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Jeanette M. Norton

Jeanette M. Norton

Professor Soil Microbiology
Area of Study: Environmental Soil & Water, Soil Science
Emphasis: Soil Microbiology/Ecology
Employee Type: Faculty
Location:  AGRS 340
Office Phone:  435-797-2166
Cell Phone:  435-757-9660
4820 Old Main Hill AGS 352
Logan Utah 84322-4820

Specialties: Soil microbiology

Microorganisms perform the key processes that create and maintain the environment in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. I have been privileged to study soil microbiology during the time when a revolution in our technical abilities and understanding of the microbial world is occurring. During my career I have investigated a group of soil microbes known as nitrfiers that are key players in the nitrogen cycle. These investigations have spanned levels from their function in agricultural fields to the detail of individual genes. Microbial genomics and metagenomic tools are one gateway to the functional diversity in the nitrogen cycle processes that control the turnover of plant available nitrogen in the environment.  In this era of rapid global change as humans continue to enrich the environment with additional nitrogen, it has become even more crucial to understand the functioning of these organisms (see the Nitrification Network).

I am committed to teaching and mentoring at all levels and I am excited to offer my courses, Soils and Plant Nutrient Bioavailability  (PSC 5530/6530) and Analytical Techniques for the Soil Environment  (PSC 5560/6560)  in spring semesters. PSC 5560/6560 is a small primarily laboratory class of both undergraduates and graduates interested in hands-on experience in soil characterization. 

Professional preparation:
BS., 1980. State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Forest Biology. Concentrations in Forest Botany and Pathology and Biochemistry.
Ph.D., 1991. University of California , Berkeley. Soil Science (Soil Microbiology).
Post-doctoral Research Associate, Michigan State University NSF Center for Microbial Ecology 1991-1992.

June 2007-current. Professor, Soil Microbiology, Adjunct in Biology, Ecology Center Faculty Associate, Utah State University , Logan, Utah . Research: molecular biology, genomics and ecology of ammonia oxidizing bacteria, DNA probes for enzymatic functions, microbial / plant interactions in animal waste management, microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling, role of community structure in bioremediation of chlorinated solvents.

June 1999-2007. Associate Professor, Soil Microbiology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
January 1993- 1999. Assistant Professor, Soil Microbiology, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.
June 1991- December 1992. Research Associate. NSF Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI.
June 1984- April 1991. Research Assistant, Soil Microbiology, University of California , Berkeley. Research:  C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of pine.
January 1990 - May 1990. Graduate Student Instructor for Soil Microbiology Laboratory, University of California , Berkeley.  
April 1981- June 1984. Research Support Specialist, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y.
Selected Peer Reviewed Publications (see Researcher ID G-2633-2011):

Norton, J. M., and J. P. Schimel. in press 2011. Nitrogen mineralization immobilization turnover. In P. M. Huang (ed.), Handbook of Soil Science, Second Edition ed. CRC Press.

Norton, J. M. 2011. Diversity and environmental distribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. In B. B. Ward, M. G. Klotz, and D. J. Arp (eds.), Nitrification. ASM Press, Washington, D.C.
Koper, T.E., M.Y. Habteselassie, J.M. Stark, and J.M. Norton. 2010. Nitrification exhibits Haldane kinetics in an agricultural soil treated with ammonium sulfate or dairy waste compost. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 74:316-322.
Norton, J. M., M. G. Klotz, L. Y.Stein, D. J. Arp, P. J. Bottomley, P. S.G. Chain, L. J. Hauser, M. L. Land, F.W. Larimer, M.W. Shin, S. R. Starkenburg. 2008. Complete genome sequence of Nitrosospira multiformis, an ammonia-oxidizing bacterium from the soil environment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74:3559-3572.

Stein, L. Y., D. J. Arp, P. M. Berube, P. S. G. Chain, L. Hauser, M. S. M. Jetten, M. G. Klotz, F. W. Larimer, J. M. Norton, H. J. M. O. d. Camp, M. Shin, and X. Wei. 2007. Whole-genome analysis of the ammonia-oxidizing bacterium, Nitrosomonas eutropha C91: implications for niche adaptation. Environmental Microbiology 9: 2993-3007.

