Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering,
Associate Faculty of Microbiology,
and Training Faculty of Biotechnology

PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Contact Info
Office: 309 Mann Hall
Phone: 919-515-7416
Email: Francis_de_los_Reyes

Website: Visit our Lab Home Page
Research Areas: Environmental biotechnology, Sanitation solutions, Microbial ecology


My group believes in generating new knowledge through research and practice to address some of the most pressing and challenging environmental problems. We have three areas of focus:
(1) Combining biological process engineering with micro/biotechnological tools to improve analysis, design, and operation of natural and engineered waste treatment and waste-to-energy systems. To accomplish this, we use molecular techniques, mathematical modeling, and lab- and field-scale experimental approaches.
(2) Addressing sanitation issues in resource-poor countries. We employ our engineering and science skills, as well as our experience in several countries to attempt to increase access to adequate sanitation and protect public health.
(3) Integrating results from experiments with microbial ecological theory and mathematical modeling. We believe that fundamentally understanding microbial community structure and function and linking this knowledge to engineering solutions should be the focus of bioenvironmental engineering.

Selected Publications:

Shifts in microbial communities in bioaugmented grease interceptors removing fat, oil, and grease (FOG)
He, X., So, M. J., & de los Reyes, F. L. (2016), Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100(16), 7025-7035.

Modified auger for pit latrine desludging in developing countries
Sisco, T., Rogers, T., & de los Reyes, F. (2015), In Humanitarian technology: science, systems and global impact 2015, humtech2015. (Procedia Engineering, 107) (pp. 427-429).

Aerosolization of a human norovirus surrogate, bacteriophage MS2, during simulated vomiting
Tung-Thompson, G., Libera, D. A., Koch, K. L., de los Reyes, F. L., & Jaykus, L. A. (2015), PLoS One, 10(8).

A methodological framework for linking bioreactor function to microbial communities and environmental conditions
de los Reyes, F. L., Weaver, J. E., & Wang, L. (2015), Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 33, 112-118.

Structural integrity affects nitrogen removal activity of granules in semi-continuous reactors
Mota, C. R., Head, M. A., Williams, J. C., Eland, L., Cheng, J. J., & de los Reyes, F. L. (2014), Biodegradation (Dordrecht), 25(6), 923-934.

Power earth auger modification for waste extraction from pit latrines
Rogers, T. W., de los Reyes, F. L., Beckwith, W. J., & Borden, R. C. (2014), Journal of water sanitation and hygiene for development, 4(1), 72-80.

Mechanisms of fat, oil and grease (FOG) deposit formation in sewer lines
He, X., De los Reyes, F. L., Leming, M. L., Dean, L. O., Lappi, S. E., & Ducoste, J. J. (2013), Water Research, 47(13), 4451-4459.

Determining the limits of anaerobic co-digestion of thickened waste activated sludge with grease interceptor waste
Wang, L., Aziz, T. N., & de los Reyes, F. L. (2013), Water Research, 47(11), 3835-3844.

Physico-chemical characterization of grease interceptors with and without biological product addition
He, X., Osborne, J., & de los Reyes, F. L. (2012), Water Environment Research, 84(3), 195-201.

Identification of nitrite-reducing bacteria using sequential mRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting
Mota, C. R., So, M. J., & de los Reyes, F. L. (2012), Microbial Ecology, 64(1), 256-267.