Francis de los Reyes

Environmental engineer, sanitation activist
Francis de los Reyes works with cutting-edge microbiological techniques in environmental biotech. But his passion, both professionally and personally, is helping to improve the plight of the world’s 2.5 billion people living without adequate sanitation. Reyes is a TED Fellow.

Why you should listen

Dr. Francis L. de los Reyes III is a Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, Associate Faculty of Microbiology, and Training Faculty of Biotechnology at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on biological processes and combines modeling, bioreactor experiments, and molecular microbial ecology tools in addressing fundamental and practical issues in environmental biotechnology and environmental engineering. An important area of his research and teaching is water and sanitation in developing countries.

Current and past research projects (funding of ~ $4.5 M in last 10 years) include: quantitative microbial risk assessment of graywater reuse (WRRI), molecular analysis and modeling of the competition between filaments and floc-formers in activated sludge (NSF), analysis of the ecophysiology of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in microbial floc (NSF), optimization of a swine waste treatment system for nitrogen removal (US Department of Agriculture), analysis of the fate of bioagents in landfills (EPA), microbial characterization of landfills (Waste Management, Inc.), molecular techniques for groundwater remedation sites (US DOE/DOD), investigation of foam control methods (Hazen and Sawyer), development of probes for environmentally versatile Bacillus strains (Novozymes Biochemicals, Inc.), improvement of sludge dewatering (NC WRRI), microbial ecology of grease interceptors (CSPA) and the system-wide optimization of wastewater treatment plants using genetic algorithms. 

Francis de los Reyes’ TED talk

More news and ideas from Francis de los Reyes

In Brief

A “living fossil” spotted in the South Pacific, a machine that vomits + poetry that rethinks assumptions about inmates

September 3, 2015

The TED community has news to share. Read on for highlights. The rarest animal on Earth, spotted once again. Peter Ward hadn’t seen his “old friend,” the Allonautilus scrobiculatus, since 1984. But he recognized its hairy, slimy, golden shell instantly. Ward wrote about his rediscovery of this creature — alongside its more-common relative, the nautilus, […]

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