Habteselassie, M. Y., J. M. Stark, B. E. Miller, S. G. Thacker and J. M. Norton. 2006. Gross N transformations in an agricultural soil after repeated applications of dairy waste. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 70:1338-1348.

Klotz, M.G., D. J. Arp, P. S.G. Chain, A. F. El-Sheikh, L. J.Hauser, N. G. Hommes, F. W. Larimer, S. A. Malfatti, J. M. Norton, A. T. Poret-Peterson, L. M. Vergez, and B. B. Ward. 2006. The complete genome sequence of the marine, chemolithoautotrophic, ammonia- oxidizing bacterium Nitrosococcus oceani ATCC19707.Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72: 6299-6315.

Chain, P., J. Lamerdin, F. Larimer, W. Regala, V. Lao, M. Land, L. Hauser, A. Hooper, M. Klotz, J. Norton, L. Sayavedra-Soto, D. Arciero, N. Hommes, M. Whittaker, D. Arp. 2003. Complete genome sequence of the ammonia oxidizing bacterium and obligate chemolithoautotroph Nitrosomonas europaea. J. Bacteriol. 185:2759–2773.

Norton J.M., J.J Alzerreca, Y. Suwa and M. G. Klotz. 2002. Diversity of ammonia monooxygenase operon in autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Arch. Microbiol. 177:139-149. 

Habteselassie, M. Y., J. M. Stark, B. E. Miller, S. G. Thacker and J. M. Norton. 2006. Soil nitrogen and nutrient dynamics after repeated application of treated dairy-waste. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 70:1328-1337.

Shi, W., B.E. Miller, J. M. Stark and J. M. Norton. 2004. Microbial nitrogen transformations in response to treated dairy waste in an agricultural soil. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 68:1867-1874.
Koper T.E., A.L. El-Sheikh, J.M. Norton and M.G. Klotz. 2004. Urease-encoding genes in autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:2342-2348. 
Current Support
USDA/AFRI Functional and Molecular Diversity in Nitrogen Cycle Enzymes under Contrasting Agricultural Management Systems. PI J.M. Norton, Co-PI’s J.R. Reeve, J.M. Stark and M.Y. Habteselassie. 2011-2016; USDA/NRI, Stability of Weedy Plant Communities in Western Rangelands (J.M. Stark and CoPI J.M.Norton); NSF Research Coordination Network for Nitrification (P.I. D.J. Arp,  Co-P.I. J.M. Norton et al.);  Utah Agric. Expt Sta., Functional Genomics and Ecology of Nitrifying Bacteria (P.I. J.M. Norton).

Synergistic activites

Genomics of nitrifying bacteria 
NSF Research Coordination Network for Nitrification, member of collaborative effort with Daniel Arp, Martin Klotz , Bess Ward, Lisa Stein and others to sequence the genomes of representative nitrifying bacteria. Completed genome sequence for Nitrosomonas europaea, N. eutropha, N. multiformis, N. oceani. Ongoing genomic work on other soil and marine nitrifiers, PI for Nitrosomonas sp. AL212 and IS-79 sequencing. 

Undergraduate Research Mentor
Undergraduate research on molecular biology and ecology of nitrifying bacteria. Twelve students mentored and co-authors of GenBank sequences for amo and ure genes. Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year for College of Agricultural at USU. 2003.
Native American and Latino Outreach Advisor of USU Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American in Sciences (SACNAS) and member faculty consortium for mentoring science students.

Resource for Nitrifying Bacteria Cultures and Sequences
Norton laboratory maintains and distributes cultures and sequence information on nitrifying bacteria to the scientific community for use as type strains and DNA controls for molecular techniques. NSF Research Coordination Network  grant Co-PI.
Standard Methods: Joint Task Group on Nitrifying Bacteria, Soil Science Society of America representative to ATCC.

Professional Editorial and Review Services:
Editorial services for microbial ecology focus on functional genes and nitrifying bacteria. Associate Editor for Soil Science Society of America S-3 2005-2008, Editorial Board of Applied Environmental Microbiology 1999-2004; NSF Panel Service1997-2005; USDA Panel Service 2000.