Ronald W Harvey


Ronald Harvey earned his PhD in Environmental Sciences from Stanford in 1981.  Following an NRC postdoctoral fellowship, he conducted research for USGS National Research Program in Menlo Park, CA (1982-1990) and in Boulder, CO (1991-present).  From 2002 to 2005 he served as the first president of the International Society for Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM).  He is a former chair of the Environmental (Q) Division of the American Society for Microbiology and is an adjunct professor in Environmental Engineering at the Univ. Colorado. His research focuses on subsurface microbial transport and ecology.  He has authored/co-authored over 100 papers in his field.  Field studies involve microbial transport and ecology of granular, fractured-rock, and karst-limestone aquifers throughout the country.


PhD (1981), Environ. Sci., Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA;
MS (1974), Environ. Eng., USC, Los Angeles, CA;
BS (1973), Biol. Sci., U. Mass/Lowell Inst. Tech., Lowell, MA

Professional Studies/Experience

  • USGS National Research Program (NRP) Project Chief (1985-present);
  • Adjunct Professor (1991-present), Univ. Colorado;
  • NRP Asst. Research Advisor for Ecology (2003-2005),
  • Research Advisor for Ecology (2006-2009),
  • President (2002-2005) Int’l Society for Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM),
  • Visiting Professor (2000) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • Consulting Asst. Prof. (1983) Stanford University;
  • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (1981-1983),
  • Water Quality Specialist, State of California, (1974-1976)


  • Adjunct Professor (1991-present), Univ. Colorado;
  • Visiting Professor (2000) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • Consulting Asst. Prof. (1983) Stanford University;
  • Lectures: 36 lectures at 25 different academic institutions and USDOE National Labs
  • Thesis committees: 16 graduate students at 7 U.S. and 3 foreign universities
  • Postdoctoral advisor: 3 (currently faculty at Univ. Colo., Univ. Kansas, Colo. Sch. Mines)
  • Written opinions: 10 on hiring/tenure/promotion decisions for U.S. universities
  • Foreign Universities:  “Official opponent”: Univ. Lund (Sweden), “Outside examiner”: Univ. Neuchâtel (Switzerland) “Outside examiner”: Univ. Waterloo (Canada)
  • USGS:  Technical advice/assistance regarding groundwater contamination problems for researchers in 30 different USGS Water Science Centers (WSC).  Asked by WSC Directors/Associates & USGS program managers (e.g., Offices of Groundwater, Water Quality, Toxics) to provide technical input on microbiological issues.  
  • USDOE: Advice provided to Subsurface Science Program (SSP) over eight years facilitated an emphasis on subsurface microbial transport patterned, in part, after my earlier USGS Cape Cod site research.  Chaired DOE’s formal peer review of SSP transport study. 
  • USEPA: Advisory panels regarding groundwater disinfection, bank filtration, and environmental releases of genetically engineered microbes. Advisory for new program on groundwater ecology.
  • Canadian Water Network: Scientific Advisory, groundwater protection zone issues. Panel of experts on criteria for requiring additional treatment of municipal well water.
  • USACE: Advisory for FL Regional ASR (Aquifer-Storage-and-Recovery)
  • 21 past and present advisory boards (including 15 for US Gov’t Agencies and 2 in Canada)
  • American Society Civil Engineering (ASCE): Judge, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Nat'l Hazardous Waste Student Essay Competitions, 1987-1989

Professional societies/affiliations/committees/editorial boards

  • ISSM: President (2002-2005), Secretary (2006-present), Organizer: ISSM 1999 & ISSM 2014 conferences, International Steering Com. (1999-present), Author: ISSM charter.  
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM): Chair-elect/Chair, Environ. (Q) Division (1999-2000), Divisional Advisor (2001).
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU): past Groundwater Committee member.  Organized/convened 12 technical sessions at AGU national meetings (1993-present).
  • Technical/Scientific Committees: 8 (1994, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • Organizer: 2 (ISSM 1999, Vail, CO and ISSM 2014, Monterey, CA)
  • Keynote Presentations: 11 (1990, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 (2), 2009 (3), 2011)
  • Convener/chair Technical Sessions: 37 (34 by invitation).

Competitive Grants

Principal Investigator/co-Principal Investigator: Research grants collectively totaling over $4 million, including NSF(5), USEPA(2), NWRI(1), AWWARF(1), USDA(1), NIH(1).  Grant research resulted in advances related to subsurface protozoa, pathogen fate/transport, bacteria chemotaxis, virus inactivation, public health microbiology.