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


Jan 2022   Professor Wilhelm is honored to be elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as part of the 2021 AAAS Fellows class.
May 2022   Recent work from the lab published in SCIENCE demonstrates the relationship between nutrients and toxic cells - a collaboration with colleagues at the Technical University of Berlin and U Michigan.
June 2022   A busy month continues with Microbiology Resource Announcements from Truchon et al. (a new genome for AaV) and Zepernick, Denison et al. (Winter metatranscriptomes for Lake Erie) as well as a fun collaboration with the Ben Twining research group.
Sept 2022   Brittany Zepernick teamed up with our colleagues at BGSU (George Bullerjahn) and UNC (Hans Paerl) to put out a minireview on cyanobacteria, climate and the freshwater continuum 
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


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 01/11/2023