University of Calgary

Gerrit Voordouw

  • Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
  • Microbiology

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.

Research Interests

Molecular biology, genomics and physiology of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB)  

Petroleum Microbiology: Sulphur cycle management, Corrosion control, Improved production.

Note: I no longer accept new graduate students or PDFs due to upcoming retirement.

Team Members


Annie An


Sulphur management

Dongshan An

Research Associate

Hydrocarbon metagenomics

Tekle Fida


Sulfur cycle management

Gloria Okpala


Sulfur cycle management

Christina Ridley


Improved Production

Mohita Sharma


Corrosion Control

Navreet Suri


Improved Production




Yin Shen

Project Coordinator/Technician

NSERC IRC / Sulfur cycle management

Susan Song


Hydrocarbon analysis

Johanna Voordouw


Hydrocarbon metagenomics



2009-2014 Project Leader, Genome Canada Award, “Metagenomics for Greener Production and Extraction of Hydrocarbon Energy”.
2007-2017 NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Microbiology
2014-2015 Killam Annual Professor Award


Selected Publications

§ Sharma, M., An, D., Liu, T., Pinnock, T., Cheng, F. and Voordouw, G. 2017. Biocide-mediated corrosion of coiled tubing. PlosOne 12(7):e0181934;

§ Okpala, G., Chen, C., Fida, T. and Voordouw, G. 2017. Reconstruction of the effect of thermophilic nitrate-reduction on sulfide production in
Samples from a high temperature oil reservoir off Canada¹s East Coast. Front. Microbiol. 8:1573. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01573;

§ Liu, T., Cheng, Y. F., Sharma, M., and Voordouw, G. 2017. Effect of fluid flow on biofilm formation and microbiologically influenced corrosion of pipelines in oilfield produced water.  J. Petro. Sci. Eng. 156:451-459.,

§ An, B., Shen, Y., and Voordouw, G. 2017. Control of souring in high salinity Bakken shale oil reservoirs by the production of nitrite by halophilic nitrate-reducing bacteria. Front. Microbiol. 8:article 1164, 1-14., doi:  10.3389/fmicb.2017.01164

§ Suri, N., Voordouw, J. and Voordouw, G. 2017. The effectiveness of nitrate-mediated control of the oil field sulfur cycle depends on the toluene content of the oil. Front. Microbiol. 8:article 956, 1-13., doi:  10.3389/fmicb.2017.00956

§ Voordouw, G., Pinnock T. and Voordouw, J. 2017. Effect of biocides and corrosion inhibitors on SRB-mediated MIC under flow conditions. NACE International CORROSION 2017 Conference & Expo, New Orleans, LA, March 27-30, 2017. Paper 9650.

§ Fida, T. T., Gassara, F. and Voordouw, G. 2017. Biodegradation of isopropanol and acetone under denitrifying conditions by Thauera sp. TK001 for nitrate-mediated microbially enhanced oil recovery. J. Hazard. Mater. 334:68- 75.,

§ Chen, S. Cheng, Y. F. and Voordouw, G. 2017. A comparative study of corrosion of 316L stainless steel in biotic and abiotic sulfide environments. Int. Biodeterior. Biodegrad. 120:91-96.,

§ Chen, C., Shen, Y., An, D. and Voordouw, G. 2017. Use of acetate, propionate and butyrate for reduction of nitrate and sulfate and methanogenesis in microcosms and bioreactors simulating an oil reservoir. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., dol:10.1128/AEM.02983-16.

§ Gassara, F., Suri, N. and Voordouw, G. 2017. Nitrate-Mediated Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery (N-MEOR) from Model Upflow Bioreactors. J. Hazard Mater. 324: 94-99.  

§ Menon, P. and Voordouw, G. 2016. Impact of light oil toxicity on sulfide production by acetate-oxidizing, sulfate-reducing bacteria. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation xx: In Press, Manuscript ID:IBB-D-16-00087.

§ Wilson, S. L,, Li, C., Ramos-Padrón, E., Nesbø, C., Soh, J., Sensen, C. W., Voordouw, G., Foght, J., Gieg, L. M. 2016. Oil sands tailings ponds harbour a small core prokaryotic microbiome and diverse accessory communities. J Biotechnol. 235: 187-196.

§ Martins, M., Mourato1, C., Morais-Silva, F. O., Rodrigues-Pousada, C., Voordouw, G., Wall, J. D., Pereira, I. A. C. 2016. Electron transfer pathways of formate-driven H2 production in Desulfovibrio. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 100: 8135-8146.

§ Fida, T. T., Chen, C., Okpala, G. and Voordouw, G. 2016. Implications of limited thermophilicity of nitrite reduction for control of sulfide production in oil reservoirs. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82: 4190-4199.

§ Voordouw, G., Menon, P., Pinnock, T., Sharma, M., Shen, Y., Venturelli, A., Voordouw, J. and Sexton, A. 2016. Use of homogeneously-sized carbon steel ball bearings to study microbially-influenced corrosion in oil field samples. Front. Microbiol. 7: article 351, 1-9.

