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Brian D. Badgley

Associate Professor
Brian Badgley
512 Latham Hall
Blacksburg, Virginia


Brian Badgley is an Associate Professor of environmental microbiology in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His group conducts research in environmental microbiology with a particular focus on how populations and communities of microorganisms impact water and soil quality. Dr. Badgley also teaches classes in Bioremediation and Environmental Microbiology to senior undergraduates in the Environmental Science and Microbiology degree programs, as well as a course in Microbial Community Data Analysis to graduate students from multiple disciplines at Virginia Tech. He is an active member of the American Society for Microbiology and recently completed three years of service rotating through the presidential officer roles for the Virginia Branch of ASM.


  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Water and Soil Quality


  • Ph.D. Biology, University of South Florida, 2009
  • M.S. Marine, Estuarine, Environmental Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, 2002
  • B.S. Zoology, University of Georgia, 1995

We conduct research at the intersection of environmental microbiology with water and soil quality, focusing on two broad areas. The first area is relationships among management and environmental factors that alter microbial communities and how those changes are related to ecological functions such as nutrient cycling. The second area relates to microbial transport and water quality, with a specific focus on the fate and transport of pathogens and fecal indicators at the watershed scale. By combining new methods in environmental genomics with traditional culture-based techniques we seek to gain new insights into these important dynamics in a variety of habitats. We also strive to develop highly collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, working with a variety of colleagues from ecology, engineering, agriculture, chemistry, and public health.

  • CSES/ENSC 4164: Environmental Microbiology (Spring)
  • CSES/ENSC 4764: Bioremediation (Fall)
  • GRAD 6984: Analysis of Microbial Communities

Associate Professor | 2019 - Present
Plant & Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Assistant Professor | 2012 - 2019
Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Post-Doctoral Associate | 2009-2012 
BioTechnology Institute 
University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Mn.

Coastal Training Program Coordinator | 2002-2004 
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Naples, Fl.

Sea Grant Fellow | 2001-2002 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Estuarine Reserves Division, Silver Spring, Md.

Environmental Education Instructor | 1996  
Jekyll Island 4-H Center 
Jekyll Island, Ga.

Research Assistant | 1995 
Key Largo Marine Research Laboratory
Key Largo, Fl.

  • Wesley W. Horner Award, Environmental and Water Resources Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2019
  • Teacher of the Week, Virginia Tech, 2016
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, 2009
  • Old Salt Scholarship, Old Salt Fishing Club, 2008-2009
  • Aylesworth Scholarship, Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science, 2006-2009
  • Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, National Sea Grant Office, 2001 
  • Graduate Fellowship, University of Maryland, 1997 

(graduate, undergraduate, or post-doctoral trainees underlined)

  1. Sun S, Badgley BD (2019) Changes in microbial functional genes within the soil metagenome during forest ecosystem restoration. Soil Biol Biochem 135:163-172.
  2. Medina D, Hughey MC, Walke JB, Becker MH, Pontarelli K, Sun S, Badgley BD, Belden, LK (2019) Amphibian skin fungal communities vary across host species and do not correlate with infection by a pathogenic fungus. Environ Microbiol.
  3. Vander Vorste R, Timpano AJ, Cappellin C, Badgley BD, Zipper CE, Schoenholtz SH (2019) Microbial and macroinvertebrate communities, but not leaf decomposition, change along a mining‐induced salinity gradient. Freshw Biol 64:671-684.
  4. Stewart RD, Jian J, Gyawali AJ, Thomason WE, Badgley BD, Reiter MS, Strickland MS (2018) What we talk about when we talk about soil health. Ag Environ Letters 3.
  5. Waller LJ, Evanylo GK, Krometis LAH, Strickland MS, Wynn-Thompson T, Badgley BD (2018) Engineered and environmental controls of microbial denitrification in established bioretention cells. Environ Sci Tech 52:5358-5366.
  6. Blaszczak JR, Steele MK, Badgley BD, Heffernan JB, Hobbie SE, Morse JL, Rivers EN, Hall SJ, Neill C, Pataki DE, Groffman PM, Bernhardt ES (2018) Sediment chemistry of urban stormwater ponds and controls on denitrification. Ecosphere 9:e02318.
  7. #Yuan H, #Sun S, Abu-Reesh IA, Badgley BD, He Z (2017) Unravelling and reconstructing the nexus of salinity, electricity, and microbial ecology for bioelectrochemical desalination. Environ Sci Tech 51:12672-12682. (#equal contribution)
  8. #Li X, #Sun S, Yuan H, Badgley BD, He Z (2017) Mainstream nitritation-anammox system with hybrid anaerobic pretreatment: long-term performance and microbial community dynamics. Environ Sci Tech 125:298-308. (#equal contribution)
  9. Garner E, Benitez R, Sawyer R, Schaberg E, Von Wagoner E, Hession WC, Krometis LAH, Badgley BD, Pruden A (2017) Stormwater loadings of antibiotic resistance genes in an urban stream. Water Res 123:144-152.
  10. Sun S, Li S, Avera B, Strahm BD, Badgley BD (2017) Soil bacterial and fungal communities show distinct recovery patterns during forest ecosystem restoration. Appl Env Microbiol 83:e00966-17. (Featured by editors as an “AEM Spotlight” article)
  11. Cantor J, Krometis LA, Sarver E, Cook N, Badgley BD (2017) Tracking the downstream impacts of inadequate sanitation in central Appalachia. J Water Health wh2017005.
  12. Willard LL, Wynn-Thompson T, Krometis LAH, Neher TP, Badgley BD (2017) Does it pay to be mature? Evaluation of bioretention cell performance seven years post construction. J Env Eng 143:04017041.
  13. Wepking C, Avera B, Badgley BD, Barrett JE, Franklin J, Knowlton KF, Ray PP, Smitherman C, Strickland MS (2017) Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities. Proc Roy Soc B 284:20162233.
  14. Young S, Nayak B, Sun S, Badgley BD, Rohr J, Harwood VJ (2016) Vancomycin resistant enterococci and changes in bacterial community structure associated with a residential sewage spill. Appl Env Microbiol 82:5653-5660.
  15. Li X, Sun S, Badgley BD, He Z (2016) Long-term performance and microbial community characterization of an osmotic anammox system for removing reverse-fluxed ammonium. Bioresource Tech 211:628-635.
  16. Li X, Sun S, Badgley BD, Sung S, Zhang H, He Z (2016) Nitrogen removal by granular nitritation - anammox in an upflow membrane-aerated biofilm reactor. Water Res 94:23-31.
  17. Liao H, Krometis LA, Hession WC, Benitez R, Sawyer R, Schaberg E, Von Wagoner E, Badgley BD (2015) Storm loads of culturable and molecular fecal indicators in an inland urban stream. Sci Tot Env 530:347-356. 
  18. Hunolt AE, Maguire RO, Ogejo JA, Badgley BD, Frame WH, Reiter MS, (2015) Multiple applications of sodium bisulfate to broiler litter affect ammonia release and litter properties. J Environ Qual 44(6):1903-1910.