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Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate

Staff information


Harvey Bolton

Earth & Biological Sciences
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K8-84
Richland, WA 99352


As acting Director, Dr. Bolton manages the overall EMSL user program and is the primary interface with BER, PNNL and user community for management, operations and science of EMSL. As acting Deputy for User Research & Operations, he manages (with direct reports) the current user projects. He works with users and EMSL staff to ensure EMSL Sciences Areas are productive and produce cutting edge science using EMSL instruments and staff. He also ensures safe, effective and efficient operations of the user program and EMSL.

Dr. Bolton leads approximately 160 staff members and oversees EMSL operations and infrastructure, including space and facilities, instruments, finance and procurement, human resources, safety, and administrative activities. He supports and acts on behalf of the EMSL director in day-to-day management and operations. Represents EMSL to BER, industrial contacts, and other organizations with regard to EMSL's administrative and financial management, facilities, environmental health and safety, and business issues. Dr. Bolton leads research and business development, organizational and staff development, and financial management of technical staff.

Dr Bolton has more than 30 years leading BER-focused projects and teams, including forming multidisciplinary teams that bring together microbiology, geochemistry, and hydrology to address problems in contaminant behavior and elemental cycling in the environment. Published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles in biogeochemistry and environmental microbiology.

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

  • 1985 - Ph.D., Soil Microbiology, Washington State University
  • 1983 - M.S., Soil Microbiology, Washington State University
  • 1979 - B.S., Natural Resources, University of Rhode Island

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

  • Finalist, Manager of the Year at Hanford-nomination package prepared by staff (2001).
  • Landerholm Scholarship at Washington State University (1984).
  • Lindahl Memorial Scholarship at Washington State University (1982 and 1983).

PNNL Publications


  • Bond-Lamberty B., H. Bolton, S.J. Fansler, A. Heredia-Langner, C. Liu, L.A. McCue, and J.L. Smith, et al. 2016. "Soil respiration and bacterial structure and function after 17 years of a reciprocal soil transplant experiment." PLoS One 11, no. 3:e0150599. PNNL-SA-94916. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150599


  • Plymale A.E., V.L. Bailey, J.K. Fredrickson, S.M. Heald, E.C. Buck, L. Shi, and Z. Wang, et al. 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, no. 4:2132-2140. PNNL-SA-82367. doi:10.1021/es2030752


  • Bailey V.L., S.J. Fansler, J.L. Smith, and H. Bolton. 2011. "Reconciling Apparent Variability in Effects of Biochar Amendment on Soil Enzyme Activities by Assay Optimization." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 43, no. 2:296-301. PNNL-SA-72584. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.10.014


  • Bailey V.L., S.J. Fansler, S. Bandyopadhyay, J.L. Smith, K.M. Waters, and H. Bolton. 2010. "Direct Detection of Soil mRNAs using Targeted Microarrays for Genes Associated with Lignin Degradation." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42. PNNL-SA-63713.
  • Rai D., D.A. Moore, A.R. Felmy, K.M. Rosso, and H. Bolton. 2010. "PuPO4(cr, hyd.) Solubility Product and Pu3+ Complexes With Phosphate and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid." Journal of Solution Chemistry 39, no. 6:778-807. PNNL-SA-70353. doi:10.1007/s10953-010-9541-x


  • Rai D., D.A. Moore, K.M. Rosso, A.R. Felmy, and H. Bolton. 2008. "EnEnvironmental Mobility of Pu(IV) in the Presence of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid: Myth or Reality." Journal of Solution Chemistry 37, no. 7:957-986. PNNL-SA-57159. doi:10.1007/s10953-008-9282-2


