Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate

Staff information


Harvey Bolton

Environmntl Molecular Sci Div
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K8-84
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Bolton is responsible for the leadership, management, and operations of the Biological Sciences Division in the Fundamental Science Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Division has microbiologists, cell biologists, structural biologists, and chemists focused on systems biology and technology development for high throughput biology focused on how cells and organisms sense and respond to their environment. Dr. Bolton is also responsible for representing PNNL’s research and capabilities in Life Sciences and Environmental Remediation Sciences to DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

Dr. Bolton has focused his research career on building multidisciplinary teams that bring chemistry and biology together to address problems in contaminant behavior and elemental cycling in the environment. Dr. Bolton leads a multidisciplinary Department of Energy (DOE) project investigating the microbiology reduction of plutonium-EDTA and the influence of on plutonium mobility. Dr. Bolton is also a Co-PI as part of a large DOE multi-Lab Project (PNNL, ORNL, and ANL focused on enhancing carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Dr. Bolton research involves molecular biologists, microbiologists, soil biochemists, and ecologists at multiple institutions investigating how microbial community structure and function influences C sequestration and N cycling in various ecosystems.

Research Interests

  • Contaminant behavior and elemental cycling in the environment
  • Microbiology reduction of plutonium-EDTA and the influence of on plutonium mobility
  • Carbon sequestration

Education and Credentials

  • B.S. Natural Resources, University of Rhode Island
  • M.S. Soil Microbiology, Washington State University
  • Ph.D. Soil Microbiology, Washington State University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Sigma Xi Research Society
  • Soil Science Society of America

Awards and Recognitions

  • 1982 Lindahl Memorial Scholarship at Washington State University
  • 1983 Lindahl Memorial Scholarship at Washington State University
  • 1984 Landerholm Scholarship at Washington State University
  • Adjunct Graduate Faculty Appointment, Department of Crops and Soil Science, Washington State University

PNNL Publications


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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. 
  • Rai D, DA Moore, AR Felmy, KM Rosso, and H Bolton, Jr. 2010. "PuPO4(cr, hyd.) Solubility Product and Pu3+ Complexes With Phosphate and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid ." Journal of Solution Chemistry 39(6):778-807.  doi:10.1007/s10953-010-9541-x


  • Rai D, DA Moore, KM Rosso, AR Felmy, and H Bolton, Jr. 2008. "EnEnvironmental Mobility of Pu(IV) in the Presence of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid: Myth or Reality." Journal of Solution Chemistry 37(7):957-986.  doi:10.1007/s10953-008-9282-2


  • 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. 
  • Zhang H, JP Herman, H Bolton, Jr, Z Zhang, SB Clark, and L Xun. 2007. "Evidence that Bacterial ABC-Type Transporter Imports Free EDTA for Metabolism ." Journal of Bacteriology 189(22):7991-7997.  doi:10.1128/JB.01164-07


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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. 
  • Link SO, JL Smith, JJ Halvorson, and H Bolton, Jr. 2003. "A Reciprocal Transplant Experiment within a Climatic Gradient in a Semiarid Shrub-Steppe Ecosystem: Effects on Bunchgrass Growth and Reproduction, Soil Carbon, and Soil Nitrogen." Global Change Biology 9(7):1097-1105. 


  • 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
  • Smith JL, JJ Halvorson, and H Bolton, Jr. 2002. "Soil Properties and Microbial Activity across a 500-m Elevation Gradient in a Semi-Arid Environment." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34(11):1749-1757. 


  • Bohuslavek J, JW Payne, Y Liu, H Bolton, Jr, and L Xun. 2001. "Cloning, sequencing, and characterization of a gene cluster involved in EDTA degradation from the bacterium BNC1." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67(2):688-695. 
  • Liu Y, TM Louie, JW Payne, J Bohuslavek, H Bolton, Jr, and L Xun. 2001. "Identification, Purification, and Characterization of Iminodiacetate Oxidase from the EDTA-Degrading Bacterium BNC1." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67(2):696-701. 
  • Rai D, H Bolton, Jr, DA Moore, NJ Hess, and GR Choppin. 2001. "Thermodynamic Model for the Solubility of PuO2(am) in the Aqueous Na+-H+-OH--Cl--H2O- ehtylenediaminetetraacetate System." Radiochimica Acta 89:67-74. 


  • Bolton H, Jr, L Xun, and DC Girvin. 2000. "Biodegradation of Synthetic Chelating Agents." Chapter 15 in Environmental Microbe-Metal Interactions, vol. ., ed. Derek R. Lovley, pp. 363-383.  ASM Press, Washington, DC. 
  • Vanbriesen JM, BE Rittmann, L Xun, DC Girvin, and H Bolton, Jr. 2000. "The rate-controlling substrate of nitrilotriacetate for biodegradation by Chelatobacter heintzii." Environmental Science and Technology 34(16):3346-3353. 

Science at PNNL

Core Research Areas

User Facilities

Centers & Institutes

Research Highlights

View All Research Highlights & Staff Accomplishments

RSS Feed