David E Graham

David E Graham

Microbial Ecology & Physiology Group Leader


Dr. Graham is a Senior Staff Scientist with more than 90 research publications in microbial biochemistry, geochemistry, genomics, molecular evolution, enzyme discovery, structural biology, analytical assay development and biosynthetic pathway characterization.  He has led NSF, NIH, DOE and DoD-funded projects using genome and protein sequence information to identify new enzymes in coenzyme production, biofuel formation from cellulosic feedstocks, and synthetic biology of nitration reactions for energetic materials. He received an A.B. degree from Cornell University (Biological Sciences and Economics) in 1995 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Microbiology) in 2000. Following an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Microbial Biology at Virginia Tech, he moved to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin before joining ORNL. He is an editorial board member for the journals Analytical Biochemistry, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and Journal of Bacteriology.


Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments in the Arctic, (DOE-Biological and Environmental Research TES Program) Co-Investigator

Monitoring of Geological CO2 Sequestration Using Isotopes and Perfluorocarbon Tracers (DOE-Fossil Energy) Principal Investigator





  • Moon J-W, Eskelsen JR, Ivanov IN, Jacobs CB, Jang GG, Kidder MK, Joshi PC, Armstrong BL, Pierce EM, Oremland RS, Phelps TJ, Graham DE (2018) Improved ZnS nanoparticle properties through sequential NanoFermentation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 102(19):8329-8339 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-018-9245-5

  • Soltanian MR, Amooie MA, Cole D, Graham D, Pfiffner S, Phelps T, Moortgat J (2018) Transport of perfluorocarbon tracers in the Cranfield Geological Carbon Sequestration Project. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology 8(4):650-671 https://doi.org/doi:10.1002/ghg.1786

  • Tran PL, Li J, Lungaro L, Ramesh S, Ivanov IN, Moon J-W, Graham DE, Hamood A, Wang J, Elfick AP, Rivero IV (2018) Cryomilled zinc sulfide: A prophylactic for Staphylococcus aureus-infected wounds. Journal of Biomaterials Applications 0(0):0885328218770530 https://doi.org/10.1177/0885328218770530

  • Zheng J, RoyChowdhury T, Yang Z, Gu B, Wullschleger SD, Graham DE (2018) Impacts of temperature and soil characteristics on methane production and oxidation in Arctic polygonal tundra. Biogeosciences Discuss 2018:1-27 https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2017-566

  • Zheng J, Thornton PE, Painter SL, Gu B, Wullschleger SD, Graham DE (2018) Modeling anaerobic soil organic carbon decomposition in Arctic polygon tundra: insights into soil geochemical influences on carbon mineralization. Biogeosciences Discuss 2018:1-31 https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-63 p.p1

  • Soltanian MR, Amooie MA, Cole DR, Darrah TH, Graham DE, Pfiffner SM, Phelps TJ, Moortgat J (2018) Impacts of Methane on Carbon Dioxide Storage in Brine Formations. Groundwater 56(2):176-186 https://doi.org/10.1111/gwat.12633

  • Chen H, Yang Z, Chu RK, Tolic N, Liang L, Graham DE, Wullschleger SD, Gu B (2018) Molecular Insights into Arctic Soil Organic Matter Degradation under Warming. Environ Sci Technol 52(8):4555-4564 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b05469

  • Jubb AM, Eskelsen JR, Yin X, Zheng J, Philben MJ, Pierce EM, Graham DE, Wullschleger SD, Gu B (2018) Characterization of iron oxide nanoparticle films at the air–water interface in Arctic tundra waters. Science of The Total Environment 633:1460-1468 https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.332 

  • Eskelsen JR, Xu J, Chiu M, Moon J-W, Wilkins B, Graham DE, Gu B, Pierce EM (2018) Influence of Structural Defects on Biomineralized ZnS Nanoparticle Dissolution: An in-Situ Electron Microscopy Study. Environ Sci Technol 52(3):1139-1149 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b04343


  • Grant RF, Mekonnen ZA, Riley WJ, Wainwright HM, Graham DE, Torn MS (2017) Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 1. Microtopography Determines How Active Layer Depths Respond to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122:3161-3173 https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JG004035

  • Yang Z, Yang S, Van Nostrand JD, Zhou J, Fang W, Qi Q, Liu Y, Wullschleger SD, Liang L, Graham DE, Yang Y, Gu B. 2017. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment. Front Microbiol 8:1741.

  • Mahan, KM, Zheng, H, Fida, TT, Parry, RJ, Graham, DE, Spain, JC. 2017. A novel, iron-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the initial step in the biodegradation of N- nitroglycine by Variovorax sp. strain JS1663. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.83:e00457-17

  • Jacobs, C, Maksov, A, Muckley, ES, Collins L, Ievlev, A, Rouleau, C, Moon, J-W, Graham, DE, Sumpter, B, Ivanov, I. 2017. UV-activated ZnO films on a flexible substrate for room temperature O2 and H2O sensing. Scientific Reports.7:6053.

  • Herndon, E, AlBashaireh, A., Singer, D., Roy Chowdhury, T., Gu, B., Graham, D. 2017. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in Arctic tundra soil. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 207:210.


  • Soltanian MR, Amooie MA, Cole DR, Graham DE, Hosseini SA, Hovorka S, Pfiffner SM, Phelps TJ, Moortgat J. 2016. Simulating the Cranfield geological carbon sequestration project with high-resolution static models and an accurate equation of state. Int. J. Greenh. Gas Con. 54, Part 1:282-296.
  • Tang, G. et al. 2016. Biogeochemical modeling of CO2 and CH4 production in anoxic Arctic soil microcosms. Biogeosciences. 13:5021-5041.
  • Xu, X. et al. 2016. Reviews and syntheses: Four decades of modeling methane cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Biogeosciences. 13:3735-3755.
  • Moon, J.-W. et al. 2016. Manufacturing demonstration of microbially mediated zinc sulfide nanoparticles in pilot-plant scale reactors. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 100:7921-7931.
  • Throckmorton HM, et al. 2016. Active layer hydrology in an Arctic tundra ecosystem: quantifying water sources and cycling using water stable isotopes. Hydrological Processes. 30:4972-4986.
  • Schädel, C. et al. 2016. Potential carbon emissions dominated by carbon dioxide from thawed permafrost soils. Nature Climate Change 6:950-953.
  • Yang Z, Fang W, Lu X, Sheng G-P, Graham DE, Liang L, Wullschleger SD, Gu B. 2016. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil. Environmental Pollution 214:504-509.
  • Bingham, P, Morales-Rodriguez, ME, Datskos, P, Graham DE. 2016. Multi-spectral Infrared Computed Tomography. IS&T International Symposium on Electronic Imaging 2016 (19):1-5.
  • Mahan KM, Klingeman DM, Hettich RL, Parry RJ, Graham DE. 2016. Draft Genome Sequence of Streptomyces vitaminophilus ATCC 31673, a Producer of Pyrrolomycin Antibiotics, Some of Which Contain a Nitro Group. Genome Announc. 4:e01582-01515.
  • Yang Z, Wullschleger SD, Liang L, Graham DE, Gu B. 2016. Effects of warming on the degradation and production of low-molecular-weight labile organic carbon in an Arctic tundra soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 95:202-211.