A Research Scholar with the Centro de História de Além-Mar (CHAM) in Lisbon and Switzerland since 2010, she obtained her Ph.D in 1994 from Brown University, writing a dissertation on the court, household and collection of Catherine of Austria, queen of Portugal (1507-1578). Her areas of specialization include patronage, collecting, menageries and Kunstkammmers at the Renaissance courts in Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. In recent years, this research has focused on the court culture, patronage and collections of Habsburg women: in particular the sisters, wives and aunts of the rulers: Philip II of Spain, and the Emperors Charles V and Maximilian II. A further specialization of hers focuses on the cultural and artistic transfer between Africa, Asia, Brazil and the Renaissance Habsburg courts.
She is author of numerous publications (articles, exhibition catalogue essays and contributions in books), including her own books: Retrato de Corte em Portugal. O legado de António Moro (1552-1572), (Lisbon, 1994), The Story of Süleyman. Celebrity Elephants and other Exotica in Renaissance Portugal (Zurich, 2012), and a recent biography on the Portuguese queen, Catherine of Austria: Catarina de Áustria. A rainha colecionadora, (Lisbon, 2012). She wrote several entries on Portuguese royal patrons and patronage for the Macmillan Dictionary ofArt (London, 1996), and contributed two lengthy essays on the queens Leonor and Catherine of Austria for the Getty Foundation project: The EmperorCharles V and the Inventories of the Imperial Family, directed by Fernando Checa Cremades, published in 3 volumes (Madrid, 2010).
Dr Jordan was recently decorated by the Portuguese government with the Order of Henry the Navigator for guest curating the international exhibition: Ivories of Ceylon. Luxury Goods of the Renaissance, which venued in 2011 at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich. This was the first exhibit ever on Portugal during the Age of Discovery to be shown in Switzerland.