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Staff information


Vanessa Bailey

Biological Systems Science
Earth Scientist
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: J4-18
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Bailey’s research addresses the role of soil physical structure on microbially-mediated soil C cycling. This research includes a focus on the role played by water as a solvent and transport agent in soils, and 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 lab where studies occur in controlled microcosms.

Research Interests

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

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of Alberta, 1999
  • B.S.A., University of Manitoba, 1994

Affiliations and Professional Service

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

PNNL Publications


  • Patel K.F., A.N. Myers-Pigg, B. Bond-Lamberty, S.J. Fansler, C. Norris, S.A. McKever, and J. Zheng, et al. 2021. "Soil carbon dynamics during drying vs. rewetting: Importance of antecedent moisture conditions." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 156. PNNL-SA-156504. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108165
  • Patel K.F., P. Smith, B. Bond-Lamberty, S.J. Fansler, M.M. Tfaily, L.M. Bramer, and T. Varga, et al. 2021. "Spatial access and resource limitations control carbon mineralization in soils." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 162. PNNL-SA-159317. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108427
  • Patel K.F., V. Tejnecky, T. Ohno, V.L. Bailey, R.L. Sleighter, and P.G. Hatcher. 2021. "Reactive oxygen species alter chemical composition and adsorptive fractionation of soil-derived organic matter." Geoderma 384. PNNL-SA-154105. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114805
  • Sengupta A., J.C. Stegen, B. Bond-Lamberty, A. Rivas-Ubach, J. Zheng, P. Handakumbura, and C.G. Norris, et al. 2021. "Antecedent conditions determine the biogeochemical response of coastal soils to seawater exposure." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 153. PNNL-SA-154783. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.108104
  • Xu C., S.P. Couvillion, R.L. Sontag, N.G. Isern, Y. Maezato, S.R. Lindemann, and T.R. Chowdhury, et al. 2021. "MetFish: A Metabolomics Pipeline for Studying Microbial Communities in Chemically Extreme Environments." mSystems 6, no. 3:e01058-20. PNNL-SA-132977. doi:10.1128/mSystems.01058-20
  • Zhang H., X. Li, W. Wang, A.L. Pivovaroff, W. Li, P. Zhang, and N.D. Ward, et al. 2021. "Seawater exposure causes hydraulic damage in dying Sitka-spruce trees." Plant Physiology 187, no. 2:873-885. PNNL-SA-156527. doi:10.1093/plphys/kiab295
  • Zhang P., N.G. McDowell, X. Zhou, W. Wang, R.T. Leff, A.L. Pivovaroff, and H. Zhang, et al. 2021. "Declining carbohydrate content of Sitka-spruce trees dying from seawater exposure." Plant Physiology 185, no. 4:1682-1696. PNNL-SA-156500. doi:10.1093/plphys/kiab002


  • 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
  • Rod K.A., P. Smith, W. Leng, S.M. Colby, R.K. Kukkadapu, M.E. Bowden, and O. Qafoku, et al. 2020. "Water-dispersible nanocolloids and higher temperatures promote the release of carbon from riparian soil." Vadose Zone Journal 19, no. 1:Article No. e20077. PNNL-SA-156976. doi:10.1002/vzj2.20077
  • Wang W., N.G. McDowell, S.C. Pennington, C. Grossiord, R.T. Leff, A. Sengupta, and N.D. Ward, et al. 2020. "Tree growth, transpiration, and water-use efficiency between shoreline and upland red maple (Acer rubrum) trees in a coastal forest." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 295. PNNL-SA-153708. doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108163
  • Ward N.D., J.L. Indivero, C.M. Gunn, W. Wang, V.L. Bailey, and N.G. McDowell. 2020. Longitudinal gradients in tree stem greenhouse gas concentrations across six Pacific Northwest coastal forests. PNNL-30257. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Longitudinal gradients in tree stem greenhouse gas concentrations across six Pacific Northwest coastal forests
  • 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


