Emil Philippi, German geologist, wrote some 20 papers on the geology, mineralogy and particularly the invertebrate palaeontology of Germany between 1895 and 1900. He was then selected as one of four scientific experts to accompany the German Antarctic expedition of 1901-1903, led by Professor Erich von Drygalski of the University of Berlin. The expedition left Germany in the Gauss, a ship equipped for scientific work, in August 1901 and reached Cape Town on 23 November. A few days later they left for the Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean, and from there sailed south in January 1902 to penetrate an unexplored part of Antarctica. After the expedition's return Philippi wrote separate accounts of the geology of Gaussberg (a mountain on the Antarctic continent) and of several islands in the southern Indian Ocean, namely the Kerguelen Islands, Heard Island, St Paul and New Amsterdam, and Possession (one of the Crozet Islands). These accounts were all included in a book on the expedition and its work published by the German Ministery of Internal Affairs, Deutsche Südpolar-Expedition 1901-1903 (Berlin, 1908). Philippi also wrote a book, Eisberge und inland eis der Antarktis (Berlin, 1910), describing the icebergs and ice shield of the Antarctic. Some papers by him dealt with other geological observations made during the expedition.
Philippi paid a more extended visit to South Africa in or just before 1905 and wrote an account of his travels, "Reise Skizzen aus S.A.", which was published in the Geographische Zeitschrift (Leipzig) in 1905. A second paper by him, "Das Südafrikanische Dwyka Conglomerat", dealing with the tillite of the Dwyka Formation, was published in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gesellschaft (Berlin) that same year.