Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Maryland at Baltimore 1974 - 1979
M.S., Microbiology, University of Maryland at Baltimore 1969 - 1972
B.S., Biology, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University 1960 - 1964
Dr. Williams is a Professor with the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of the Environment. He has been an active member in the ASM for over 40 years and has been nationally recognized through several organizational awards and appointments. He was selected in 1980 as the ASM Congressional Science Fellow and served the year in the office of United States Senator, Charles McC. Mathias. For his work mentoring and training students and young university faculty, including members traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, Williams was the selected recipient of the 2003 William A. Hinton Award. Also in 2003, he was elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group that recognizes excellence, originality and creativity in the microbiological sciences.
On several occasions, Williams has organized and convened scientific sessions at the ASM’s annual General Meeting including the 2016 meeting in New Orleans where he chaired a session entitled “Microbes in Microbes (Russian Dolls)” with his former graduate student, Dr. Huan Chen. Dr. Williams has also organized, convened and presented at scientific sessions at other science meetings including the International Symposium of Microbial Ecology, the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography, the Joint Meeting of the New Zealand and Australian Microbiology Societies, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students and others.
Williams’ research teams has published over 150 scientific papers and abstracts, collectively, some of which have been cited as landmark contributions to the field. His papers have garnered nearly 1000 citations in the scientific literature. By invitation, he has authored several book chapters including three chapters in the second edition of Bergey’s Manuel of Systematic Bacteriology, a leading authority on bacterial systematics published in 2005. He has been invited on numerous occasions to serve as a reviewer for scientific journals including the journal Nature, one of the highest ranked journals in the world. He has also served as a reviewer of grant applications for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies and private organizations.
In recent years he has served on Advisory Boards of the NSF Science and Technology Center – The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations at the University of Southern California; the Florida Center of Ocean Sciences Education Excellence and the NSF Division of Graduate Education Committee of Visitors IGERT/GK12. Williams has served as a consultant for private companies as well. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Morgan State University. Williams’ appointment makes FAMU the first HBCU to have a regular full time faculty to be selected as an ASM Distinguished Lecturer.