. Lajtha. 2019. "What do we know about soil carbon destabilization?." Environmental Research Letters 14, no. 8:Article Number 083004. PNNL-SA-143015. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab2c11
  • Vera-Gargallo B., T. Roy Chowdhury, J.M. Brown, S.J. Fansler, A. Duran-Viseras, C. Sanchez-Porro, and V.L. Bailey, et al. 2019. "Spatial Distribution of Prokaryotic Communities in Hypersaline Soils." Scientific Reports 9. PNNL-SA-136048. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-38339-z
  • Wang W., N.G. McDowell, N.D. Ward, J.L. Indivero, C.M. Gunn, and V.L. Bailey. 2019. "Constrained tree growth and gas-exchange of seawater-exposed forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA." Journal of Ecology 107, no. 6:2541-2552. PNNL-SA-144278. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13225
  • Ward N.D., J.L. Indivero, C.M. Gunn, W. Wang, V.L. Bailey, and N.G. McDowell. 2019. "Longitudinal gradients in tree stem greenhouse gas concentrations across six Pacific Northwest coastal forests." Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences 124, no. 6:1401-1412. PNNL-SA-138892. doi:10.1029/2019JG005064


  • Bailey V.L., B. Bond-Lamberty, K. DeAngelis, A. Grandy, C.V. Hawkes, K. Heckman, and K. Lajtha, et al. 2018. "Soil carbon cycling proxies: understanding their critical role in predicting climate change feedbacks." Global Change Biology 24, no. 3:895-905. PNNL-SA-128644. doi:10.1111/gcb.13926
  • Bond-Lamberty B., V.L. Bailey, M. Chen, C. Gough, and R. Vargas. 2018. "Globally rising soil heterotrophic respiration over recent decades." Nature 560, no. 7716:80-83. PNNL-SA-124718. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0358-x
  • Roy Chowdhury T., L.M. Bramer, D.W. Hoyt, Y. Kim, T.O. Metz, L. McCue, and H.L. Diefenderfer, et al. 2018. "Temporal dynamics of CO2 and CH4 loss potentials in response to rapid hydrological shifts in tidal freshwater wetland soils." Ecological Engineering 114. PNNL-SA-123359. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.06.041
  • Yan Z., B. Bond-Lamberty, K. Todd-Brown, V.L. Bailey, S. Li, C. Liu, and C. Liu. 2018. "A moisture function of soil heterotrophic respiration that incorporates microscale processes." Nature Communications 9, no. 1:Article No. 2562. PNNL-SA-126718. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04971-6
  • Yan Z., T. Wang, L. Wang, X. Yang, P. Smith, M. Hilpert, and S. Li, et al. 2018. "Microscale water distribution and its effects on organic carbon decomposition in unsaturated soils." Science of the Total Environment 644. PNNL-SA-140930. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.365


  • Newcomb CJ, N Qafoku, JW Grate, VL Bailey, and JJ De Yoreo. 2017. "Developing a molecular picture of soil organic matter-mineral interactions by quantifying organo-mineral binding." Nature Communications 8:Article No. 396.  doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00407-9
  • Smith AP, B Bond-Lamberty, BW Benscoter, MM Tfaily, R Hinkle, C Liu, and VL Bailey. 2017. "Shifts in pore connectivity from precipitation versus groundwater rewetting increases soil carbon loss after drought." Nature Communications 8:Article No.1335. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01320-x
  • Yan Z, C Liu, Y Liu, and VL Bailey. 2017. "Multiscale Investigation on Biofilm Distribution and its Impact on Macroscopic Biogeochemical Reaction Rates." Water Resources Research 53(11):8698-8714.  doi:10.1002/2017WR020570
  • Bailey VL, AP Smith, MM Tfaily, SJ Fansler, and B Bond-Lamberty. 2017. "Differences in Soluble Organic Carbon Chemistry in Pore Waters Sampled from Different Pore Size Domains." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 107:133-143.  doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.025
  • Hess NJ, L Pasa Tolic, VL Bailey, and A Dohnalkova. 2017. "New understanding of rhizosphere processes enabled by advances in molecular and spatially resolved techniques." Rhizosphere 3(2):209-211.  doi:10.1016/j.rhisph.2017.04.007


