Dr. Elaine R Ingham

Dr. Elaine Ingham brews a tea not meant to be soothing to the human palate but rather nourishing to the soil and backed by years of academic research.

Known the world over as an expert speaker on the benefits of sustainable soil science, Dr. Ingham's recipe for compost tea offers everyone from commercial farmers and serious growers to backyard garden or lawn greenthumbs a chemical-free way to improve soils and plant growth. Her work in the area of soil tests has advanced knowledge of the nutrient cycle and its impact on organic vegetable gardening.

The internationally respected soil microbiologist started her academic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, graduating with a double major in biology and chemistry in 1974. She then received her Master of Science in Microbiology from Texas A&M in 1977 and her doctoral degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University in 1981. Dr. Ingham then took a post-doctoral fellowship at Colorado State University's Natural Resource Ecology Lab.

After a Research Associate Fellowship at the University of Georgia, Dr. Ingham joined Oregon State University faculty in the departments of Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology. She now divides her time between Oregon and Australia, working as an Assistant-Associate Professor at Oregon State and a Professor at Southern Cross University in Australia. The focus of her academic work continues to be which beneficial and harmful organisms are present in plants and soil and how to manage these organisms - the beneficial bacteria, protozoa,fungi and Nematodes - to grow plants and maintain soil fertility without using inorganic chemicals.

Currently, in addition to lecturing at symposia around the world, Dr. Ingham is President and Director of Research for Soil Foodweb, Inc. This commercial enterprise, with five labs around the globe including locations in the USA and Australia, developed out of her very successful soil sample analysis service offered at Oregon State University. She also sits on several boards and scientific organizations, publishes scientific papers, and contributes to magazines and other periodicals.

Dr. Ingham has authored several books, including The Field Guide for Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT), Compost Tea Quality: Light Microscope Methods, and The Compost Tea Brewing Manual, now available in its 5th edition and considered to be the authoritative manual on making, applying, and assessing compost tea. She also co-authored Soil Biology Primer with Andrew R. Moldenke and Clive A. Edwards.