  • Smith J.L., J.M. Bell, H. Bolton, and V.L. Bailey. 2007. "The Initial Rate of C Substrate Utilization and Longer-Term Soil C Storage." Biology and Fertility of Soils 44, no. 2:315-320. PNNL-SA-55084.
  • Zhang H., J.P. Herman, H. Bolton, Z. Zhang, S.B. Clark, and L. Xun. 2007. "Evidence that Bacterial ABC-Type Transporter Imports Free EDTA for Metabolism." Journal of Bacteriology 189, no. 22:7991-7997. PNNL-SA-57161. doi:10.1128/JB.01164-07


  • Bailey V.L., J.L. Smith, and H. Bolton. 2006. "14C Cycling in Lignocellulose-Amended Soils: Predicting Long-Term C Fate from Short-Term Indicators." Biology and Fertility of Soils 42, no. 3:198-206. PNNL-SA-42238. doi:10.1007/s00374-005-0016-y


  • Fansler S.J., J.L. Smith, H. Bolton, and V.L. Bailey. 2005. "Distribution of Two C Cycle Enzymes in Soil Aggregates of a Prairie Chronosequence." Biology and Fertility of Soils 42, no. 1:17-23. PNNL-SA-42239. doi:10.1007/s00374-005-0867-2


  • Bailey V.L., J.L. Smith, and H. Bolton. 2003. "Novel Antibiotics as Inhibitors for the Selective Respiratory Inhibition Method of Measuring Fungal: Bacterial Ratios in Soil." Biology and Fertility of Soils 38, no. 3:154-160. PNNL-SA-36220.
  • Bell J.M., J.L. Smith, V.L. Bailey, and H. Bolton. 2003. "Priming Effect and C Storage in Semi-Arid No-till Spring Crop Rotations." Biology and Fertility of Soils 37, no. 4:237-244. PNNL-SA-37686.
  • Link S.O., J.L. Smith, J.J. Halvorson, and H. Bolton. 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, no. 7:1097-1105. PNNL-SA-41910.


  • Bailey V.L., A.D. Peacock, J.L. Smith, and H. Bolton. 2002. "· Relationships between Soil Microbial Biomass Determined by Chloroform Fumigation-Extraction, Substrate-Induced Respiration, and Phospholipid Fatty Acid Analysis." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34. PNNL-SA-36212.
  • Bailey V.L., J.L. Smith, and H. Bolton. 2002. "Fungal-to-Bacterial Ratios in Soils Investigated for Enhanced C Sequestration." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34. PNNL-SA-34602. doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(02)00033-0
  • Smith J.L., J.J. Halvorson, and H. Bolton. 2002. "Soil Properties and Microbial Activity across a 500-m Elevation Gradient in a Semi-Arid Environment." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34, no. 11:1749-1757. PNNL-SA-34206.


  • Bohuslavek J., J.W. Payne, Y. Liu, H. Bolton, 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, no. 2:688-695. PNNL-SA-33398.
  • Liu Y., T. Louie, J.W. Payne, J. Bohuslavek, H. Bolton, and L. Xun. 2001. "Identification, Purification, and Characterization of Iminodiacetate Oxidase from the EDTA-Degrading Bacterium BNC1." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 67, no. 2:696-701. PNNL-SA-33287.
  • Rai D., H. Bolton, D.A. Moore, N.J. Hess, and G.R. Choppin. 2001. "Thermodynamic Model for the Solubility of PuO2(am) in the Aqueous Na+-H+-OH--Cl--H2O- ehtylenediaminetetraacetate System." Radiochimica Acta 89. PNNL-SA-32162.


  • Bolton H., L. Xun, and D.C. Girvin. 2000. "Biodegradation of Synthetic Chelating Agents." In Environmental Microbe-Metal Interactions, edited by Derek R. Lovley. 363-383. Washington, District Of Columbia:ASM Press. PNNL-SA-32796.
  • Vanbriesen J.M., B.E. Rittmann, L. Xun, D.C. Girvin, and H. Bolton. 2000. "The rate-controlling substrate of nitrilotriacetate for biodegradation by Chelatobacter heintzii." Environmental Science & Technology 34, no. 16:3346-3353. PNNL-SA-32797.

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