About the Team Aquatic Virus

The Team Aquatic Virus (also known as the Hewson Lab, Cornell) was formed in 2009 in the Department of Microbiology at Cornell. The lab’s research focus is broadly on aquatic microbiology, with several research themes:

  1. Aquatic virology: What viruses are out there, who do they infect, how persistent are they in their hosts and as free virus particles, and how does their infection influence ecosystem function?
  2. Marine diseases: What are the etiologies of new diseases? How do pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms influence disease processes in the marine environment?
  3. Microbial biogeochemistry as a driver of metazoan ecology: How do microbially-driven biogeochemical cycles influence the ecology of marine metazoa?

The lab uses a combination of field surveys, experimental manipulations, laboratory analyses, and computational approaches to achieve our research goals. We regularly deploy on field expeditions to make observations and perform in- an near-situ experiments, and back in the lab use microscopic, macroscopic, ecological, molecular biological, and computational tools to address our research questions. The team presents its work routinely at scientific conferences and publishes in peer-reviewed outlets, and welcomes the opportunity to speak to wider audiences through talks aimed at non-scientists.

Our group comprises the PI, technicians, postdocs, graduate students (engaged through Cornell’s Microbiology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Natural Resources graduate programs), undergraduate researchers, and high school students (though the New Visions BOCES program).

Our group collaborates with other researchers across diverse disciplines, both within the US and abroad. We welcome the opportunity to work with scientists with diverse perspectives and experiences, and across borders and state boundaries. We value diversity across all axes, which is reflected in the rainbow in our lab logo.