Neufeld Research Group


Our laboratory at the University of Waterloo focusses on exploring the microbial world to discover microorganisms that are "most valuable players" (MVPs), either because they are very different from those known to science, and/or because their functional roles are not yet understood. Given that microorganisms play such fundamental roles related to host and environmental health, the more we understand about who is there, and what they are doing, the better able we are to exploit their abilities and predict their impacts on global biogeochemical cycles.

Our research is driven by curiousity and guided by applied research objectives. We operate in the spirit of "why not?" and welcome opportunities to explore new directions based on intriguing observations and unexplained results.

Why Waterloo?

Research Support

Ashley and Josh
Microbial ecology Collaboration and discovery

The Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo has longstanding expertise in microbiology and aquatic ecology and my microbial ecology laboratory fits well at the interface of these disciplines. We benefit from the mentorship and recruitment opportunities on campus through the co-op program, with many of these students continuing as MSc or PhD students when they graduate. We are located near many local universities, which is ideal for collaborative projects. 

Acknowledgments Funding and industry partners

We are grateful for ongoing support from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Our laboratory interacts extensively with industry partners, most recently including Hagen Industries and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). We also collaborate with academic groups on campus, in Canada, and abroad, with many of these experts reflected as coauthors on our publications.   

Contact us

Please reach out to Josh Neufeld if you are interested in joining our team and contributing to our research.