Microbes Matter: From Healthy Soil to Your Healthy Gut

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
February 08, 2017 Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA

David Montgomery, Ph.D., Professor of Geomorphology, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington. Anne Bikle, Biologist and consultant on environmental stewardship. Montgomery-Biklé WebsiteDig2Grow

The husband-wife authors discuss their outstanding book, The Hidden Half of Nature on how the microbial world sustains the planet and its life. They describe how a project to restore their backyard soil so they could grow a garden led to an investigation of microbes. They found that healthy soil depends on abundant microbes. The careful restoration of their soil led to a vibrant garden that became the base for an entire ecosystem: from microbes to organisms that thrived in the soil, to birds, bees and butterflies that thrived on those organisms. And that's not all! The revitalized soil produced very high quality vegetables and fruits with no artificial fertilizers. They considered then the relationship between high-quality produce and human health. Microbes in the gut extract the elements that simultaneously nourish us and strengthen the immune system. They also discuss the large scale destruction of the soil by modern agricultural practices, and how restoration of the soil can save the planet and our health.

David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé, Microbes: Our Tiny Crucial Allies, The Conversation 12/05/16

other books for the general public by David Montgomery


Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations (University of California Press, 2007, 2012)


The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood (W. W. Norton, 2012)

Montgomery's 2015 Radcliffe lecture


King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon (Westview Press, 2009)

Articles about David Montgomery