  • Yan Z, C Liu, K Todd-Brown, Y Liu, B Bond-Lamberty, and VL Bailey. 2016. "Pore-scale Investigation on the Response of Heterotrophic Respiration to Moisture Conditions in Heterogeneous Soils." Biogeochemistry 131(1):121-134.  doi:10.1007/s10533-016-0270-0
  • Bond-Lamberty B, AP Smith, and VL Bailey. 2016. "Running an open experiment: transparency and reproducibility in soil and ecosystem science." Environmental Research Letters 11(8):084004.  doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084004
  • Bond-Lamberty B, AP Smith, and VL Bailey. 2016. "Temperature and moisture effects on greenhouse gas emissions from deep active-layer boreal soils." Biogeosciences 13(24):6669-6681.  doi:10.5194/bg-13-6669-2016
  • Bond-Lamberty B, H Bolton, Jr, SJ Fansler, A Heredia-Langner, C Liu, LA McCue, JL Smith, and VL Bailey. 2016. "Soil respiration and bacterial structure and function after 17 years of a reciprocal soil transplant experiment." PLoS One 11(3):e0150599. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150599


  • Bond-Lamberty B, JP Fisk, J Holm, VL Bailey, G Bohrer, and C Gough. 2015. "Moderate forest disturbance as a stringent test for gap and big-leaf models." Biogeosciences 12(2):513-526.  doi:10.5194/bg-12-513-2015
  • Yang X, C Liu, Y Fang, R Hinkle, H Li, VL Bailey, and B Bond-Lamberty. 2015. "Simulations of Ecosystem Hydrological Processes Using a Unified Multi-Scale Model." Ecological Modelling 296:93-101.  doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.10.032


  • Yang X, C Liu, J Shang, Y Fang, and VL Bailey. 2014. "A Unified Multi-Scale Model for Pore-Scale Flow Simulations in Soils." Soil Science Society of America Journal 78(1):108-118. doi:10.2136/sssaj2013.05.0190


  • Bailey VL, LA McCue, SJ Fansler, MI Boyanov, F DeCarlo, KM Kemner, and A Konopka. 2013. "Micrometer-Scale Physical Structure and Microbial Composition of Soil Macroaggregates." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 65:60-68. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.005
  • Bailey VL, SJ Fansler, JC Stegen, and LA McCue. 2013. "Linking Microbial Community Structure to ß-Glucosidic Function in Soil Aggregates." The ISME Journal 7(10):2044-2053. doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.87


  • Resat H, VL Bailey, LA McCue, and A Konopka. 2012. "Modeling microbial dynamics in heterogeneous environments: Growth on soil carbon sources." Microbial Ecology 63(4):883-897.  doi:10.1007/s00248-011-9965-x
  • Webb-Robertson BJM, VL Bailey, SJ Fansler, MJ Wilkins, and NJ Hess. 2012. "Spectral Signatures for the Classification of Microbial Species using Raman Spectra." Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 404(2):563-572.  doi:10.1007/s00216-012-6152-y
  • Bailey VL, CL Bilskis, SJ Fansler, LA McCue, JL Smith, and A Konopka. 2012. "Measurements of Microbial Community Activities in Individual Soil Macroaggregates." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 48:192-195.  doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.01.004
  • Plymale AE, VL Bailey, JK Fredrickson, SM Heald, EC Buck, L Shi, Z Wang, CT Resch, DA Moore, and H Bolton, Jr. 2012. "Biotic and Abiotic Reduction and Solubilization of Pu(IV)O2·xH2O(am) as Affected by Anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) and Ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA)." Environmental Science & Technology 46(4):2132-2140. doi:10.1021/es2030752
  • Runkle RC, CE Aalseth, VL Bailey, R Bonicalzi, JJ Moran, A Seifert, and GA Warren. 2012. Opportunities for Decay Counting of Environmental Radioisotopes Using Ultra-low-background Detection Systems . PNNL-21709, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Webb-Robertson BJM, AL Bunn, and VL Bailey. 2011. "Phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers in a freshwater periphyton community exposed to uranium: discovery by non-linear statistical learning." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 102(1):67-71. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.09.005
  • Bailey VL, SJ Fansler, JL Smith, and H Bolton, Jr. 2011. "Reconciling Apparent Variability in Effects of Biochar Amendment on Soil Enzyme Activities by Assay Optimization." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43(2):296-301.  doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.10.014
  • Brown GE, A Chaka, DK Shuh, EE Roden, CJ Werth, NJ Hess, AR Felmy, KM Rosso, DR Baer, VL Bailey, ME Bowden, JW Grate, DW Hoyt, LR Kuprat, AS Lea, KT Mueller, M Oostrom, G Orr, L Pasa-Tolic, C Plata, EW Robinson, RG Teller, S Thevuthasan, H Wang, HS Wiley, and MJ Wilkins. 2011. EMSL Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Subsurface Science-Science Theme Advisory Panel Meeting. PNNL-20601, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Garten, Jr CT, DJ Brice, HF Castro, RL Graham, MA Mayes, JR Phillips, WM Post, CW Schadt, SD Wullschleger, DD Tyler, PM Jardine, JD Jastrow, R Matamala, RM Miller, KK Moran, T Vugteveen, RC Izaurralde, AM Thomson, TO West, JE Amonette, VL Bailey, FB Metting, and JL Smith. 2011. "Response of "Alamo" switchgrass tissue chemistry and biomass to nitrogen fertilization in west Tennessee, USA." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 140(1-2):289-297.  doi:10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.016


