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Dr. Lisa Waidner


Dr. Lisa Waidner, an Assistant Professor, has a Ph.D. from the College of Marine Science at the University of Delaware. Before she joined UWF in 2016, Waidner had the unique opportunity to work in several small biotechnology companies in the capacity of genetic engineering, phylogenetics, and directed evolution to improve biofuel and bioenergy-producing microorganisms.  Her academic mentors were Richard Karpel (UMBC, M.S. program), David Kirchman (Delaware, Ph.D. program), Thomas Hanson (Delaware, post-doctoral position), and co-mentors Robin Morgan and Joan Burnside (Delaware, post-doctoral fellowship). 

Her findings have been published in the Journal of Shellfish Research, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Virology, and Environmental Virology. Topics have included aspects of Marek’s disease, virioplankton populations, and crab populations near the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Waidner’s current research interests are in environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, and bioremediation in oceans, coastal waters, inland bays, and rivers. 

These studies include developing a better understanding of global elemental cycles, as well as ‘applied’ bioremediation research.  Her work uses model bacteria called the aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (AAP), which are a diverse group of proteobacteria that may be involved in light-stimulated uptake of dissolved organic matter and of point-source pollution and legacy contaminants.  Cultured and uncultured AAP are used in molecular biological, microbiological, and ecological studies on this diverse group of freshwater, estuarine, and marine bacteria. Dr. Waidner has taught classes in Introduction to Bioinformatics and Environmental Genomics and is currently a UWF instructor for Genetics Lab.  She is now working with undergraduate students to characterize unique AAP bacteria from coastal and inland waters in and around the Pensacola Bay system.

Degrees & Institutions

  • Ph.D. Marine Studies,  University of Delaware
  • M.S. Applied Molecular Biology, University of Maryland
  • B.S. Biological Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Current Courses

  • Bioinformatics for Biologists
  • General Microbiology
  • Molecular Aquatic Microbial Ecology (MAME)


(*, UWF graduate student; **, UWF undergraduate student)

Headrick*, E.L., Nigro, L.M. Waidner, L.A., Ederington-Hagy, M., Simmering*, A. Richard A. Snyder, R.A. and W.H. Jeffrey (2023) Acute inhibition of bacterial growth in coastal seawater amended with crude oils with varied photoreactivities. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol.11;2023/01/04. DOI:

Potdukhe*, T.V., Caffrey, J.M. Rothfus*, M.J., Daniel*, C.E., Swords**, M.E., III, Albrecht, B.B., Jeffrey, W.H., and Waidner, L.A. (in press) Viable Putative Vibrio vulnificus and parahaemolyticus in the Pensacola and Perdido Bays: Water Column, Sediments, and Invertebrate Biofilms. Front. Mar. Sci., doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.645755.

Gao, Y.-Z., Palatucci*, M.L., Waidner, L.A., Li, T., Guo, Y., Spain, J.C., and Zhou, N.-Y. (2020) A Nag-like dioxygenase initiates 3,4-dichloronitrobenzene degradation via 4,5-dichlorocatechol in Diaphorobacter sp. strain JS3050. Environ. Microbiol.

Babcock*, K.K., Cesbron, F., Patterson, W.F., Garner, S.B., Waidner, L.A., and Caffrey, J.M. (2020). Changing Biogeochemistry and Invertebrate Community Composition at Newly Deployed Artificial Reefs in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries Coasts 43, 680–692.

Madeira, C.L., K.V. Jog, E.T. Vanover, M.D. Brooks, D.K. Taylor, R. Sierra-Alvarez, L.A. Waidner, J.C. Spain. 2019. Microbial enrichment Culture Responsible for the Complete Oxidative Biodegradation of 3-Amino-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (ATO), the Reduced Daughter Product of the Insensitive Munitions Compound 3-Nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO). Environ. Sci. Technol. 09.25.2019.

Palatucci, M.L., L.A. Waidner, E.E. Mack, J.C.Spain. 2019. Aerobic biodegradation of 2,3- and 3,4-dinitrochlorobenzene. J.Hazardous Materials. 05.31.2019.

Plummer, M., Plummer, S.M., Merkel, P.A., Hagen, M., Biddle, J.F., and L.A. Waidner. 2016. Using directed evolution to improve hydrogen production in chimeric hydrogenases from Clostridia species. Enzyme and Microbial Technology 93 (2016) 132–141. Relevance:  Examination of hydrogenase sequence variations with respect to function.

Schab, C.M., Park, S., Waidner, L.A., and Epifanio, C.E. 2013. Return of the Native:  Historical Comparison of Invasive and Indigenous Crab Populations near the Mouth of Delaware Bay J. Shellfish Research.  32(3):751-758.  Relevance:  In-depth statistical analysis of multiple crab species in an entire season of sampling, use of multiple statistical packages.

Jamindar, S., Polson, S.W., Srinivasiah, S.,  Waidner, L.A., and Wommack, K.E. 2012.  Evaluation of two approaches for assessing the genetic similarity of virioplankton populations as defined by genome size.  Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78:8773-8783. Relevance:  Examination of complex genomic variation via genetic manipulation and phylogenomics.

Waidner, L.A., Burnside, J., Anderson, A.S., Bernberg, E.L., German, M.A., Meyers, B.C., Green, P.J., and Morgan, R.W. 2011.  A microRNA of infectious laryngotracheitis virus can downregulate and direct cleavage of ICP4 mRNA. Virology.  411:25-31. Relevance:  Expression manipulation via artificial and viral microRNA introduction into whole-cell systems.


Please visit Publications to see more of L.A. Waidner's research articles.

Keywords: Technical writing, scientific publication, academic and SBIR grant proposal writing, data analysis, statistics, PCR, qPCR, qRT-PCR, standard microbiology and virology culturing processes, anaerobic bacteria (culturing, manipulation and transformation), epifluorescence microscopy, infrared microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence in situ hybridization, flow cytometry, bacterial production (3H-leucine), library construction (plasmid, phage, fosmid, BAC), PFGE, microRNA analyses (small RNA 32P Northern blots, miRNA qRT-PCR, nextgen sequencing of small RNA’s), eukaryotic (mammalian, avian, and microalgal) cell culture, Western blotting, conventional and tagged protein chromatography, DGGE population diversity analyses, Chlorobium, Chlorobaculum, Clostridia, Chlamydomonas, Erythrobacter, Roseobacter. Delaware River and estuary system, Chesapeake Bay, Pensacola Bay system