As a microbial ecologist, Josh Neufeld studies microbial diversity in order to understand how microbial communities interact with each otherwithinaquatic, terrestrial, and host-associated environments. Balancing basic and applied research, his research group also studies the nitrogen cycle in natural and engineered systems.
Office: B1 275
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 38344
Lab: B1 275, ext. 38344
Research Group: Neufeld Research Group
- Ecology and Environmental Biology
- Bioinformatics, Systematics and Evolution
- Molecular Genetics
Microbial communities are responsible for the biogeochemical cycling of trace gases, fertility of soils and aquatic environments, healthy function of the human body, metabolic production for the food industry, and countless applications in biotechnology. Despite a profound influence of microorganisms on human life and the global climate, little is known about the distribution and diversity of microorganisms in natural communities, the vast resource of genes associated with the majority of uncultured microbial life, and the identities of most microbial species on Earth.
The Neufeld lab is actively involved in basic and applied research projects that span three complementing research areas:
My lab develops and applies molecular and computational methods to explore complex microbial communities spanning aquatic, terrestrial, and host-associated habitats.
Linking function and phylogeny
We explore active microorganisms involved in transforming carbon and energy, to better understand who is doing what in the environment.
Using a combination of molecular and cultivation approaches, we investigate the microbial community members associated with ammonia oxidation and denitrification.
If you are interested in pursuing graduate or postdoctoral work in these exciting areas of environmental microbiology, please contact Professor Neufeld by email.
Professor Neufeld teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course offerings have included
- BIOL 140 Fundamentals of Microbiology
- BIOL 240 Fundamentals of Microbiology
- BIOL 346 Microbial Ecology
- BIOL 358 Lab Methods in Microbiology
- BIOL 466 Biogeochemical Microbiology
- BIOL 690 Scientific Communication
Patents and Books
- Wessner D, Dupont C, Charles TC, Neufeld JD. 2016. Microbiology, 2nd edition. John Wiley & Sons.
- Neufeld JD, Yu Z, Lam W, Mohn WW. 2003. Method for assessing microbial community composition.
- Neufeld JD, Yu Z, Lam W, Mohn WW. 2002. Sequence tag analysis of community structure (STACS).
Awards and Distinctions
- Member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada (2020)
- University Research Chair (2019-2025)
- Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo (2016)
- Excellence in Science Teaching Award, University of Waterloo (2014)
- Federation of Students Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (2014)
- Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Award (2014)
- Fisher Scientific Award, Canadian Society for Microbiologists (2013)
- Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo (2013)
- Jack Carlson Teaching Excellence Award, University of Waterloo (2013)
- Waterloo Region Top 40 under 40, Waterloo Record (2013)
- Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo (2010)
- Young Microbiologist of the Year, Society for General Microbiology (2006)
- Canada-UK Millennium Research Award, NSERC (2005-2007)
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSERC (2005-2007)
- Best Poster Award, 10th International Society for Microbial Ecology (2004)
- Killam Predoctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia (2003-2005)
- Best Oral Presentation, American Society for Microbiology NW Branch (2003)
- Postgraduate Scholarship B, NSERC (2001-2003)
- Second Prize Oral Presentation, Canadian Pulp and Paper Research Seminars (2000)
- Postgraduate Scholarship A, NSERC (1999-2001)
- Girvin-Robertson Prize in Microbiology (1998)
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute
- Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research
- Water Institute
Professional Associations and Service
- Canadian Society for Microbiologists
- International Society for Microbial Ecology
- American Society for Microbiology
- Society for General Microbiology
The following news stories have featured Professor Neufeld's research:
Maclean's "Small world: The hot field of the microbiome"
2009 Provided an interview for CIHR “Research with Impact” website content, featuring microbiome work, which was funded by a CIHR Catalyst Grant
2005 PhD University of British Columbia
2000 MSc McGill University
1998 BSc McGill University