Soil Biology

Elaine Ingham et al. 2000. Soil Biology Primer. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available at

Online version of a Soil Biology Primer that includes chapters, tables and illustrations of Soil Arthropods, Bacteria, Fungi, Nematodes and Protozoa, and the Soil Food Web.

Elaine Ingham. 2008. Compost Presentation. Rodale Institute.

This 97-slide presentation pack looks at the constituents, production, role of compost and the results of the application of compost and compost teas. Amongst the areas touched upon are such things as: the nutrient pool and concentration of minerals in soil; the make-up of a balanced soil food web and the role and appearance / morphology of its constituents, including its fungi, protozoa and nematodes; the definition, types, composition / starting materials and production examples of different kinds of compost, including thermal and worm compost; the neutralisation of human pathogens; and typical assay results of composts and compost-treated fields.

See, also, Ingham (2014). Life in the Soil Master Presentation for a super-set of slides and information.

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Elaine Ingham and Soil Food Web. 2014. Life in the Soil Course.

This 18 lesson, approx. 14 hour course is the cornerstone of the Soil Food Web's Foundation Course series. Also included are some 12+ hours of post-lecture questions and discussions.

The lesson titles are:

  1. Overview of Organisms in the Soil
  2. Appearance of Microorganisms in the Soil
  3. Morphology of Predator Organisms
  4. What Constitutes a healthy Soil Food Web
  5. Soil Assessments
  6. Soil Profiles and Horizons
  7. Mineral, Organic Matter and Organism Interactions
  8. How Microorganisms Affect Soil Chemistry
  9. Castle Walls that Plants Build
  10. The Green Revolution?
  11. Nutrient Cycling and Nitrogen Cycle
  12. Soil Depth
  13. Conditions in all Ecosystems
  14. Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditions
  15. Practical Examples of Different Kinds of Systems
  16. Biology Working in Real-world Situations
  17. More Real-life Examples of Practical Applications
  18. How Much Organic Matter is too Much Organic Matter?

Elaine Ingham. 2014. Life in the Soil Presentation.

This 312 slide presentation seems to be the master presentation pack, and a super-set of, e.g., the Compost Presentation.

Molly Haviland and Bill Dyer. 2015. An Introduction to Thermal Compost Extract and Compost Tea. Video. Retrieved from, there entitled, 'Elaine Ingham Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea'.

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Elaine Ingham. 2015. The Roots of Your Profits. Video. In 'Oxford Real Farming Conference (6 – 7 January 2015)'. Retrieved from

In this ca. 90 minute keynote presentation aimed at the farming community, soil microbiologist and founder of 'Soil Food Web Inc.', Elaine Ingham, gives an overview of the different members of the soil microbiome, and their roles and importance to healthy and robust plant growth. This, and the ways in which the microbiome interacts with their plant neighbours to tailor nutrient uptake are described. The slides also provide examples and (quantitative) characterisations of the different successional environments, together with the results of field trials and photographs showing the effect of compost teas and inoculants upon root growth, nutrient uptake and watering needs (within a ridiculously short period of time).

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Elaine Ingham and the Soil Learning Center. 2016. Microscope Intensive Course.

This eight lesson, approx. 6.5 hour course provides a thorough overview of the role and use of microscopes in the soil biological context, and is a part of the Soil Food Web's Foundation Course. In addition to a general introduction to microscope use, this course covers: the preparation of soil samples; the morphology of the common microorganisms and other materials found in the soil; the quantitative counting of organisms; and the data that can be obtained from counting fields.

The lesson titles are:

  1. Introduction to the Microscope
  2. Sample Preparation
  3. Morphology of Bacteria
  4. Morphology of Fungi
  5. Morphology of Algae, Pollen, Protozoa and Nematodes
  6. Morphology of Other Materials in the Soil
  7. Quantification Counting Organisms
  8. Data From Counting Fields

Meredith Leigh and Living Web Farms (2018). Assessing Soil Health Using a Microscope with Meredith Leigh. Video series. Retrieved from (Parts 1–4) and (Part 5).

From description of the first video in this approx. 3 hour workshop: “The most essential question for farmers and gardeners to ask about their soil is, “Is it alive?” We will explore the diverse microorganism communities present in soil and why it is so important to keep them thriving and in balance. Meredith Leigh will explain the importance of a dynamic soil food web. View multiple different local participant samples and apply that information on your own farm or garden to build your own soil enriching strategies.”

(More slides and photos in the Highlights section)

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Elaine Ingham, Neal Spackman, Matt Powers. 2019. Elaine Ingham, Part 2: From Barren Ground to Fertile Soil. Video. Sustainable Design Masterclass. Retrieved from

From the video's description, “Learn from the world's foremost soil biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham, as she shows us how we can transform degraded, barren ground to fertile soil by repairing Soil Biology”. Ca. 3:20 in duration.

Elaine Ingham. 2019. Elaine Ingham: Restoring Soil Biology, Increasing Yields and Reducing Costs. Video. Sustainable Design Masterclass. Retrieved from

From the video's description, “Join the world's foremost Soil Biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham as she shows us how we can restore Soil Biology, and in the process Increase Yields and Reduce Costs.” Ca. 90 minutes long.

Elaine Ingham. 2019. The Profits In Your Soil: Reaching New Levels of Fertility on Farms, Pastures, and Special Crops. Video. Sustainable Design Masterclass. Retrieved from

From the video's description, “In this hour webinar, Elaine Ingham shows why soil biology can increase fertility, boost succession, and allow you to grow more of ANY plant species while drastically cutting inputs”. Ca. 3 hours, 10 minutes long.

  • Last modified: 2022-03-08 21:59
  • by Peter