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KNOXVILLE—Terry Hazen, an environmental biologist and authority on bioremediation and bioenergy with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been named the tenth University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair.

Terry HazenHazen will serve as the Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology. He begins on December 1.

Hazen will become a faculty member in the College of Engineering’s civil and environmental engineering department and work closely with UT’s Joint Institute for Biological Sciences and the Center for Environmental Biotechnology.

Hazen recently led groundbreaking research about how the giant clouds of oil from the Deepwater Gulf spill seemed to disappear. His team identified oil-eating bacteria that proliferated below the ocean surface helping to break down and clean up the oil plume.

“Dr. Hazen’s research has a significant impact on our health and natural resources and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the environmental fields,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “His world-class research program will help us build upon our emerging energy and environmental sciences specialty.”

Hazen will also hold a joint appointment with the microbiology and earth and planetary sciences departments of UT’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Hazen is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and holds patents on five bioremediation processes that are being used in thirty five states and several countries in Europe and Asia.

Hazen currently serves as department head of the Ecology Department, the Center for Environmental Biotechnology, and Microbial Communities of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He is also co-director of the Virtual Institute for Microbial Stress and Survival and the Microbial Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery Program of the Energy Biosciences Institute at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California.

Hazen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in interdepartmental biology from Michigan State University. He received his doctorate in microbial ecology from Wake Forest University.

In 2005, he received the Distinguished Scientist Fellowship award sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research. It was one of only four ever given.

The Governor’s Chair program, funded by the state of Tennessee and ORNL, attracts top scientists to enhance the unique research partnership that exists between the state’s flagship university and the nation’s largest multi-program laboratory. Nine of the ten Governor’s Chairs hold joint appointments with UT Knoxville and ORNL. For more information on the Governor’s Chair program, visit


Kim Cowart (865-974-0686,