USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Professional Pages

Blank space
Search USGS Professionals Featured Profiles Blank space Frequently Asked Questions  |  About The USGS Professional Pages
bio image of David  Metge

David Metge

Research Microbiologist

Contact Info

Short Biography

Dave, scientist for a USGS National Research Program (NRP) project since 1987, investigates microbe-contaminant interactions.  Although focused on microbe/pathogen fate & persistence in hydrogeological systems; recent work examined antimicrobial mechanisms of therapeutic clays, how antibiotics affect aquifer microbial communities, & field-scale bacterial chemotaxis. The USGS multidisciplinary laboratory at CU, Boulder has collaborative ties to domestic academic institutions & governmental agencies.

Read Full Professional Summary


Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., LeBlanc, D.R., Underwood, J., Aiken, G.R.A., Butler, K., McCobb, T.D., and Jasperse, J., 2015, Importance of the colmation layer in the transport and removal of cyanobacteria, viruses, and dissolved organic carbon during natural lake-bank filtration. Journal of Environmental Quality, doi:10.2134/jeq2015.03.0151. [Link]

T.D. Byl, D.W. Metge, D.T. Agymang, M. Bradley, G. Hileman, and R.W. Harvey – Adaptations of indigenous bacteria to fuel contamination in karst aquifers in south-central Kentucky. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 76, no. 2, p. 104–113. DOI: 10.4311/2012MB0270 [Link]

SK Mohanty, MCD Bulicek, DW Metge, RW Harvey, JN Ryan and AB Boehm. Mobilization of Microspheres from a Fractured Soil during Intermittent Infiltration Events. Vadose Zone J. 14(1) DOI:10.2136/vzj2014.05.0058 [Link]

Harvey, R.W., Underwood, J., Lisle, J., Metge, D.W., Aiken, G, 2014, Role of DOC in the fate and transport of Escherichia coli K12 in a deep limestone aquifer in South Florida: In Kunianski, E.L. and Spangler, L.E., eds, U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Carlsbad, NM, Apr. 29-May 2, 2014, USGS Scientific Investigation Report. 2014-5035, p. 129-132.

Morrison, KD, JC Underwood, DW Metge, DD Eberl, LB Williams. Mineralogical variables that control the antibacterial effectiveness of a natural clay deposit. Env Geochmistry and Health 2013. 36:613-631. DOI:10.1007/s10653-013-9585-0 [Link]

SK Haack, DW Metge, LR Fogarty, MT Meyer, LB Barber, RW Harvey, DR Leblanc, DW Kolpin. 2012. Effects on groundwater microbial communities of an engineered 30-day in situ exposure to the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole. Environmental science & technology. 06/2012; 46(14):7478-86. [Link]

J Amanda Toepfer, Roseanne M Ford, David Metge, Ronald W Harvey Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4741, USA. Impact of fluorochrome stains used to study bacterial transport in shallow aquifers on motility and chemotaxis of Pseudomonas species. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 03/2012; 81(1):163-71. DOI:10.1111/j.1574-6941.2012.01355.x [Link]

Ronald W Harvey, David W Metge, Arvind Mohanram, Xiaodong Gao, Jon Chorover National Research Program, U.S. Geological Survey , 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado 80303, United States. Differential effects of dissolved organic carbon upon re-entrainment and surface properties of groundwater bacteria and bacteria-sized microspheres during transport through a contaminated, sandy aquifer. Environmental Science & Technology. 01/2011; 45(8):3252-9. DOI:10.1021/es102989x [Link]

Lynda B Williams, David W Metge, Dennis D Eberl, Ronald W Harvey, Amanda G Turner, Panjai Prapaipong, Amisha T Poret-Peterson School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University , Tempe, Arizona 85287, United States. What makes a natural clay antibacterial? Environmental Science & Technology (impact factor: 4.8). 03/2011; 45(8):3768-73. DOI:10.1021/es1040688 [Link]

