George P. Philippidis

Associate Professor

George Philippidis

Tampa campus
Office: CGS 243
Lab: BSF 242/244
Phone: (813) 974-9333

Email: gphilippidis@usf.edu


Specialty Area Recent Publications

Biotechnology, Industrial Microbiology, Biochemical Engineering

Research Key Words:

Renewable products and fuels from algae, biomass, and oilseed crops, harmful algae, green chemistry, bioprocesses
George Philippidis

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1989
M.B.A., University of Denver, 1995
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1984


  • Sustainability of Natural Resources” at the Department of Integrative Biology (BSC 4933), where we explore the wide range of renewable natural resources on earth as the cornerstone for supporting a sustainable future. We study the sustainable development and use of water, crops, forestry, and oceans, along with novel uses of plant biomass and algae as renewable raw materials with the help of biotechnology. Efficient and sustainable methods for producing food, fiber, bio-based products, and renewable energy are presented and their environmental, social, and economic impacts are analyzed.
  • Renewable Transportation Fuels” at the Patel College of Global Sustainability (IDS 6207), where we study the technologies, socio-economic dimensions, and business aspects of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel, for land, air, and marine transportation, as the economy shifts towards a greener basis to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. We analyze the production, economics and finance, environmental, social, and sustainability impacts of biofuels with a focus on fuels derived from terrestrial biomass, aquatic biomass (algae), and oil-seed crops.
  • Renewable Power Portfolio” at the Patel College of Global Sustainability (IDS 6208), where we study leading and evolving technologies for renewable energy generation and storage from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and ocean resources. We analyze their technical challenges, market status, growth potential, economics, policy, and sustainability aspects given the importance of renewable energy for reducing carbon emissions and ameliorating climate change.

The Philippidis Lab is conducting applied research in the following areas with applications in the biotechnology, energy, and environmental sectors.

Algae TechnologyAlgae Technology

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Harmful Algal Blooms

  • Algae Technology: Through biochemistry, biology, and biochemical engineering, we develop and cultivate improved algae strains for synthesis of lipids, pigments, and proteins, which are used in the production of biofuels, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and animal feed. We study the physiology and metabolic potential of marine and freshwater algae both indoors (photobioreactors) and outdoors (raceways). We employ mutagenesis and adaptive evolution to enhance their industrial traits, while using metabolomics and bioinformatics to generate and analyze genetic and metabolic data that help us devise strategies to boost cell productivity.
  • Bioproducts from Biomass: Using cellulosic biomass from carinata, sweet sorghum, and sugarcane, we develop green processes for conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose to glucose and xylose. We then ferment these simple sugars with the use of various bacteria and yeasts to synthesize platform molecules, like succinic and propionic acid, for the manufacture of bioproducts with applications in the chemical, plastics, and food industries.
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel: To enhance the economics of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and green diesel from the inedible oilseed crop Brassica carinata, we investigate the conversion of its fiber constituents to value-added organic acids and other chemicals, while preserving the protein content for use as animal feed. Moreover, in collaboration with other research groups, we conduct technoeconomic analysis and logistics optimization for SAF.
  • Harmful Algal Blooms: In an effort to combat the occurrence of red tide, which creates severe environmental pollution in coastal areas, we study the ocean microbiome to understand the metabolic interactions between algicidal bacteria and the harmful marine alga Karenia brevis. Using metabolomics, we investigate the impact of such bacteria on algae proliferation and try to identify conditions that promote algicidal action in order to develop a biological strategy against red tide.