Douglas C. Nelson

image of Douglas C. Nelson



Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Offices and Labs

266 Briggs Hall
265 Briggs 752-0283


1979 PhD Biology University of Oregon
1970 BS Chemistry/Biology Harvey Mudd College

Research Interests

Ecology, physiology, and genetics of chemoautotrophic sulfur bacteria including impact of high in situ pressure. Microbial production of methyl mercury in marine and freshwater sediments. Stimulation and augmentation promoting bacterial production of calcite for improvement of soil mechanical properties.

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Microbiology
Adjunct Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Graduate Groups not Housed in CBS



265 Briggs Hall
  • Lizzy Wilbanks, graduate student; Xiao Hui Lao, research assistant

Field Sites

Clear Lake; Monterey Canyon; Walker Creek Estuary

Teaching Interests

General microbiology laboratory, microbial diversity. microbial ecology.


MIC 105L Microbial diversity (Winter)
MIC 104L General Microbiology Laboratory (Fall)


5/21/2010 9:26:34 AM
  • Ahmad, A, K.M. Kalanetra and D.C. Nelson (2006) Cultivated Beggiatoa spp. define the phylogenetic root of morphologically diverse, noncultured, vacuolate sulfur bacteria. Can. J. Microbiol. 52(6): 591-598.
  • Fleming, EJ, EE Mack, PG Green and DC Nelson (2006) Mercury methylation from unexpected sources: molybdate-inhibited freshwater sediments and an iron-reducing bacterium. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72(1):457-464.
  • Kalanetra, KM, SB Joye, N. Sunseri, and DC Nelson (2005) Novel, Thiomargarita-like bacteria abundant at Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seeps, reproduce by reductive division in three dimensions. Environ. Microbiol. 7:1451-1460.
  • Kalanetra, KM, SL Huston, and DC Nelson (2004) Novel, attached, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria at shallow hydrothermal vents possess vacuoles not involved in respiratory-nitrate accumulation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:7487-7496.
  • Teske, A and DC Nelson (2004) The genera Beggiatoa and Thioploca. In: M. Dworkin et al., eds., The Prokaryotes: An Evolving Electronic Resource for the Microbiological Community, 3rd edition, release 3.17, Springer-Verlag, New York,
  • Jorgensen, B.B. and D.C. Nelson (2004) Sulfide oxidation in marine sediments: geochemistry meets microbiology. In: J. Amend, K.J. Edwards and TW Lyonns (eds.), Sulfur Biogeochemistry - Past and Present. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 379, pp. 63-81.
  • Barry, J.P., K.R. Buck, R.K. Kochevar, D.C. Nelson, Y. Fujiwara, S.K. Goffredi and J. Hashimoto. (2002) Methane-based symbiosis in a mussel, Bathymodiolus platifrons, from cold seeps in Sagami Bay, Japan. Invertebrate Biol. 121:47-54.
  • Beynon, JD, IJ McRae, SL Huston, DC Nelson, IH Segel and AJ Fisher. (2001) Crystal structure of ATP sulfurylase from the bacterial symbiont of the hydrothermal vent tubeworm Riftia pachyptila. Biochemistry 40: 14509-14517.
  • Macalady J L, EE Mack, DC Nelson and KM Scow. 2000. Sediment microbial community structure and mercury methylation in mercury-polluted Clear Lake, California. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 66:1479-1488
  • Ahmad A, JP Barry, and DC Nelson. 1999. Phylogenetic affinity of vacuolate, nitrate-accumulating Beggiatoa sp. (Monterey Canyon, CA) with Thioploca spp. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 65:270-277
  • Holmen BA, JD Sison, DC Nelson, and WH Casey. 1999. Hydroxamate siderophores, cell growth and Fe(III) cycling in two anaerobic iron oxide media containing Geobacter metallireducens. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 63:225-237
  • Hagen KD and DC Nelson. 1997. Use of reduced sulfur compounds by Beggiatoa spp: enzymology and physiology of marine and freshwater strains in homogeneous and gradient cultures. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 63:3957-3964