Peter  Bottomley
Peter Bottomley
Professor, Soil Microbiology

Current Work Focus: Research on various aspects of soil microbial ecology and microbial physiology including: nitrogen cycling in soils; population ecology of soil bacteria; physiology and ecology of nitrification; genomics of nitrifying bacteria.

OSU Campus
Department of Crop and Soil Science
348 Nash Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States
(541) 737-1844


Research Projects:

  • Niche differentiation of nitrification in soils.
  • Response and interaction between nitrifying bacteria to environmental change.

Home Pages:



  • Microbial Ecology
  • General Microbiology
  • Biology of the Procaryotes



1975 PhD

Biological Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, U.K.

1972 BSc. with Honors, Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, England, U.K
1971 BSc. Chemistry, University of Liverpool, England, U.K

Professional Experience:

1989-Present Professor of Microbiology and Professor of Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Professor and Acting Chair/Head, Department of Microbiology, and Professor of Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

2001-2003 Professor and Associate Chair/Head of Microbiology, and Professor of Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
1984-1989 Associate Professor of Microbiology and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.


  • Soil Science Research Award, 2007. Soil Science Society of America.
  • Inaugural Recipient of Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, 2006, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • Fellow, Soil Science Society of America, 1999.
  • Carter Award Finalist for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 1997College of Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
I accept graduate students for Crop and Soil Science


L.H. Zeglin, P.J. Bottomley, A. Jumpponen, C.W. Rice, M. Arango, A. Lindsley, A. McGowan, P. Mfombep, and D.D. Myrold. 2013.  Altered precipitation regime affects the function and composition of soil microbial communities on multiple time scales.  Ecology 94:2334-2345.


S.A. Kageyama, N.R. Posavatz, S.S. Jones, K.E. Waterstripe, P.J. Bottomley,  K. Cromack, Jr., and D.D. Myrold. 2013. Effects of Disturbance Scale on Soil Microbial Communities in the Western Cascades of Oregon. Plant and Soil 372:459-471.


Taylor, A.E., Vajrala, N., Giguere, A., D.J. Arp, L. Sayavedra-Soto, A. Gittelman, D.D. Myrold, and P.J. Bottomley. 2013. Use of aliphatic n-alkynes to discriminate soil nitrification activities of ammonia oxidizing thaumarchaea and bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79:6544-6551.


Vajrala, N., P.J. Bottomley, D.A. Stahl, D.J. Arp, and L. Sayavedra-Soto. 2014. Cycloheximide prevents de novo polypeptide synthesis in the marine archeon, Nitrosopumilus  maritimus.  FEMS Microbial Ecology 88:495-502.


Perez, J., A. Buchanan, R. Ferrell, B. Mellbye, J. Chang, F. Chaplen, P.J. Bottomley, D.J. Arp,  and L. Sayavedra-Soto. 2014. Interactions of Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrobacter winogradskyi grown in coculture. Archives of Microbiology. DOI 10.1007/s00203-014-1056-1


Taylor, A.E., Taylor, K.C., Tennigkeit, B., Myrold, D.D., Schleper, C., Wagner, M., and P.J. Bottomley. 2015. In press. Inhibitory effects of n-alkynes on NH3 oxidation by pure cultures of Nitrososphaera  species. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.


Sayavedra-Soto, L., R. Ferrell, M. Dobie, R. Ferrell, Mellbye, B., F. Chaplen, A. Buchanan, J. Chang, Arp, D., and P.J. Bottomley. 2015. In press.  Nitrobacter winogradskyi transcriptomic response to low and high ammonium concentrations. FEMS Microbiology