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.

Recent Accomplishments


  • 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 Postodoctoral 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).

Honors, awards, recognition, elected offices

Competive 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.  

Scientific/Oral Presentations, Abstracts

Download CV


Bradford, S.A., Morales, V.L., Zhang, W., Harvey, R.W., Packman, A.I., Mohanram, A., and Welty, C., 2013, Transport and fate of microbial pathogens in agricultural settings. Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43:775-893. [Link]

Haack, S.K., Metge, D.W., Fogarty, L.R., Meyer, M.T., Barber, L.B., Harvey, R.W., LeBlanc, D.R. & Kolpin, D.W., 2012, Effects on groundwater microbial communities to 30-day in-situ exposure to the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46:7478-7486. [Link]

Wang, D., Bradford, S.A., Harvey, R.W., Hao, X., and Zhou, D., 2012, Effect of ionic strength on the transport of ARS-labeled hydroxyapatite nanoparticles in saturated granular media in the presence of humic acid. J. Hazard. Mat. 230:170-176. [Link]

Toepfer, J.A., Ford, R.M., Metge, D., & Harvey, R.W., 2012, Impact of fluorochrome stains used to study bacterial transport in shallow aquifers on motility and chemotaxis of Pseudomonas species. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 81:163-171. [Link]

Wang, D., Bradford, S.A., Harvey, R.W., Gao, B., Long, C., and Zhou, D., 2012, Humic acid facilitates the transport of ARS-labeled hydroxyapatite nanoparticles in iron oxyhydroxide-coated sand. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46:2738-2745. [Link]

Mohanram, A., Ray, C., Metge, D.W., Barber, L.B., Ryan, J.N., and Harvey, R.W., 2012, Effect of dissolved organic carbon on the transport and attachment behaviors of Cryptopsoridium parvum oocysts and carboxylate-modified microspheres advected through temperate and tropical agricultural soils. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46:2088–2094. [Link]

Underwood, J.C., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Repert, D.A., Baumgartner, L.K., Smith, R.L., Roane, T.M., and Barber, L.B., 2011, Effects of the antimicrobial sulfamethoxazole on groundwater bacteria enrichment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 45:3096-3101. [Link]

Williams, L.B., Metge, D.W., Eberl, D.D., Harvey, R.W., Turner, A.G., Prapaipong, P., and Poret-Peterson, A.T., 2011, What makes clay antibacterial? Environ. Sci. Technol. 45:3768–3773. [Link]

Metge, D.W., Harvey, R.W., Aiken, G.R., Anders, R., Lincoln, G., and Jasperse, J., 2011, Effects of sediment-associated extractable metals, degree of sediment grain sorting, and dissolved organic carbon upon Cryptosporidium parvum removal and transport within riverbank filtration sediments, Sonoma County, California. Environ. Sci. Technol. 45:5587-5595. [Link]

Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Mohanram, A., Gao, X., and Chorover, J., 2011, Differential effects of dissolved organic carbon upon re-entrainment and surface properties of groundwater bacteria and bacteria-sized microspheres during transport through a contaminated, sandy aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 45:3252–3259. [Link]

Harvey, R., Metge, D., Sheets, R., and Jasperse, J., 2011, Fluorescent microspheres as surrogates in evaluating the efficacy of riverbank filtration for removing Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and other pathogens. In Ray, C. and Shamruck, M., eds., Riverbank Filtration for Water Security in Desert Countries: Amsterdam, Springer Science, pp. 81-96. [Link]

Mohanram, A., Ray, C., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Ryan, J.N., Chorover, J., and Eberl, D., 2010, Comparison of transport and attachment behaviors of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and oocyst-sized microspheres being advected through three mineralogically different granular porous media. Water Res. 44:5334-5344. [Link]

Metge, D.W., Harvey, R.W., Aiken, G.R., Anders, R.A., Lincoln, G., Jasperse, J., 2010, Influence of organic carbon loading and sediment-associated metal oxide content distributions upon Cryptosporidium parvum removal during bank filtration operations, Sonoma County, CA.Water Res. 44:1126-1137. [Link]

Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Barber, L.B., Aiken, G.R., 2010, Effects of altered groundwater chemistry upon the pH-dependency and magnitude of bacterial attachment during transport within an organically contaminated sandy aquifer. Water Res. 44: 1062-1071. [Link]

Abudalo, R.A., Ryan, J.N., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Landkamer, L., 2010, Influence of organic matter on the transport of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a ferric oxyhydroxide-coated quartz sand saturated porous medium, Water Res. 44:1104-1113. [Link]

Prior journal publications for RW Harvey may be found on ( or on Research Gate (