Grants in Aid of Research Recipient Profile: Deidra Jordan

February 18, 2021

Deidra Jordan GIAR recipient (2) (1)Grant: $750 (Spring 2019)

Education level at time of the grant: PhD student

Project Description: Jordan’s project uses metagenomics to study microorganisms in the soil and surrounding plants— essentially the soil microbiome—and the effects of elevated salinity and nutrients on those communities. This project’s soil samples come from two-year mesocosm studies examining freshwater and brackish water sites within the Everglades. Saltwater intrusion is a significant issue in the Everglades due to the impacts of sea-level rise. Since microbes are the first responders to environmental changes and provide numerous benefits to the soil, it is essential to understand how microbes respond to these changing conditions. Monitoring shifts in microbial communities also provides insight into the soil’s health. The second aspect of Jordan’s project applies the knowledge gained from forensic science to complement and enhance intelligence gathering for geographic provenance.

How has the project influenced her as a scientist? Jordan says, “It’s essential to understand that every experiment may not come out as expected, which is part of the process.” Working through the research process and collaborating with other scientists on this project have influenced her to be a more astute scientist.

Where is she now? Inducted into Sigma Xi in 2019, Jordan is currently a PhD candidate in Biology at Florida International University. She is expected to graduate in spring 2022.

Students may apply for Sigma Xi research grants by March 15 and October 1 annually at


More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety