Soil Foodweb Inc.
Dr. Elaine Ingham

             Dr. Elaine R. Ingham's Curriculum Vitae


Professional Background -- Current

Dr. Elaine Ingham is currently Founder and President and Director of Research for Soil Foodweb Inc., a business that grew out of her Oregon State University research program and her research is on:

-- What organisms are present in the soil and on the foliage of your plants?

-- Which organisms benefit which types of plants?

-- Which organisms harm plants?

-- How can these organisms be managed to grow plants with the least expensive inputs into the system while maintaining soil

Behind her user-friendly approach lies a wealth of knowledge gained from years of research into the organisms  which make up the soil food web. Her goal is to translate this knowledge into actions that ensure a healthy food web that promotes plant growth and reduces reliance on inorganic chemicals. Elaine also offers a pioneering vision for sustainable farming, improving our current soils to a healthier state, without damaging any other ecosystem.

Professional Background – Earlier Years

From 1996 to the present, at Soil Foodweb, Inc., Elaine has developed three new methods of rapidly assessing soil and foliage-related organisms, and assessing how soil and foliar biology changes with different management practices.  She has focused on grower-related issues, the expense of intensive chemical use, and the damage these chemicals inflict on beneficial organisms in the soil and on foliage.

From 2014 to the Present Elaine has been the Managing Scientist at Environment Celebration Institute in Berry Creek, CA, which is a non profit research facility focusing on scientific experiments assessing the impact of soil biology on plant production. We have shown that improvement in biology leads to reduced water use, reduced weed populations, improved nutrient cycling, no use of pesticides or inorganic fertilizers while improving plant production and nutrition. Please visit the website

From 2011 to 2014 She was the Chief Scientist for the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania.

In the year 2000, Elaine opened a new lab at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, allowing grower’s overnight access to the assays they need to improve plant production without the use of high levels of inorganic chemicals.

From the mid-1980’s to the mid-1990’s, Elaine was a Faculty Member in Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University.  Here, she created and presented speeches nationally on the soil foodweb.

In 1991, Elaine opened a service called the Soil Microbial Biomass Service, offering researchers and commercial clients the ability to have soil samples analyzed for soil foodweb organisms.

In 1985, Elaine was awarded a Research Associate Fellowship at the University of Georgia.

Key Accomplishments

   Her biological products collaboration with Lyndon Smith, Wayne Woodward and Jim Johnson of Huma-Gro and with Tom      
       Piatkowski of Helena Chemical Company is leading the way for understanding which bio-stimulant products work best, and
       how much material is needed to achieve desired improvements in soil organism functions.

   Work with Ken Warner of Frontier Industries and Ron Stewart of Columbia Gorge Organics on how  to make the best humus
       material possible: establishing biological components of the foodweb, giving the biology the foods needed, achieving long-
benefits for plant growth.

   Working with Holmes Enviro, Lab, offering a new assay using selective media and molecular methods to identify whether
                 twenty of the most beneficial bacteria are present in your soil, compost or compost tea

   International work on compost tea, improving the understanding of how to properly manage thermally-produced compost,
                 vermicompost, and compost tea, to guarantee disease-suppressive, soil-building, nutrient-retaining composts and compost

   Extensive work on genetically engineered organism issues with the Edmond’s Institute, a non-governmental organization,)
                directed by 
Beth Burrows. Strong advocacy of sound ecological testing of  all genetically-engineered organisms before they
                are released into the environment.

   Maintaining a website whose URL is where the results of research at Soil Foodweb Inc. and
                the Oregon State University are posted.

   Her current projects range from working in citrus groves in Florida, to cotton and avocado in Australia, turf and golf courses,        internationally, roadside restoration in California and just about every other plant system in between.

Professional Background

Elaine started her academic career at St. Olaf College with a B.A., Biology and Chemistry, cum laude, in 1974. She later earned an M.S. in Microbiology at Texas A & M University and her Doctorate in Microbiology, (with an emphasis in soil,) from Colorado State University.

Elaine was offered Post-doctoral Fellowship in Zoology from the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University.


In her spare time, Elaine publishes scientific papers, writes book chapters and gives talks at meetings and symposia around the world. Attendance at Elaine’s courses is always very high given her depth of knowledge and dynamic presentation style, as well as being a world-renown leader in research of the soil food web. 

Elaine and her husband Russ (who also has a Doctorate from Colorado State University in Zoology, emphasizing nematology,) live in Corvallis Oregon.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

1. Ames, R.N., E.R. Ingham and C.P.P. Reid. (1982). Ultraviolet-induced auto fluorescence of arbuscular mycorrhizal root infections: An alternative to clearing and staining methods for assessing infections. Can. Jr. Microbiol. 28:351-355.

2. Ingham, E.R. and D.A. Klein. (1982). Relationship between fluoresces in diacetate-stained hyphae and oxygen utilization, glucose utilization and biomass of submerged fungal batch cultures. Appl. Environ.Microbiol. 28:351-355.

3. McClellan, J.F., D.C. Coleman, K.A. Horton and E.R. Ingham. (1982). The effect of chloroform on protozoa and other soil inhabitants. J. Protozool. 29:491.

4. Ingham, E.R. and D.A. Klein. (1984). Soil fungi: Relationships between hyphal activity and staining with fluoresce in diacetate. Soil Biol. Biochem. 16:273-278.

5. Ingham, E.R. and D.A. Klein. (1984). Soil fungi: Measurement of hyphal length. Soil Biol. Biochem. 16:279-280.

6. Ames, R.N., C.P.P. Reid and E.R. Ingham. (1984). Rhizosphere bacterial population responses to root colonization by a vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus. New Phytol. 96:555-563.

7. Ingham, E.R. and D.A. Klein. (1984). Phosphatase activity of Penicillium Itrinum submerged batch cultures and its relationship to fungal activity. Plant and Soil. 81:61-68.

8. Ingham, E.R. and D.C. Coleman. (1984). Effects of streptomycin, cycloheximide, fungizone, captan, carbofuran, cygon and PCNB on soil microbe populations and nutrient cycling. Microbial Ecology 10:345- 358.

9. Ingham, R.E., J.A. Trofymow, E.R. Ingham and D.C. Coleman. (1985). Interactions of bacteria, fungi and their nematode grazers: Effects on nutrient cycling and plant growth. Ecological Monographs 55:119-140.

10. Ingham, E.R. (1985). Review of the effects of twelve selected biocides on target and non-target soil organisms. Crop Protection 4:3032.

11. Ingham, E.R., D.A. Klein and M.J. Trlica. (1985). Responses of microbial components of the rhizosphere to plant management strategies in semiarid rangeland. Plant and Soil 85:65-76.

12. Ingham, E.R., C. Cambardella and D.C. Coleman. (1986). Manipulation of bacteria, fungi and protozoa by biocides in lodgepole pine forest soil microcosms: Effects on organism interactions and nitrogen mineralization. Can. J. Soil Sci. 66:261-272.

13. Frey, J.S., J.F. McCellan, E.R. Ingham and D.C. Coleman. (1986). Filter-out grazers (FOG): A filtration experiment for separating protozoan grazers in soil. Biol. Fert. Soil 1:73-79.

14. Ingham, E.R., J.A. Trofymow, R.N. Ames, H.W. Hunt, C.R. Morley, J.C. Moore and D.C. Coleman. (1986). Trophic interactions and nitrogen cycling in a semiarid grassland soil. Part I. Seasonal dynamics of the natural populations, their interactions and effects on nitrogen cycling. J. Applied Ecology 23:597-614.

15. Ingham, E.R., J.A. Trofymow, R.N. Ames, H.W. Hunt, C.R. Morley, J.C. Moore and D.C. Coleman. (1986). Trophic interactions and nitrogen cycling in a semiarid grassland soil. Part II. System responses to removal of different groups of soil microbes or fauna. J. Applied Ecology 23:615-630.

16. Hunt, H.W., D.C. Coleman, E.R. Ingham, R.E. Ingham, E.T. Elliott, J.C. Moore, C.P.P. Reid and C.R. Morley. (1987). The detrital food web in a short grass prairie. Biol. Fert. Soil 3:57-68.

17. Moore, J.C., E.R. Ingham and D.C. Coleman. (1987). Inter- and Intraspecific feeding selectivity of Folsomia candida (Willem) (Collembola, Isotomidae) on fungi: Method development and ecological consequences. Biol. Fert. Soil 5:6-12.

18. Ingham, E.R. and K.A. Horton. (1987). Bacterial, fungal and protozoan responses to chloroform fumigation in stored prairie soil. Soil Biol. Biochem. 19:545-550.

19. Coleman, D.C. and E.R. Ingham. (1988). Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Biogeochemistry 5:3-6.

20. Hunt, H.W., E.R. Ingham, D.C. Coleman, E.T. Elliott and C.P.P. Reid. (1988). Nitrogen limitation of decomposition and primary production in short grass, mountain meadow and lodgepole pine forest. Ecology 69:1009-1016.

21. Carpenter, S.E., M.E. Harmon, E.R. Ingham, R.G. Kelsey, J.D. Latin and T.D. Schowalter. (1988). Early patterns of heterotroph activity in conifer logs. Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh 94B:33-43.

22. Ingham, E.R., M.V. Wilson and C.D. McIntire. (1988). Social and economic concerns with respect to the choice of critical terrestrial Ecosystems. USEPA.

23. Cromack, K., Jr., B.L. Fichter, A.M. Moldenke and E.R. Ingham. (1989). Interactions between soil animals and ectomycorrhizal fungal mats. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 24:155-169.

24. Ingham, E.R., D.C. Coleman and J.C. Moore. (1989). Analysis of food-web structure and function in a short grass prairie, a mountain meadow and lodgepole pine forest. Biol. Fertil. Soils 8:29-37.

25. Stamatiadis, S., J.W. Doran and E.R. Ingham. (1990). Use of staining and inhibitors to separate fungal and bacterial activity in soil. Soil Biol. Biochem. 22:81-88.

26. Coleman, D.C., E.R. Ingham and J.C. Moore. (1990). An across ecosystem analysis of seasonal effects and faunal reduction on decomposition in a semiarid prairie, meadow, and lodgepole pine forest. Pedobiologia 34:207-219.

27. Ingham, E.R., R. Griffiths, K. Cromack and J.A. Entry. (1991). Comparison of direct versus fumigation incubation microbial biomass estimates in ectomycorrhizal mat and non-mat soils. Soil Biol. Biochem. 23:465-472.

28. Lodge, D.J. and E.R. Ingham. (1991). A comparison of agar film techniques for estimating fungal biovolumes in litter and soil. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 5:31-37.

29. Griffiths, R.P., E.R. Ingham, B.A. Caldwell, M.A. Castellano and K. Cromack, Jr. (1991). Microbial characteristics of ectomycorrhizal mat communities in Oregon and California. Biology and Fertility of Soils 11:14-20.

30. Ingham, E.R., D.C. Coleman, R. Parmelee and D.A. Crossley. (1991). Reduction of microbial and faunal groups following application of streptomycin and captan in Georgia no-till agro ecosystems. Pedobiologia 35:297-304.

31. Ingham, E.R. (1993). The functional significance and regulation of soil biodiversity: An executive summary of the Soil Ecology Society meeting. Soil Ecology Society Newsletter 5:2-9.

32. Klopatek, C.C., E.G. O’Neill, D.W. Freckman, C.D. Bledsoe, D.A. Coleman, D.A. Crossley, Jr., E.R. Ingham, D. Parkinson and J.M. Klopatek. (1993). The sustainable biosphere initiative: A commentary from the U.S. Soil Ecology Society. Bulletin of the Ecological Soc. of America. 73:223-228.

33. Colinas, C., E. Ingham and R. Molina. (1994). Population responses of target and non-target forest-soil organisms to selected biocides. Soil Biol. Biochem. 26:41-48.

34. Ingham, E.R. 1994. Soil Organisms and Forest Health. Pages 12-15 in Headwaters Journal, Spring (1994).

35. Ingham, E.R., D.C. Coleman, and D.A. Crossley, Jr. (1994). Use of Sulfamethoxazole-Penicillin, Oxytetracycline, Carbofuran, Carbaryl, Naphthalene and Temik to Remove Key Organism Groups in Soil in a Corn Agro ecosystem. J. Sustain. Agric. 4(3):7-30.

36. Ingham, E.R. and H. Massicotte. (1994). Protozoan communities around conifer roots colonized by ectomycorrhizal fungi. Mycorrhiza. 5: 53-61.

37. Ingham, E.R., J.D. Doyle and C.W. Hendricks. (1995). Assessing interactions between soil foodweb and a strain of Pseudomonas putida genetically engineered to degrade 2,4-D. Applied Soil Ecology. 2:263-274.

38 Ingham, E.R. and W.G. Thies. (1996). Soil foodweb responses in the first year following clear cutting and chloropicrin application to a mature Douglas-fir forest to control laminated root rot. Applied Soil Ecol. 3:35-47.

39. Rygiewicz, P.T. and E.R. Ingham. (1997) Soil Biology and Ecology. IN Fairbridge, R.W. and D.E. Alexander (eds) Encyclopedia of Environmental Science. Van Nostrand Reinhold. NY.

40. Sances, F.V. and E.R. Ingham. (1997). Conventional and organic alternatives to methyl bromide on California strawberries: Effect of Brassica residues and spent mushroom compost following successive chemical fumigation. Compost Science and Utilization. 5: 23-37.

41. Griffiths, R.P., J.A. Entry, E.R. Ingham, and W.H. Emmingham. (1997).Chemistry  and microbial activity of forest and pasture riparian-zone soils along three Pacific Northwest streams. Plant and Soil 190:169-178.

42 Ingham, E.R. and W. Thies. (1997). Changes in rhizosphere microflora and microfauna 10 years following Douglas-fir live tree injection with chloropicrin or methylisothiocynate. Can. Jr. For Res. 27:724-731.

43. Hendricks, C.W., M.T. Holmes and E.R. Ingham. (1998). Foodweb methodology to assess ecological effects of anthropogenic stressors in soil. Trends in Soil Science. 2:181-189.

44. Massicote, H.B., L.E. Takaberry, E.R. Ingham, and W.G. Thies. (1998). Ectomycorrhizae establishment on Douglas-fir seedlings following chloropicrin treatment to control laminated-root rot disease: Assessment of 4 and 5 years after out planting. Appl. Soil Ecol. 10:117-126.

45. Ingham, E.R. and J.Barlow. (1998). Sustainable Agriculture and the Ecology of Soil Perspectives on Business and Global Change. 12:31-42.

46. Ingham, E.R. (1998). Soil organisms and their role in healthy turf. Turf Grass Trends. 7:1-6.

47. Holmes, M. and E.R. Ingham. (1999) Ecological effects of genetically engineered Klebsiella planticola released into agricultural soil with varying clay content. Appl. Soil Ecol. 3:394-399.

48. Wilson, M.V. and E.R. Ingham. (1999). Mycorrhizal requirements of six wetlands herbaceous plant species. Mycorrhiza.

49. Ingham, E.R, Seiter, S., and R.D. William. (1999). Dynamics of soil fungal and bacterial biomass in a temperate climate alley cropping system. Appl. Soil Ecol. 12: 39-147.

50. Doyle, J.D., Hendricks, C.W., Holmes, M.T., and E.R. Ingham. (1999). Effects of Klebsiella planticola SDF20 on soil biota and wheat growth in sandy soil. Appl. Soil Ecol. 11: 67-78.

51. Ingham, E. R. (1999).  The Soil Biology Primer  - Chapter 1.  The Soil Foodweb.  NRCS Soil Quality Insitute, USDA. 48 pp. 

52. Ingham, E.R. (1999). The Soil Biology Primer Chapter 2.  Soil Bacteria. NRCS Soil Quality Institute, USDA.

53. Ingham, E.R. (1999). The Soil Biology Primer – Chapter 3. Soil Fungi. NRCS Soil Quality Institute. USDA.

54. Ingham, E.R. (1999). The Soil Biology Primer – Chapter 4. Soil Protozoa. NRCS Soil Quality Institute. USDA.

55. Ingham, E.R. (1999). The Soil Biology Primer – Chapter 5. Soil Nematodes. NRCS Soil Quality Institute. USDA.

56.  Ingham, E.R. (2000) The Compost Tea Brewing Manual.  Sustainable Studies Institute, Eugene, OR.  60 pp.

57.  Tunnick, Michael H., Paul, Moushumi, Ingham, Elaine R., Karreman, Hubert J., and Van Hekken, Diane L. (2015) Differences in milk characteristics between a cow herd transitioning to organic versus milk from a conventional dairy herd. International Journal of Dairy technology, 8 pp.

Book Chapters

58. Ingham, E.R. and R. Molina. 1991. Interactions between mycorrhizal fungi, rhizosphere organisms, and plants. Pages 169-197 in Microorganisms, Plants and Herbivores, P. Barbosa (ed). John Wiley and Sons, NY.

59. Ingham, E.R. and R. Molina. 1991. Interactions between mycorrhizal fungi, rhizosphere organisms, and plants. Pages 169-197 in Microorganisms, Plants and Herbivores, P. Barbosa (ed). John Wiley and Sons, NY.

60. Ingham, E.R. 1994. Soil Protozoa. Agronomy Society of America. In Methods in Agronomy, P. Bottomley (ed). Agronomy Soc. Am.

61. Ingham, E.R. and A. Moldenke. 1995. Microflora and Microfauna on Stems and Trunks: Diversity, Food Webs and Effects on Plants. pp. 241-256. IN Gartner, B. Plant Stems. Academic Press. NY.

62. Ingham, E.R. (1997). Soil Microbiology. pp. XX-XX. IN Sylvia, D. and Hartel, P. Soil Microbiology:Environmental and Agricultural Perspectives. Oxford University Press.

63.  Ingham, E.R. and M. Alms.  1999.  The Compost Tea Handbook 1.1

Refereed Reports

64. Wilson, M.V., E.R. Ingham, C.D. McIntire and M.L. Scott. 1988. Report on the selection of several potentially critical terrestrial systems. USEPA.

65. Ingham, E.R., M.V. Wilson and C.D. McIntire. 1989. A general model of biotic interactions. Special Report to the USEPA, CR-813570-01-0, 36 pp.

66. Thies, W.G., M.A. Castellano, E.R. Ingham, D.L. Luoma and A.R. Moldenke. 1991. Bioresponse of nontarget organisms resulting from the use of chloropicrin to control laminated root rot in a northwest Conifer forest.

67. Ingham, E.R., W.G. Thies, D.L. Luoma, A.R. Moldenke and M.A. Castellano. 1991. Bioresponse of nontarget organisms resulting from the use of chloropicrin to control laminated root rot in a northwest Conifer forest.

68. Linder, G., E.R. Ingham, C.J. Brandt and G. Henderson. 1992. Evaluation of terrestrial indicators for use in ecological assessments at hazardous waste sites. USEPA/600/r-92/183.

69. Ingham, E.R. 1993. Use of soil foodweb structure and function to assess superfund sites. USEPA Ecological Site Assessment Program. Corvallis Environmental Research Lab.

70. Ingham, E.R. 1995. Standard Operating Procedure for Microbial Population Dynamics. USEPA Global Climate Change Program. Corvallis Environmental Research Lab.

71. Ingham, E.R. 1994. Standard Operating Procedure for Total Bacteria. USEPA Global Climate Change Program. Corvallis Environmental Research Lab.

72. Ingham, E.R. 1995. Standard Operating Procedure for Nematode Population and Community Structure. USEPA Global Climate Change Program. Corvallis Environmental Research Lab.

73. Ingham, E.R. 1995. Standard Operating Procedure for Protozoan Populations and Community Structure. USEPA Global Climate Change Program. Corvallis Environmental Research Lab. 

Technical Reports (Not Refereed)

Ingham, E.R. and M. Holmes. 1995. Biosafety Regulations: A critique of existing documents.

The Edmonds Institute, Edmonds, WA. Ingham, E.R. 1995. Biosafety Regulation. Edmonds Institute, Edmonds, WA.

Monthly Column in Biocycle

Monthly column including discussions of: Anaerobic Bacteria and Composting, The Good, the Bag and Facultative Anaerobes, What Organisms are in Compost?, What is Compost Tea?, Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Fungi and Disease-Suppression, Vermicompost versus Compost - What's the Difference/

Numerous other magazine and newspaper publications since 1999.  

Website Builder