Gordon Giesbrecht, PHD

Gordon Giesbrecht


Research Areas

Dr. Giesbrecht operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine where he studies human responses to exercise/work in extreme environments. He has conducted hundreds of cold water immersion studies that have provided valuable information about cold stress physiology and pre-hospital care for human hypothermia. Other research interests include human physical and mental performance in other stresses such as altitude (hypoxia) and diving (hypobaria).

  • Physiology
  • Exercise
  • Thermoregulation
  • Thermal stress
  • Environmental stress
  • Vehicle safety
  • Vehicle submersion
  • Cold exposure
  • Hypothermia
  • Drowning


  • Exercise Physiology 1 (KIN/PHED 3470)
  • Foundations of Physical Education and Kinesiology (PERS 1500)
  • Research and Quantitative methods in Physical Education (57.709)
  • Measurement and Evaluation of Leisure Services (REC 2010)
  • Principles of Thermoregulation (PHED 7160)
  • Wilderness Leadership (PHED 3830)
  • Wilderness Skills (PHED 3840)
  • Camping 1 (PHED 3880)
  • Winter Camping (PHED 3890)
  • Exercise Physiology (KIN 3470)
  • Principles of Thermoregulation (PHED 7610)
  • Current Research in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure: Physical Aspects (PERS 7004)


  • 2010 B.Th., Horizon College & Seminary
  • 1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary
  • 1990 PhD, University of Manitoba, Dept. of Medicine
  • 1986 MPE, University of Manitoba
  • 1985 BPE, University of Manitoba


1. Sran, BJ, GK McDonald, AM Steinman, PF Gardiner and GG Giesbrecht. Comparison of heat donation through the head or torso on mild hypothermia rewarming. Wild Environ Med. 2014; 25;4-13.

2. Brändström Helge, Göran Johansson, Gordon G Giesbrecht, Karl-Axel Angquist, Michael F Haney. Accidental cold-related injury leading to hospitalization in northern Sweden: an eight-year retrospective analysis. Scand J Trauma Resuscitation and Emerg Med (Impact Factor: 1.68). 01/2014; 22(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1757-7241-22-6

3. Henriksson O, Lundgren P, Kulkarni, K, Holmer I, Giesbrecht G, Naredi P, Bjornstig U.  Protection against cold in prehospital care – the effect on thermoregulation by wet clothing removal or addition of a vapour barrier in shivering subjects. Wilderness Environ Med. (In press)

4. Zafren, K, Giesbrecht GG, et al. Wilderness Medical Society Consensus Guidelines for Out-of-hospital Evaluation and Treatment of Accidental Hypothermia. Wild Environ Med. (In Press)

5. Kumar P, McDonald GK, Chitkara R, Steinman AM, Gardiner PF, Giesbrecht GG. Comparison of Distal Limb Warming with Fluidotherapy and Warm Water Immersion. Wilderness Environ Med. (In press)



Get In Touch 

210 Active Living Centre | Lab: 211
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 2N2
Dr. Giesbrecht's Office Phone: 204-474-8646


Apply For Graduate Studies

Please email me at gordon.giesbrecht@umanitoba.ca to discuss current available opportunities.

Click here to visit our Graduate Studies page.


Related Information

Hypothermia Frostbine and other Cold Injuries

Authored by Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD and James A. Wilkerson, MD


Vehicle Submersion Website

OUTSIDE Magazine profile on Dr. Giesbrecht, aka "Professor Popsicle"

cold water bootcamp


State of Alaska Guidelines for Treatment of Cold Injuries (2003):

Dr. Giesbrecht participated in an expert panel that revised the Cold Injury Guidelines that provide a standard of care for many Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Groups. Download Guidelines (PDF)

Marathons on Ice - Lake Winnipeg 2004:

In Jan. 2004, Dr. Giesbrecht hauled a sled on a solo expedition of Lake Winnipeg that covered 450 kms in 26 days.

One Million Steps Winter Research Expedition on Lake Winnipeg (2001):

In Feb. 2001, five men hauled sleds the length of Lake Winnipeg in a Scientific Winter Expedition that covered 450 kms in 19 days.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)