Alexander Johs

R&D Staff

Dr. Alexander Johs is a staff scientist in the Biogeochemical Dynamics group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His research on biogeochemical processes in the environment is currently focused on the biomolecular transformations of mercury as a contaminant. Working at the interface of chemistry, biology and physics, he combines biochemistry, bioinformatics and complementary biophysical techniques to study molecular-scale processes that may impact environmental health at the ecosystem scale. With a research background in neutron and X-ray scattering, Dr. Johs explores the molecular structures and mechanisms of biological macromolecules involved in redox processes and biogeochemical transformations. He applies insights gained from fundamental research to the development of technologies to restore and preserve environmental health.

Dr. Johs joined the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL in 2010 and is a recipient of the Stanley I. Auerbach Award for Excellence in Environmental Sciences (2014). His education is in biochemistry and biotechnology (MSc, Graz University of Technology) and biophysics (PhD, Graz University of Technology and Austrian Academy of Sciences).



• Stanley I. Auerbach Award for Excellence in Environmental Sciences, ORNL, 2014
• Director's Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment, ORNL, 2013
• UT-Battelle Award for Scientific Research, 2013
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory Significant Event Award, 2013
• Greta Pifat Mrzljak Graduate Research Award, 8th International Summer School on Biophysics, Rovinij, Croatia, 2003.
• Austrian Chemical Society Travel Grant, 2003


Spallation Neutron Source, ORNL
High Flux Isotope Reactor, ORNL
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC


U.S. Patent 10,407,535, “3D Printable Liquid Crystalline Elastomers with Tunable Shape Memory Behaviors and Bio-derived Renditions”, Y. Li, O. Rios, A. Johs, M. R. Kessler, September 2019
U.S. Patent 10,036,072: "Mercury Methylation Genes in Bacteria and Archaea", J. M. Parks, A. Johs, July 2018
U.S. Patent 9,650,537: “Reactive Polymer Fused Deposition Manufacturing”, V. Kunc, O. Rios, L.J. Love, C.E. Duty, A. Johs, May 16, 2017
U.S. Patent 9,359,695: "Lignin-Based Active Anode Materials Synthesized from Low-Cost Renewable Resources", O. Rios, W. E. Tenhaeff, C. Daniel, N. J. Dudney, A. Johs, G. A. Nunnery, F. S. Baker, June 7, 2016

Specialized Equipment

Anaerobic glove box (MBraun LabMaster)
Fast protein liquid chromatography (AKTApurifier)
Isothermal titration calorimetry (Malvern PEAQ ITC)