  • Bailey VL, SJ Fansler, S Bandyopadhyay, JL Smith, KM Waters, and H Bolton, Jr. 2010. "Direct Detection of Soil mRNAs using Targeted Microarrays for Genes Associated with Lignin Degradation." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42:1793-1799. 
  • Garten, Jr CT, JL Smith, DD Tyler, JE Amonette, VL Bailey, DJ Brice, HF Castro, RL Graham, CA Gunderson, RC Izaurralde, PM Jardine, JD Jastrow, MK Kerley, R Matamala, MA Mayes, FB Metting, RM Miller, KK Moran, WM Post, RD Sands, CW Schadt, JR Phillips, AM Thomson, T Vugteveen, TO West, and SD Wullschleger. 2010. "Intra-annual changes in biomass, carbon, and nitrogen dynamics at 4-year old switchgrass field trials in West Tennessee, USA." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 136(1-2):177-184. 
  • Smith JL, HP Collins, and VL Bailey. 2010. "The effect of young biochar on soil respiration." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42(12):2345-2347. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.09.013


  • Miracle AL, VL Bailey, SE Baker, AL Bunn, JK Magnuson, and BJM Webb-Robertson. 2009. "Integration of ‘omics technologies for characterization of complex microbial ecosystems - 8119." In Waste Management Symposium 2008, pp. 832-841.  WM Symposia, Tucson, AZ. 


  • Elshahed MS, NH Youseff , AM Spain, C Sheik, FZ Najar , LO Sukharnikov, BA Roe, JP Davis , PD schloss, VL Bailey, and LR Krumholz. 2008. "Novelty and uniqueness patterns of rare members of the soil biosphere." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74(17):5422-5428. doi:10.1128/AEM.00410-08 


  • Jastrow JD, JE Amonette, and VL Bailey. 2007. "Mechanisms controlling soil carbon turnover and their potential application for enhancing carbon sequestration ." Climatic Change 80(1-2):5-23. 
  • Smith JL, JM Bell, H Bolton, Jr, and VL Bailey. 2007. "The Initial Rate of C Substrate Utilization and Longer-Term Soil C Storage." Biology and Fertility of Soils 44(2):315-320. 


  • Bailey VL, JL Smith, and H Bolton, Jr. 2006. "14C Cycling in Lignocellulose-Amended Soils: Predicting Long-Term C Fate from Short-Term Indicators." Biology and Fertility of Soils 42(3):198-206.  doi:10.1007/s00374-005-0016-y 
  • Marshall MJ, AS Beliaev, A Dohnalkova, DW Kennedy, L Shi, Z Wang, MI Boyanov, B Lai, KM Kemner, JS Mclean, SB Reed, DE Culley, VL Bailey, CJ Simonson, D Saffarini, MF Romine, JM Zachara, and JK Fredrickson. 2006. "c-Type Cytochrome-Dependent Formation of U(IV) Nanoparticles by Shewanella oneidensis ." PloS Biology 4(8):1324-1333. 


  • Fansler SJ, JL Smith, H Bolton, Jr, and VL Bailey. 2005. "Distribution of Two C Cycle Enzymes in Soil Aggregates of a Prairie Chronosequence." Biology and Fertility of Soils 42(1):17-23. doi:10.1007/s00374-005-0867-2


  • Post WM, RCC Izaurralde, JD Jastrow, BA McCarl, JE Amonette, VL Bailey, PM Jardine, TO West, and J Zhou. 2004. "Enhancement of Carbon Sequestration in US Soils." BioScience 54(10):895-908. 


  • Bailey VL, JL Smith, and H Bolton, Jr. 2003. "Novel Antibiotics as Inhibitors for the Selective Respiratory Inhibition Method of Measuring Fungal: Bacterial Ratios in Soil." Biology and Fertility of Soils 38(3):154-160. 
  • Bell JM, JL Smith, VL Bailey, and H Bolton, Jr. 2003. "Priming Effect and C Storage in Semi-Arid No-till Spring Crop Rotations ." Biology and Fertility of Soils 37(4):237-244. 


  • Bailey VL, AD Peacock, JL Smith, and H Bolton, Jr. 2002. "· Relationships between Soil Microbial Biomass Determined by Chloroform Fumigation-Extraction, Substrate-Induced Respiration, and Phospholipid Fatty Acid Analysis." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34:1385-1389. 
  • Bailey VL, JL Smith, and H Bolton, Jr. 2002. "Fungal-to-Bacterial Ratios in Soils Investigated for Enhanced C Sequestration." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34:997-1007. doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(02)00033-0