Jackie Goordial

Headshot of Prof. Jackie Goordial
Assistant Professor
Bovey Building

Jackie Goordial is an environmental microbiologist, investigating how communities of microorganisms interact to maintain diversity and mediate biogeochemical cycling in the environment. In particular, she focuses on environments at the extreme and those that are undergoing rapid change – such as permafrost soils.

To carry out her research, she employs a combination of genomic sequencing with culturing, microbial metabolic activity and viability measurements both in situ and in the laboratory. While less than 1% of known microorganisms can be cultivated in the lab and are known to us solely through molecular analyses, this approach results in a more holistic understanding of environmental microbiology than genomic analyses alone.

Academic History

  • BSc Honours, University of Toronto at Scarborough campus
  • MSc, University of Toronto 
  • Ph.D., McGill University 

Current Research Projects

Fate of ancient carbon caused by permafrost coastal erosion into marine environments.

Microbial life at the cold-arid limits in dry permafrost in Elephants head, Antarctica.

Potential presence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus in the sewage-impacted waterways of urban megacities.

Graduate Student Information

The lab currently has opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, please get in touch if you are interested.

Featured Publications

  • Goordial, J., Davila, A., Lacelle, D.,Pollard, W., Marinova, M., Greer, C., DiRuggiero, J., McKay, C., Whyte, L. Nearing the cold-arid limits of microbial life in permafrost of an upper Dry Valley, Antarctica. International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME) journal, 2016. 10 (7), 1613-1624. ( Editors' Choice: The best of The ISME Journal 2016-2017)
  • Goordial, J., Davila, A., Greer, C., Canam, R., DiRuggiero, J., McKay, C., Whyte, L.  2017. Comparative activity and functional ecology of permafrost and cryptoendolithic microbial communities in a hyper-arid upper Dry Valley, Antarctica.  Environmental Microbiology. 19 (2) 443-458.
  • Orcutt, B.N., Bradley, J., Brazelton, W.J., Estes, E., Goordial, J., Huber, J.A., Jones, R.M, Mahmoudi, N., Marlow, J.J., Murdock, S., Pachiadaki, M., Tivey, M.K. 2020. Impacts of Deep-Sea Mining on Microbial Ecosystem Services. Limnology and Oceanography. https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11403
  • Goordial, J. Altschuler, I., Hindson, K., Yan-Cham, K., Marcolefas, E., Leveille, R., Whyte, L. 2017. In situ field sequencing and life detection in remote (79°26′N) Canadian High Arctic permafrost ice wedge microbial communities.  Frontiers in Microbiology.  doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02594.  

Area of Research

Ecosystem Science and Biodiversity