US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Sharon Parker, Ph.D.

Sharon Parker, , Ph.D.

Program Manager, Science Synthesis
U.S. Forest Service
201 14th Street SW, 2Cen
District of Columbia
United States

Phone: 703-605-5257
Contact Sharon Parker, , Ph.D.

Research Interests

Soil microbiology, microbial ecology

Past Research

My research area of expertise is soil microbiology. In this capacity, I designed and carried out experiments that elucidated the microbial ecology of wood decay in living trees and forest litter. I also identified key ecological relationships that exist among bacteria and fungi in wood undergoing the decay process. Results of this study were published in the European Journal of Forest Pathology.

As the Research Work Unit's first and only microbiologist to date, I utilized traditional cultural methods that led to the successful isolation and identification of Gram-positive bacteria that colonized healthy and different stages of disease development of red maple. Results of this study were published in the European Journal of Forest Pathology.

Why This Research is Important

Living organisms constitute an important component of soil. Although they form only a fraction of the total soil mass, they play important role in supporting plant communities on the earth surface. When studying the scope and importance of soil microbiology, soil-plant-animal ecosystem must be taken into account. The scope and importance of soil microbiology can be understood by studying aspects such as soil as a living system, soil microbes and plant growth, soil microorganisms and soil structure, rganic matter decomposition, biogeochemical cycling of elements, biological N2 fixation and degradation of pesticides in soil.


  • Cornell University, Ph.D. Soil Science/Soil Microbiology 1998
  • Howard University, M.S. Microbiology 1989
  • Tennessee State University, B.S. Biology 1983

Awards & Recognition

  • USDA Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Service Award, 2016
    For serving the community through directorship of the Shiloh Debutante Rites of Passage Program -- and enrichment program for teen girls wishing to prepare to make their formal entrance into contemporary society.


Citations of non US Forest Service Publications

  • Parker, S., W. C. Shortle, and K. T. Smith. 1994. Identification of gram-positive bacteria isolated from initial stages of wound-initiated discoloration of red maple. Eur. J. For. Pathol. 24:48-54.

    Shortle, W. C., K. T. Smith, K. R. Dudzik, and S. Parker. 1994. Response of maple sapwood to injury and infection. Eur. J. For. Pathol. 25:214-252.

    Parker, S. and W. C. Shortle. 1991. Similar genera of bacteria are isolated from wound-initiated discoloration in red maple and balsam fir trees. In Proceedings of the 91st General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. May 5-9, Dallas, TX. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC. N-76 (Abstract)

Last updated on : 09/09/2019