Valerie J. Harwood, Ph.D. is an environmental microbiologist. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida, Tampa FL. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. One of Dr. Harwood’s major areas of expertise is microbial source tracking (MST), which endeavors to determine the source(s) of fecal pollution in water. She is using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), microarray technology and metagenomics to improve interpretation and implementation of MST methods. She is also interested in the persistence and ecology of enteric organisms in secondary habitats such as water and sediments. Harwood is the author of over eighty peer-reviewed papers on various areas of environmental micro and microbial ecology, including the efficacy of treatment for reclaimed water, the biochemistry of the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, on Vibrio genetics, physiology, and detection in environmental waters, on phylogeny and antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus spp., and on MST and environmental persistence of fecal indicator bacteria. Dr. Harwood is a major contributor to the USEPA Guide Document on MST, the co-editor of a 2011 book on MST, a member of the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and a Council Policy Committee member of the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Harwood has mentored over 60 undergraduate research students at USF. Her program has produced twelve Ph.D.s, all of whom are employed in science research and/or teaching capacities, and 6 Master’s degrees. Read more about her current and past graduate students on this website.