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 oceans. 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



Oct 2018


Professor Wilhelm was featured in the ELLS - IAGLR short movie on large lakes

Apr 2019


Joshua Stough's CpV paper with the Steven Short lab was featured in The Atlantic

May 2019


Lauren Krausfeldt's paper showing Microcystis can use urea as a carbon source is out in Frontiers in Microbiology

June 2019


Our collaboration with Joseph Jackson from the Tim Sparer lab is out in mBio

Aug 2019


The NSF-funded REU site wraps up with presentations Aug 1 at the Departmental of Microbiology Retreat.  Seven years and hopefully more!  Thanks to all the great undergraduates who spent the summer in Knoxville.

Aug 2019


 Professor Wilhelm has been interviewed by several sources recently on toxic cyanobacteria and how to protect your pets.   Check out the WBIR story.

Aug 2019 and ongoing


The lab is hiring two (2) postdoctoral fellows.  We will be making decisions in early September.  Interested in viruses, algae, genetics and how the world works?  Apply now.

Sept 2019


The lab is excited to be part of a new DOE-OBER funded project to look at microbes and viruses in peatlands! 


Sept 2019


Chance favours the prepared mind.    Brittany Zepernick's observations from her lab culture experiments have turned into a methods paper, now available on bioRxiv.


Oct 2019   Having just completed the first our our NSF-funded research cruises in the Sargasso Sea, the project web site is now LIVE.


Oct 2019   Our collaborations with the Bullerjahn and McKay groups and others out in Frontiers in Microbiology was featured in a NSF Press release and has been picked up by several media sources



The main home for the lab is the

Department of Microbiology


Other departments we are affiliated with:

Lab gathering to celebrate Jackson's successful PhD defense. April 2018

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

updated 10/23/2019