Dr. Laura Williams


I am a microbiologist who uses genomics to study the evolution and ecology of bacteria. I’m particularly interested in bacteria involved in symbiotic associations. I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2001. I then spent a year and a half at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, as an Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Training Fellow. In 2003, I started graduate school at the University of Georgia with Dr. Anne Summers, where I studied plasmids in Salmonella and E. coli. I earned my Ph.D. in microbiology in 2009 and then moved to a postdoctoral position with Dr. Jennifer Wernegreen (first at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and then at Duke University in Durham, NC). There I studied genome evolution in Blochmannia, an intracellular symbiont of ants. In 2013, I joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Athens, GA, to investigate antibiotic resistance using a large Salmonella genomics dataset. I joined the Department of Biology at Providence College in spring 2015.

Degrees in science offer many possible career paths, and I’m happy to talk to students about my experiences. I am the Graduate School advisor for the Department of Biology here at Providence College.

Undergraduate Student Researchers
Fall 2020
Predatory bacteria crew:
Sidney Davis ’22
Xadia Goncalves ’22
Izzy Grillo ’21
Brianna Harper ’22
Jiana Ingrassia ’22
Katie Mulvey ’23
Emma Peterson ’23
Kate Stevenson ’23

Lab alumni
Class of 2020
Katie Brosnan
Sydney Mohr

Class of 2019
Angeline Casale
Joey Cerra
Hailey Donohue
Joe Mangiamele
Karla Martinez
Molly Oser

Class of 2018
Molly Anthony
Mel Grasso
Luke Zappia

Class of 2017
Nicole Cullen
Kyle Edmonds
Claire Kleinschmidt
Justina Mellone
Lauren Precopio

Class of 2017 lab alumni
Class of 2017 lab alumni

Class of 2016
Nadiva Brown
Brett Enos
Sean O’Donnell
Fabiola Privat

Class of 2016 lab alumni