Dr. ir. Jo Philips

Telephone number: 
+32 9/264 59 76
Postdoctoral staff


2007:  Master in Engineering in Environmental Technology; University of Leuven, Belgium

2012:  PhD in Bioscience Engineering: Bioremediation of groundwater contaminated  with trichloroethene: Assessment of the biological and chemical factors affecting  bio-enhanced free phase dissolution. University of Leuven, Belgium

Previous positions

2007 - 2012: PhD researcher, supervisors: prof. Erik Smolders & prof. Dirk Springael, Division of Soil and Water Management, University of Leuven, Belgium                           

2012 - 2014: Postdoctoral researcher, supervisor: prof. Derek R. Lovley, Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA


2007 - 2011: PhD fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)

2012 - 2013: Postdoctoral fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF)

2013 – 2017: Postdoctoral fellow of the Special Research Fund (BOF) of Ghent University

Research interests

Biotechnology, electromicrobiology, microbial influenced corrosion, extracellular electron transfer mechanisms, microbial electrosynthesis, biofilm formation, confocal microscopy

Selected key publications: 
Philips, J., Rabaey, R., Lovley, D.R., Vargas M. (2017). Biofilm formation by Clostridium ljungdahlii is induced by sodium chloride stress: Experimental evaluation and transcriptome analysis. PlosOne 12(1): e0170406. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0170406.
Philips, J., Verbeeck, K., Rabaey, R., Arends, J.B.A. (2015). Electron transfer mechanisms in biofilms. In: Scott, K., Yu, E.H. (Eds.), Microbial electrochemical and fuel cells: Fundamentals and Applications, Elsevier.
Zhang, X., Philips, J., Roume, H., Guo, K., Rabaey, K., Prévoteau A. (2017). Rapid and quantitative assessment of redox conduction across electroactive biofilms via double potential step chronoamperometry. ChemElectroChem DOI: 10.1002/celc.201600853.
Chen, S., Rotaru, A-E., Liu, F., Philips, J., Woodard, T.L., Nevin, K.P., Lovley, D.R. (2014). Carbon cloth stimulates direct interspecies electron transfer in syntrophic co-cultures. Bioresource Technology 173: 82-86.
Philips, J., Miroshnikov, A., Haest, P.J., Springael, D., Smolders, E. (2014). Motile Geobacter dechlorinators migrate into a model source zone of trichloroethene dense non-aqueous phase liquid: Experimental evaluation and modeling. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 170, 28-38.
Philips, J., Maes, N., Springael, D. and Smolders, E. (2013). Acidification due to microbial dechlorination near a TCE DNAPL is overcome with pH buffer or formate as electron donor: experimental demonstration in diffusion-cells. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 147, 25-33.
Philips, J., Springael, D. and Smolders, E. (2011). A three-layer diffusion-cell to examine bio-enhanced dissolution of chloroethene dense non-aqueous phase liquid. Chemosphere 83, 991-996.
Philips, J., Haest, P.J., Springael, D. and Smolders, E. (2013). The inhibition of Geobacter dechlorinators at elevated trichloroethene concentrations is explained by a reduced dechlorination rate rather than by an enhanced cell decay. Environmental Science & Technology 47, 1510-1517.
Philips, J., Van Muylder, R., Springael, D. and Smolders, E. (2013). Electron donor limitations reduce microbial enhanced trichloroethene DNAPL dissolution: a flux-based analysis using three-layer diffusion-cells. Chemosphere 91, 7-13.
Philips, J., Hamels, F., Smolders, E. and Springael, D. (2012). Distribution of a dechlorinating community in relation to the distance from a trichloroethene dense non-aqueous phase liquid in a model aquifer. FEMS Microbiology & Ecology 81, 636-647.