Harry Read


UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Office: 7 Hiram Smith Annex


Current Projects

My main role is to analyze soil extracts for lipids and amino sugars by gas chromatography (GC) and GC-combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry as a means of profiling soil microbial communities and tracing carbon flow through soil ecosystems; I also maintain and repair a variety of instrumentation. I frequently train students how to operate, maintain and repair analytical instrumentation and how to process and evaluate data. .

Research and Professional Interests

My research background includes movement and fate of pesticides in soil and water; remediation of contaminated water by photocatalytic oxidation; rapid screening for toxicity with in vitro bioassays


  • B.A. 1985 Hunter College, CUNY – Biology
  • Ph.D. 1990 University of Wisconsin-Madison – Environmental Toxicology


Chao, L., Read HW, and TC Balser. 2009. Reliability of muramic acid as a bacterial biomarker: is influenced by methodological artifacts from streptomycin. Microbial Ecology. 57:494-500.

Pedersen JA, Ekenler M, Read HW. 2005. Prion transport through saturated quartz sand columns.Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society.

Burton EO, Read HW, Pellitteri MC, and WJ Hickey. 2005. Identification of acyl-homoserine lactone signal molecules produced by Nitrosomonas europaea strain Schmidt. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.71:4906-4909.

Gustavson KE, Read HW, Harkin JM. 2002. Comparisons of human-cell-based and submitochondrial particle bioassay responses to the MEIC compounds in reference to human toxicity data. Toxicology. 177:131-142.

Read, H.W., J.M. Harkin and K.E. Gustavson. 1998. Environmental Applications with Submitochondrial Particles. In Microscale Aquatic Toxicology – Advances, Techniques and Practice, P. G. Wells, K. Lee and C. Blaise (Eds.), CRC Press LLC, Florida. 679 p.

Read, H.W., K.E. Gustavson and G.A. Blondin. 1998. Bioassay for Toxic Substances Activated by Metabolic Enzyme System. US patent pending, with all claims allowed, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation P94163US.

Levy J., G. Chesters, D.P. Gustafson and H.W. Read. 1998. Assessing aquifer susceptibility to and severity of atrazine contamination at a field site in south-central Wisconsin. Hydrogeology J. 6:483-499.

Chesters, G., H.W. Read, D. Gustafson, M.C. Pelech and P. Houseman. 1997. Herbicide contamination at a mixing and loading site. Final report to Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.

Read, H.W. 1996. Bike Tours of the Lake Mendota Watershed. Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission publication, Madison, WI, 40 p.

Read, H.W., K.E. Gustavson, G.A. Blondin, J.M. Harkin and C.M. Vohmann. 1996. Responses of two in vitro submitochondrial-particle toxicity assays to 50 test chemicals. Abstract for Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 15th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, Nov. 17-21, 1996.

Read, H.W., X. Fu, L.A. Clark, M.A. Anderson, and T. Jarosch. 1996. Field trials of a TiO2 pellet-based photocatalytic reactor for off-gas treatment at a soil vapor extraction well. Journal of Soil Contamination. 5:187-202.

Presentations and Lectures

I have no regular teaching duties but have given guest lectures on pesticides to Soils and Environmental Quality (Soils 324), helped teach a unit of Integrated Graduate Student Laboratory, taught Colloquium in Environmental Toxicology (EnvTox 606, cross listed as Soils 606, 2000-2002) and serve as course coordinator for Environmental Law (IES 368).