Professional summary

Research Interests

Mark's research focus has been the development and application of molecular genetics and metagenomics to study the underlying principles of microbial ecology, microbial community dynamics, ecosystem function, habitat-regulated gene expression, the the functional activity of communities and the evolutionary relevance of the horizontal gene pool.

Key research interests include biogeochemical cycling, functional diversity and microbial metagenomics in the study of soil-plant-microbe interactions, and the wider application of molecular ecology in the environmental sciences.

Broader interests include the general ecology of systems and multi-scale trophic interactions, and the role and relevance of biodiversity in sustaining our planet.

Brief CV

Professor Mark J Bailey OBE retired as Executive Director of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) in June 2023.

After graduating with a degree in microbiology and a PhD in insect virology, Mark spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow studying bacterial pathogenicity before moving to the NERC Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology, later CEH's Oxford site. Mark became the Oxford site's director in 2002 and Science Director of CEH's Biodiversity Programme from 2003 to 2012, when he was appointed Director of CEH.


PhD Environmental Microbiology, Reading
MSc Virology, Reading
BSc Microbiology & Biochemistry, Manchester

Panels, committees and memberships

Honorary Research Fellow, The Natural History Museum (2013-16)
Secretary/Treasurer International Society Microbial Ecology (2013-)
Inaugural Fellow Society of Biology (2009-)
Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2002-)
Society of General Microbiology

Board of Director-Trustees, Rothamsted Research UK (2007-2015)
Visiting Professor, School of Plant and Animal Sciences, Sheffield (2005-)
Honorary Professor, School of Biosciences, Cardiff (2001-)
Visiting Professor, Department of Agricultural and Engineering Sciences, Newcastle (2000-)

Int. Soc. Microbial Ecol. J. (Nature) (Editor in Chief 2008-)[IF 9.7]
J Microbiol. Methods (Editor 2000-)
FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. (Editorial Board 1995-)
Res Microbiol. (Editorial Board 2003-)
Env. Microbiol. (Editorial Board 2005-)
mBio (Editorial Board 2013-)