§ Dongshan An, D., Xiaoli Dong, X., Annie An, A.,  Hyung Soo Park, H.-S., Strous, M. and Voordouw, G. 2016. Metagenomic analysis indicates Epsilonproteobacteria as a potential cause of microbial corrosion in pipelines injected with bisulfite. Front. Microbiol. 7: article 28, 1-10.

§  Mand, J., Park, H.-S., Okoro, C., Lomans, B.P., Smith, S., Chiejina, L. and Voordouw, G. 2016.  Microbial methane production associated with carbon steel corrosion in a Nigerian oil field. Front. Microbiol.

§  Xue, Y. and G. Voordouw. 2015. Control of microbial sulfide production with biocides and nitate in oil reservoir simulating bioreactors. Front. Microbiol. 6: 1387. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01387.

§  Gassara, F., Suri, N., Stanislav, P.  and Voordouw, G. 2015. Microbially enhanced oil recovery by sequential injection of light hydrocarbon and nitrate in low- and high-pressure bioreactors. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49: 12594-12601. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03879.

§  Wong, M-L., An, D., Caffrey, S., Soh, J., Dong, X., Sensen, C.W., Oldenburg, T., Larter, S. and G. Voordouw 2015. Roles of thermophiles and fungi in bitumen degradation in mostly cold oil sands outcrops. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 81: 6825-6838.

§  Rabus R, Venceslau SS, Wöhlbrand L, Voordouw G, Wall JD, Pereira IA. 2015. A Post-Genomic View of the Ecophysiology, Catabolism and Biotechnological Relevance of Sulphate-Reducing Prokaryotes. Adv Microb Physiol. 66:55-321.

§  Wilson, S.L., Voordouw, G. and Walker, V.K. 2014. Towards the selection of a produced water enrichment for biological gas hydrate inhibitors. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 21: 10254-10261.

§  Kryachko, Y. and G. Voordouw. 2014.  Microbially enhanced oil recovery from miniature model columns through stimulation of indigenous microflora with nitrate.  International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 96: 135-143.

§  Agrawal, A., An, D., Cavallaro, A. and G. Voordouw. 2014. Souring in low-temperature surface facilities of two high-temperature Argentinian oil fields.  Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 98: 8017-8029. doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5843-z. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

§  Mand, J., Park, H.S., Jack, T.R. and G. Voordouw. 2014. The role of acetogens in microbially influenced corrosion of steel. Front. Microbiol. 03 June 2014. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00268.

§  Okoro, C., Smith, S., Chiejina, L., Lumactud, R., An, D., Park, H.S., Voordouw, J., Lomans, B.P. and G. Voordouw. 2014.  Comparison of microbial communities involved in souring and corrosion in offshore and onshore oil production facilities in Nigeria. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, DOI: 10.1007/s10295-014-1401-z.

§  An, D., Brown, D., Chatterjee, I., Dong, X., Ramos-Padron, E., Wilson, S., Bordenave, S., Caffrey, S. M., Gieg, L. M., Sensen,C. W., and Voordouw, G. (2013) Microbial community and potential functional gene diversity involved in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation and methanogenesis in an oil sands tailings pond. Genome 56: 612-618. doi:10.1139/gen-2013-0083.

§  An, D., Caffrey, S. M., Soh, J., Agrawal, A., Brown, D., Budwill, K., Dong, X., Dunfield, P. F., Foght, J., Gieg, L. M., Hallam, S. J., Hanson, N. W., He, Z., Jack, T. R., Klassen, J., Konwar, K. M., Kuatsjah, E., Li, C., Larter, S., Leopatra, V., Nesbø, C. L., Oldenburg, T., Pagé, A. P., Ramos-Padron, E., Rochman, F. F., Saidi-Mehrabad, A., Sensen, C. W., Sipahimalani, P., Song, Y. C., Wilson, S., Wolbring, G., Wong, M.-L., and Voordouw, G. (2013) Metagenomics of Hydrocarbon Resource Environments Indicates Aerobic Taxa and Genes to be Unexpectedly Common. Environ. Sci, and Technol., 47: 10708-10717.  DOI: 10.1021/es4020184.

§  Soh, J., Dong, X., Caffrey, S. M., Voordouw, G., and Sensen, C. W. (2013) Phoenix 2: a locally installable large-scale 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis pipeline with Web interface. J. Biotechnol. 167: 393-403.

§  Callbeck, C., Agrawal, A. and G. Voordouw. 2013. Acetate production from oil under sulfate-reducing conditions in bioreactors injected with sulfate and nitrate. Appl. and Environ. Microbiol. 79:5059-5068.


  • PhD - Biochemistry
    University of Calgary, 1975
  • MSc - Chemistry
    University of Utrecht, 1972
  • BSc - Chemistry
    University of Utrecht, 1970
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