The Aquatic Microbial Ecology Research Group, Department of Microbiology, The University of Tennessee



Steven Wilhelm


Kenneth & Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology


Science & Engineering Room 637 (O); 634 (Lab)


      Office:   (865) 974-0665

             Lab:      (865) 974-0682




Professor Wilhelm's vitae




Research in the Wilhelm lab focuses on the interactions of microbial communities with the environment and in turn how the environment shapes microbial communities. Scientists at all levels work to resolve the synergies between microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in lakes and ocean systems around the globe. Lab members use biomolecular tools - DNA and RNA sequencing, metabolomics, and PCR-based quantitative analyses - to study viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria and algae. Currently the laboratory has a specific focus on virus ecology, toxic cyanobacterial blooms and the development of quantitative molecular tools for microbial ecology.


People                    Publications


Nov 2022   Kudos to Britt, David, Gwen and others for their paper on the effects of pH on diatoms and how diatoms may play "genomic roulette" to enhance their evolution
Feb 2023    Naomi, Gary, Lena and colleagues have published a paper in mSystems using combining our Fe-titration approach with transcriptomics to look at giant viruses
Mar 2023    Robbie Martin and a group of collaborators have published their work on using sulpholipids as a marker of P-nutrient history for Microcystis and freshwater cyanobacteria. Check it out in L&O.
April 2023  

Check out Brittany Zepernick's piece for FEMS to mark Earth Day

July 2023  

Professor Wilhelm has been named an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer for 2023-2025. This position creates the opportunity to speak at ASM Branch meetings throughout the US and to interact with students at each of these events





















End of Sargasso cruise in Bermuda. Team photo with collaborators from the Weitz (Ga Tech), Sullivan (The Ohio State) and Lindell (Technion) labs from October 2019.


The main home for the lab is the

Department of Microbiology


Other departments we are affiliated with:


     UTK/ORNL Genome Science & Technology

Earth & Planetary Sciences

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis


The lab is also affiliated with the

Great Lakes Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health

and the

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research


End of year solstice gathering (December 2022)

For information on strains, isolates or constructs, please contact Professor Wilhelm


updated 07/31/2023