Jennifer C Underwood, Ronald W Harvey, David W Metge, Deborah A Repert, Laura K Baumgartner, Richard L Smith, Timberly M Roane, Larry B Barber United States Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado 80303, USA. Effects of the antimicrobial sulfamethoxazole on groundwater bacterial enrichment. Environmental Science & Technology (impact factor: 4.8). 03/2011; 45(7):3096-101. DOI:10.1021/es103605e [Link]

David W Metge, Ronald W Harvey, George R Aiken, Robert Anders, George Lincoln, Jay Jasperse, Mary C Hill National Research Program, US Geological Survey, 3215 Marine Street, Boulder, Colorado 80303, United States. Effects of sediment-associated extractable metals, degree of sediment grain sorting, and dissolved organic carbon upon Cryptosporidium parvum removal and transport within riverbank filtration sediments, Sonoma County, California. Environmental Science & Technology (impact factor: 4.8). 06/2011; 45(13):5587-95. DOI:10.1021/es200544p [Link]

Arvind Mohanram, Chittaranjan Ray, David W Metge, Larry B Barber, Joseph N Ryan, Ronald W Harvey Department of Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering and Water Resources Research Center, 1955 East-West Road, Agricultural Science 218, University of Hawai'i at Manoa , Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822, United States. Effect of dissolved organic carbon on the transport and attachment behaviors of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and carboxylate-modified microspheres advected through temperate humic and tropical volcanic agricultural soil. Environmental Science & Technology (impact factor: 4.8). 06/2011; 46(4):2088-94. DOI:10.1021/es2003342 [Link]

Lisle, John T.; Harvey, Ron W.; Aiken, George R.; Metge, David W., 2010. Microbial and geochemical investigations of dissolved organic carbon and microbial ecology of native waters from the Biscayne and Upper Floridan Aquifers. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1021, vii, 33 p. [Link]

Ronald Harvey, David Metge, Rodney Sheets, Jay Jasperse. 2011. Fluorescent Microspheres as Surrogates in Evaluating the Efficacy of Riverbank Filtration for Removing Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts and Other Pathogens. NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme: Riverbank filtration for water security in desert countries. Eds: Ray & Shamrukh. Chapter 6. 12/2010; DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-0026-0_6 [Link]

D W Metge, R W Harvey, G R Aiken, R Anders, G Lincoln, J Jasperse Water Resources Discipline, U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, CO 80303, USA. Influence of organic carbon loading, sediment associated metal oxide content and sediment grain size distributions upon Cryptosporidium parvum removal during riverbank filtration operations, Sonoma County, CA. Water Research. 02/2010; 44(4):1126-37. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2009.11.033 [Link]

Arvind Mohanram, Chittaranjan Ray, Ronald W Harvey, David W Metge, Joseph N Ryan, Jon Chorover, D D Eberl Department of Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering, 1955 East-West Road, Agricultural Science 218, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Comparison of transport and attachment behaviors of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and oocyst-sized microspheres being advected through three minerologically different granular porous media. Water Research (impact factor: 4.87). 10/2010; 44(18):5334-44. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2010.06.015 [Link]

Xiaodong Gao, David W Metge, Chittaranian Ray, Ronald W Harvey, Jon Chorover Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA. Surface complexation of carboxylate adheres Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts to the hematite-water interface. Environmental Science and Technology (impact factor: 5.23). 10/2009; 43(19):7423-9. [Link]

R A Abudalo, J N Ryan, R W Harvey, D W Metge, L Landkamer 428 UCB, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. Influence of organic matter on the transport of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a ferric oxyhydroxide-coated quartz sand saturated porous medium. Water Research (impact factor: 4.87). 09/2009; 44(4):1104-13. DOI:10.1016/j.watres.2009.09.039 [Link]

Robert A Renken, Kevin J Cunningham, Allen M Shapiro, Ronald W Harvey, Michael R Zygnerski, David W Metge, Michael A Wacker. 2008. Pathogen and chemical transport in the karst limestone of the Biscayne aquifer: 1. Revised conceptualization of groundwater flow. Water Resources Research (impact factor: 2.96). 01/2008; 44. DOI:10.1029/2007WR006058 [Link]

