Josh D. Neufeld

Josh D. Neufeld
Professor, University Research Chair
Location: B1 275
Phone: 519-888-4567 x38344


Josh Neufeld is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. The Neufeld lab thrives at the interface between method development, basic microbial ecology, and applied research, providing exceptional training opportunities for students and postdoctoral research fellows.

In order to address important global challenges, his lab characterizes bacterial and archaeal communities in terrestrial, aquatic, and host-associated habitats. By developing and applying cultivation-dependent and molecular techniques, his team explores the “microbes that matter” to connect these microorganisms with the roles that they play in their communities and habitats. Current research projects include characterizing nitrifiers in engineered aquatic environments, exploring subsurface microbiology in relation to a deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel, and investigating bacteria from Boreal Shield lakes that have an impact on global biogeochemical cycling.

Committed to the discipline of microbiology and its communication, his research and teaching activities have resulted in authorship of a microbiology textbook, teaching awards, and service as Editor-in-Chief for The ISME Journal.

Research Interests

  • Microbiology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Evolution
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Microbiome
  • Metagenomics


  • 2005 Ph.D. Biology, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • 2000 M.Sc. Biology, McGill University, Canada
  • 1998 B.Sc. Biology, McGill University, Canada


  • 2024 Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Award
  • 2023 Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2021 Online Teaching Award, Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo
  • 2020 Member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada
  • 2019-2025 University Research Chair
  • 2016 Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2014 Excellence in Science Teaching Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2014 Federation of Students Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2014 Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Teaching Award
  • 2013 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
  • 2010 Outstanding Faculty Performance Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2006 Young Microbiologist of the Year, Society for General Microbiology
  • 2005-2007 Canada-UK Millennium Research Award, NSERC
  • 2005-2007 Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSERC
  • 2004 Best Poster Award, 10th International Society for Microbial Ecology
  • 2003-2005 Killam Predoctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia
  • 2003 Best Oral Presentation, American Society for Microbiology NW Branch
  • 2001-2003 Postgraduate Scholarship B, NSERC
  • 2000 Second Prize Oral Presentation, Canadian Pulp and Paper Research Seminars
  • 1999-2001 Postgraduate Scholarship A, NSERC
  • 1998 Girvin-Robertson Prize in Microbiology


  • Editor in Chief, The ISME Journal
  • Editorial Board member, Environmental Microbiology

Professional Associations

  • Canadian Society for Microbiologists
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology
  • American Society for Microbiology

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute
  • Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research
  • Water Institute


  • BIOL 240 - Fundamentals of Microbiology
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

In The News

Graduate studies