Cyanobacteria Testing Pond - Auburn Alabama

Studying ecological factors influencing cyanobacterial bloom formation in recreational reservoirs, aquaculture ponds, and other systems along with studying factors leading to taste, odor, and toxicity issues in drinking water reservoirs.


Current PhD & MS Students


Past PhD & MS Students


Current Undergrad Researchers


Past Undergrad Researchers


Lab Publications


Historic Grant Funding (Millions)

Latest News

March 21, 2024

Qichen’s class project has been published!! Nice job, Qichen. This is the 60th paper from my Meta-analysis class.

Wang, Q., B. Higgins, A. Fallahi, and A. E. Wilson. 2024. Engineered algal systems for the treatment of anaerobic digestate: a meta-analysis. Journal of Environmental Management 356:120669.

January 5, 2024

The WilsonLab is growing again. Welcome to the lab our new PhD student, Gabriela Ágreda López.

January 3, 2024

2024 is already starting off well. Emily’s meta-analysis project was just published in BioScience. This was only due to Emily’s persistence and hard work. The first set of reviews required another literature search that highlighted hundreds of studies to consider for this study. Great job, Emily.

Driessen, E. P., A. E. Wilson, S. Odom, I. Hall, P. Brewer, S. B. Ramsay, S. Wood, and C. J. Ballen. In press. Group work and student performance in biology: A meta-analysis. BioScience.

December 19, 2023

Congratulations to our super star high school student, Saranya Anantapantula, for getting accepted into the University of Pennsylvania’s Management and Technology program. Impressive!

December 15, 2023

Another productive year done for the WilsonLab! Excited to see what 2024 has in store for us.

December 13, 2023

The lab organized another successful holiday cookie swap that included several labs. I was out sampling green ponds but saw a bald eagle relaxing in a tree (sorry the resolution isn’t great…). Fortunately, the students saved me some sweets when I got back to the lab.

We are looking for new Ph.D. or M.S. students to join us in 2024!

Interested prospective students are encouraged to contact Alan at Learn more about these openings here!

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About the Lab

Our approach to research is multidimensional. First, we use large-scale observational studies and meta-analysis of existing data from the literature to discover patterns in nature. Then, we identify mechanisms mediating these patterns through laboratory and field-based experimentation.

As a community ecologist, I am generally interested in consumer-prey interactions and identifying the ecological and evolutionary consequences of intraspecific genetic and phenotypic variation on aquatic communities and ecosystems. My current research focuses on the ecology of cyanobacterial blooms with an emphasis on understanding how biotic and abiotic factors influence cyanobacterial bloom formation in a variety of systems including recreational reservoirs and aquaculture ponds. In tandem with our harmful algal bloom research, the lab is also studying the factors leading to taste, odor, and toxicity issues in drinking water reservoirs.

Want to Join the Lab?

Wilson Lab students set up experiment

I am always looking for hard-working, honest, and self-motivated graduate and undergraduate students to join our group. I encourage individual thinking, so it is not critical that we share identical research interests. But, it is important that you are fascinated by science and want to explore how the natural world works. Please email me your resume, transcripts, GRE scores (if applicable), research interests, and contact information for three references and we will try to find a spot for you in the lab.