Allen M Shapiro, Robert A Renken, Ronald W Harvey, Michael R Zygnerski, David W Metge. 2008. Pathogen and chemical transport in the karst limestone of the Biscayne aquifer: 2. Chemical retention from diffusion and slow advection. Water Resources Research (impact factor: 2.96). 01/2008; 44. DOI:10.1029/2007WR006059 [Link]

Ronald W Harvey, David W Metge, Allen M Shapiro, Robert A Renken, Christina L Osborn, Joseph N Ryan, Kevin J Cunningham, Lee Landkamer, M Shapiro, R A Renken, C L Osborn, J N Ryan, K J Cunningham, L Landkamer. Pathogen and chemical transport in the karst limestone of the Biscayne aquifer: 3. Use of microspheres to estimate the transport potential of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. Water Resources Research (impact factor: 2.96). 01/2008; 44. DOI:10.1029/2007WR006060 [Link]

A full list of publications since 1987 is listed at Dave's other professional page:

Overall listing of publications for the Microbial-Contaminant Interactions Project

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

The Role of Environment and Wildlife in Human Health

Energy & Minerals for America's Future

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Research Highlights

Image of Current Focus for Research Highlights

==   Changes in chemical constituents of contaminated and uncontaminated sites can substantially influence the degree of microbial attachment to aquifer sediments (Harvey et al., 2011), may affect potential bioremediation of contaminated sites (Toepfer et al, 2012, Wang et al, 2008), influence pathogen attenuation and water quality (Metge et al, 2011, Mohanram et al., 2011) and affect microbial processes (Haack et al, 2012, Underwood et al., 2011). These studies have concentrated on delineating how specific classes of organic compounds and inorganic geochemistry affect bacterial attachment on sediments and affect their physiology.  Some compounds (e.g. certain non-ionic surfactants, antibiotics) affect microibial attachment, attenuation and other biolgical processes at low (ppb) levels.

 ==       Elucidation of antimicrobial mechanisms for therapeutic clays.   As a result of experimentation undertaken and methods developed in our laboratory, we provided some possible explanations for antimicrobial activity of therapeutic clays used to treat skin infections. This is an example of public health microbiology, muldisciplinary research endeavor, and serendipitous discovery.  Research has resulted in several presentations, a publication (Williams et al, 2012) and a provisional patent award (2009).    Additionally, we identified at least one agent which, present in trace quantities, would render non therapeutic clays potentially antimicrobial.  

==        Results from flow-through column experiments demonstrated an understanding of microbial transport processes operational and field and column scales (Metge et al, 2010, 2011, Harvey et al, 2010, 2011) to field-scale subsurface microbial transport experiments.  These small, simple experiments allow applicability across a variety of disciplines such as microbial transport, microbial ecology and/or public health microbiology. 

==        Development of genetically-engineered microorganisms.  In 2005-2007, outreach with local high school students yielded modification and sucessful genetic engineering of a bacterial isolate which produced an internal fluorescent tag, later in sucessful field-scale demonstration of bacterial chemotaxis.  This was in collaboration with University of Virginia, Charlottesville on a NSF-funded project that entailed several field tests.   A blue-fluorescing protein (BFP) motile Pseudomonas mutant was employed in field and lab scale studies.  A recent development included using transposon mediated genetic insertions of GFP and RFP into a 4-methyl, benzoate degrading Pseudomonad for real time microbial trackng in future contaminant degradation experiments.

==        Method for dual isotope labeling of bacteriophage protein coat and nucleic acid.  In 1997,  we modified methods for differentially labeling protein coat and nucleic acid components of bacteriophage PRD1.  This virus (PRD1) serves as a surrogate for field tests investigating pathogenic virus transport.  Previous single-label methods would label both virus coat and nucleic acid components indiscriminately with the same label.  The method allows us to assess if and by what mechanisms viruses become inactivated in the subsurface, and determined viral inactivation rates in subsurface material(s). 

Contact Information

David Metge
3215 Marine St, Bldg 6
Boulder, CO 80309
303-541-3084 - Fax
Back to top

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: January 24 2013 17:21:51.
Version: 2.6