Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE – Steven Wilhelm, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will discuss how climate change could impact fresh water resources in North America at this week’s UT Science Forum.

Wilhelm will discuss his research in a presentation entitled “Climate Change and Fresh Water, Our Most Valuable Resource” at the UT Science Forum. The presentation will be from 12 to 1 p.m. Nov. 7 in Dining Room C-D of the Thompson-Boling Arena on the UT Knoxville campus.

Wilhelm plans to emphasis the importance of fresh water to society, not only for survival, but also for industry and recreation. He will discuss Tennessee’s water resources and the Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world’s drinking water, and discuss how those resources will be affected if climate change continues.

“Knoxville is blessed with some incredible fresh water resources. If that were to be altered, our quality of life would be altered in this region,” Wilhelm said.

Wilhelm returned in October from a research expedition in the Pacific Ocean, where he looked at the role bacteria and algae play in the carbon cycle. He is part of a research team that has worked in the Great Lakes and marine system around the world, and he is involved in a project in China that looks at harmful algae blooms in water supplies.

Wilhelm has taught at UT Knoxville for 10 years. He is the associate editor of “Limnology and Oceanography: Methods,” and he has been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals. Wilhelm also serves as the co-chair of an international panel, the Scientific Committee on Oceanographic Research, which studies marine viruses.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly discussion that is free and open to the public. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation. Guests are welcome to bring or purchase a lunch and eat during the talk. For more information, contact Mark Littmann, forum organizer, at or 974-8156.

Upcoming Science Forum topics include the following:

– “Influenza – Current Concerns and Scientific Challenges,” Friday, Nov. 14, Mark Sangster, assistant professor of microbiology
– “Bombarding Novel New Materials with Neutrons and X-Rays,” Friday, Nov. 21, Claudia J. Rawn, UT-ORNL joint senior research faculty


Jay Mayfield, UT media relations, (865)974-9409,

Mark Littmann, forum organizer, (865)-974-8156,