  • Bailey V.L., A.P. Smith, M.M. Tfaily, S.J. 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. PNNL-SA-118268. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.11.025
  • Hess N.J., L. Pasa Tolic, V.L. Bailey, and A. Dohnalkova. 2017. "New Understanding in Rhizosphere Processes Enabled by Advances in Molecular and Spatially Resolved Techniques." Rhizosphere 3, no. 2:209-211. PNNL-SA-124636. doi:10.1016/j.rhisph.2017.04.007
  • Newcomb C.J., N. Qafoku, J.W. Grate, V.L. Bailey, and J.J. De Yoreo. 2017. "Developing a Molecular Picture of Soil Organic Matter-Mineral Interactions by Quantifying Organo-Mineral Binding." Nature Communications 8. PNNL-SA-121086. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00407-9
  • Yan Z., C. Liu, Y. Liu, and V.L. Bailey. 2017. "Multiscale Investigation on Biofilm Distribution and its Impact on Macroscopic Biogeochemical Reaction Rates." Water Resources Research 53, no. 11:8698-8714. PNNL-SA-123939. doi:10.1002/2017WR020570


  • Bond-Lamberty B., A.P. Smith, and V.L. Bailey. 2016. "Running an open experiment: transparency and reproducibility in soil and ecosystem science." Environmental Research Letters 11, no. 8:084004. PNNL-SA-118309. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084004
  • Bond-Lamberty B., A.P. Smith, and V.L. Bailey. 2016. "Temperature and moisture effects on greenhouse gas emissions from deep active-layer boreal soils." Biogeosciences 13, no. 24:6669-6681. PNNL-SA-118337. doi:10.5194/bg-13-6669-2016
  • 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
  • Yan Z., C. Liu, K. Todd-Brown, Y. Liu, B. Bond-Lamberty, and V.L. Bailey. 2016. "Pore-scale Investigation on the Response of Heterotrophic Respiration to Moisture Conditions in Heterogeneous Soils." Biogeochemistry 131, no. 1:121-134. PNNL-SA-117668. doi:10.1007/s10533-016-0270-0


  • Bond-Lamberty B., J.P. Fisk, J. Holm, V.L. Bailey, G. Bohrer, and C. Gough. 2015. "Moderate forest disturbance as a stringent test for gap and big-leaf models." Biogeosciences 12, no. 2:513-526. PNNL-SA-103663. doi:10.5194/bg-12-513-2015
  • Yang X., C. Liu, Y. Fang, R. Hinkle, H. Li, V.L. Bailey, and B. Bond-Lamberty. 2015. "Simulations of Ecosystem Hydrological Processes Using a Unified Multi-Scale Model." Ecological Modelling 296. PNNL-SA-102861. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.10.032


  • Yang X., C. Liu, J. Shang, Y. Fang, and V.L. Bailey. 2014. "A Unified Multi-Scale Model for Pore-Scale Flow Simulations in Soils." Soil Science Society of America Journal 78, no. 1:108-118. PNNL-SA-95780. doi:10.2136/sssaj2013.05.0190


  • Bailey V.L., L.A. McCue, S.J. Fansler, M.I. Boyanov, F. DeCarlo, K.M. Kemner, and A. Konopka. 2013. "Micrometer-Scale Physical Structure and Microbial Composition of Soil Macroaggregates." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 65. PNNL-SA-84756. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.02.005
  • Bailey V.L., S.J. Fansler, J.C. Stegen, and L.A. McCue. 2013. "Linking Microbial Community Structure to ß-Glucosidic Function in Soil Aggregates." The ISME Journal 7, no. 10:2044-2053. PNNL-SA-90744. doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.87


