Staff profile

Dr David Elliott

Associate Professor in Microbiology

Dr David Elliott sampling soil in central Australia


Biology and Zoology, Biomedical Science and Human Biology, Environmental Science


College of Science and Engineering


School of Built and Natural Environment

Research centre

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an Associate Professor in Microbiology with broad interests covering clinical, technological, environmental, and theoretical topics. I teach microbiology and my research is focused on understanding microbial communities in soil. These topics are all supported by current advances in molecular biology, especially high-throughput DNA sequencing and bio-informatics.

Teaching responsibilities

Research interests

My major interest is the study of microbial communities and their interactions with the environment. I try to find out why microbes live in particular places and what function they have there. This includes all sorts of environments including:

PhD supervision (current)

PhD supervision (completed)

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

International experience

Additional interests and activities

I lead on digital skills for School of Environmental Sciences as I have long-standing interest and expertise in computers. 

Working groups and committees etc:

Recent publications

Journal papers

Allingham SM, Nwaishi FC, Anderson R, Lamit LJ, Elliott DR. 2022. Microbial communities and biogeochemical functioning across peatlands in the Athabasca Oil Sands region of Canada: Implications for reclamation and management. Land Degradation and Development. doi:

Thomas AD, Elliott DR, Hardcastle D, Strong CL, Bullard J, Webster R, Lan S. 2021. Soil biocrusts affect metabolic response to hydration on dunes in west Queensland, AustraliaGeoderma, 405, p.115464.. doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115464.

Toubes-Rodrigo M, Potgieter-Vermaak S, Sen R, Oddsdóttir ES, Elliott D, Cook S. 2021. Active microbial ecosystem in glacier basal ice fuelled by iron and silicate comminution-derived hydrogenMicrobiologyOpen 2021;10:e1200.. doi: 10.1002/mbo3.1200.

Zhang H, Tuittila E-S, Korrensalo A, Laine AM, Uljas S, Welti N, Kerttula J, Maljanen M, Elliott D, Vesala T, Lohila A.. 2021. Methane production and oxidation potentials along a fen‐bog gradient from southern boreal to subarctic peatlands in FinlandGlobal Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.15740.

Ritson JP, Alderson DM, Robinson CH, Burkitt AE, Heinemeyer A, Stimson AG, Gallego-Sala A, Harris A, Quillet A, Malik AA, Cole B, et al. 2020. Towards a microbial process-based understanding of the resilience of peatland ecosystem service provisioning – A research agendaScience of the Total Environment. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143467.

Lan S, Thomas AD, Tooth S, Wua L, Elliott DR. 2020. Effects of vegetation on bacterial communities, carbon and nitrogen in dryland soil surfaces: implications for shrub encroachment in the southwest KalahariScience of the Total Environment. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142847.

Hamza, O., Esaker, M., Elliott, D., & Souid, A. 2020. The effect of soil incubation on bio self-healing of cementitious mortarMaterials Today Communications, 24, 100988. doi: 10.1016/j.mtcomm.2020.100988.

Sweet M, Burian A, Fifer J, Bulling M, Elliott D, Raymundo L. 2019. Compositional homogeneity in the pathobiome of a new, slow-spreading coral diseaseMicrobiome. doi: 10.1186/s40168-019-0759-6.

Elliott DR, Thomas AD, Strong CL, Bullard J. 2019. Surface Stability in Drylands is Influenced by Dispersal Strategy of Soil BacteriaJGR Biogeosciences. doi: 10.1029/2018JG004932.

Souid A, Esaker M, Elliott D, Hamza O. 2019. Experimental data of bio self-healing concrete incubated in saturated natural soilData in Brief. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2019.104394.

Thomas AD, Elliott DR, Dougill AJ, Stringer LC, Hoon SR, Sen R. 2018. The Influence of Trees, Shrubs and Grasses on Micro-Climate, Soil Carbon, Nitrogen and CO2 Efflux: Potential Implications of Shrub Encroachment for Kalahari RangelandsLand Degradation & Development. doi: 10.1002/ldr.2918.

Ramirez K, Knight C, de Hollander M, Brearley FQ, Constantinides B, Cotton A, Creer S, Crowther TW, Davison J, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Dorrepaal E, Elliott DR et al. 2018. Detecting macroecological patterns in bacterial communities across independent studies of global soilsNature Microbiology. doi: 10.1038/s41564-017-0062-x.

Blockley A, Elliott DR, Roberts AP, Sweet M. 2017. Symbiotic Microbes from Marine Invertebrates: Driving a New Era of Natural Product Drug DiscoveryDiversity 9:49. doi: 10.3390/d9040049.

Toubes-Rodrigo M, Cook SJ, Elliott D, Sen R. 2016. Quantification of basal ice microbial cell delivery to the glacier marginBiogeosciences Discuss. doi: 10.5194/bg-2016-471.

Brearley FQ, Elliott DR, Iribar A, Sen R. 2016. Arbuscular mycorrhizal community structure on co-existing tropical legume trees in French GuianaPlant and Soil. doi: 10.1007/s11104-016-2818-0.

Elliott DR, Caporn SJM, Nwaishi F, Nilsson RH, Sen R. 2015. Bacterial and fungal communities in a degraded ombrotrophic peatland undergoing natural and managed re-vegetationPLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124726.

Elliott DR, Thomas AD, Hoon SR, Sen R. 2014. Niche partitioning of bacterial communities in biological crusts and soils under grasses, shrubs and trees in the KalahariBiodiversity and Conservation 23(7): 1709-1733. doi: 10.1007/s10531-014-0684-8.

Please check my websiteGoogle Scholar and Researchgate for more publications and links to full text.

A landscape image of a lake and moorland

Dr David Elliott has extensive multidisciplinary experience researching how microbes impact upon our lives and environment. Here he examines how far the latest government Budget will go to advance environmental sustainability in the UK.