Prof. Dr. em. Jean Swings

Prof. Dr. em. Jean Swings's picture
Research activities: 

Emeritus Prof. Dr. Ir. Jean Swings was born in Leuven, Belgium, the 17th of May 1945.

He studied agricultural engineering and went to the Lovanium University in Kinshasa (Congo) to study Zymomonas from palm wine. In 1974 he obtained a PhD in agricultural Sciences and came back to Belgium to start his career at the University of Ghent, at the Laboratory of Microbiology (Faculty of Sciences), first as a Research Assistant, later as Research Director and finally as full Professor in microbiology.

The research of Prof. J. Swings focused on taxonomy and phylogeny of prokaryotes: e.g. plant pathogenic bacteria, microorganisms involved in biodegradation and biodeterioration, aquaculture, antibiotic resistant bacteria of the environment and the food chain, comparative genomics and data integration.

Besides being full Professor, Prof. J. Swings has been Director of the LMG/BCCMTM Bacteria Collection for 8 years (1998-2006) and the President of the World Federation for Culture Collections (2000-2004). Prof. Swings has been invited to participate in many congresses, symposia and workshops and organised several workshops in Belgium and abroad.

During his academic career, Prof. J. Swings was supervisor of 19 PhD theses, participated in 21 European Research projects, published more than 250 articles in peer reviewed journals and was editor of scientific journals and different books. In addition, he had advisory functions in several companies and scientific organisations, of which the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. He is honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and member of the Hassan II Academy of Sciences and Technologies in Rabat (Morocco).