  • Bailey V.L., C.L. Bilskis, S.J. Fansler, L.A. McCue, J.L. Smith, and A. Konopka. 2012. "Measurements of Microbial Community Activities in Individual Soil Macroaggregates." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 48. PNNL-SA-82792. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.01.004
  • 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
  • Resat H., V.L. Bailey, L.A. McCue, and A. Konopka. 2012. "Modeling microbial dynamics in heterogeneous environments: Growth on soil carbon sources." Microbial Ecology 63, no. 4:883-897. PNNL-SA-80353. doi:10.1007/s00248-011-9965-x
  • Runkle R.C., C.E. Aalseth, V.L. Bailey, R. Bonicalzi, J.J. Moran, A. Seifert, and G.A. Warren. 2012. Opportunities for Decay Counting of Environmental Radioisotopes Using Ultra-low-background Detection Systems. PNNL-21709. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Opportunities for Decay Counting of Environmental Radioisotopes Using Ultra-low-background Detection Systems
  • Webb-Robertson B.M., V.L. Bailey, S.J. Fansler, M.J. Wilkins, and N.J. Hess. 2012. "Spectral Signatures for the Classification of Microbial Species using Raman Spectra." Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 404, no. 2:563-572. PNNL-SA-84618. doi:10.1007/s00216-012-6152-y


  • 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
  • Brown G.E., A. Chaka, D.K. Shuh, E.E. Roden, C.J. Werth, N.J. Hess, and A.R. Felmy, et al. 2011. EMSL Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Subsurface Science-Science Theme Advisory Panel Meeting. PNNL-20601. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. EMSL Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Subsurface Science-Science Theme Advisory Panel Meeting
  • Garten, Jr C.T., D.J. Brice, H.F. Castro, R.L. Graham, M.A. Mayes, J.R. Phillips, and W.M. Post, et al. 2011. "Response of "Alamo" switchgrass tissue chemistry and biomass to nitrogen fertilization in west Tennessee, USA." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 140, no. 1-2:289-297. PNNL-SA-77080. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.016
  • Webb-Robertson B.M., A.L. Bunn, and V.L. 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, no. 1:67-71. PNNL-SA-72816. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.09.005


  • 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.
  • Garten, Jr C.T., J.L. Smith, D.D. Tyler, J.E. Amonette, V.L. Bailey, D.J. Brice, and H.F. Castro, et al. 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, no. 1-2:177-184. PNNL-SA-66863.
  • Smith J.L., H.P. Collins, and V.L. Bailey. 2010. "The effect of young biochar on soil respiration." Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42, no. 12:2345-2347. PNNL-SA-71559. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.09.013


  • Miracle A.L., V.L. Bailey, S.E. Baker, A.L. Bunn, J.K. Magnuson, and B.M. Webb-Robertson. 2009. "Integration of ‘omics technologies for characterization of complex microbial ecosystems - 8119." In Waste Management Symposium 2008, 832-841. Tucson, Arizona:WM Symposia. PNNL-SA-58003.


  • Elshahed M.S., N.H. Youseff, N.H. Youseff, A.M. Spain, C. Sheik, F.Z. Najar, and L.O. Sukharnikov, et al. 2008. "Novelty and uniqueness patterns of rare members of the soil biosphere." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74, no. 17:5422-5428. PNNL-SA-60564. doi:10.1128/AEM.00410-08


  • Jastrow J.D., J.E. Amonette, and V.L. Bailey. 2007. "Mechanisms controlling soil carbon turnover and their potential application for enhancing carbon sequestration." Climatic Change 80, no. 1-2:5-23. PNNL-SA-47084.
  • 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.


  • 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
  • Marshall M.J., A.S. Beliaev, A. Dohnalkova, D.W. Kennedy, L. Shi, Z. Wang, and M.I. Boyanov, et al. 2006. "c-Type Cytochrome-Dependent Formation of U(IV) Nanoparticles by Shewanella oneidensis." PLoS Biology 4, no. 8:1324-1333. PNNL-SA-47126.


  • 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


  • Post W.M., R.C. Izaurralde, J.D. Jastrow, B.A. McCarl, J.E. Amonette, V.L. Bailey, and P.M. Jardine, et al. 2004. "Enhancement of Carbon Sequestration in US Soils." BioScience 54, no. 10:895-908. PNNL-SA-39235.


  • 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.


  • 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

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