​The Red Sea Research Center

Inaugurated in early 2011, with the striking blue waters visible from its laboratory windows, the Red Sea Research Center is well-positioned and well-equipped to study the Red Sea with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class researchers. The Red Sea Research Center has delved into the volume of research necessary to formulate a comprehensive understanding of the Red Sea to conserve its rich ecology and sustain its economic eminence.

This unique waterway supports diverse coral reefs and many species of fish, invertebrates, seaweeds, phytoplankton, and bacteria in a great number of different environments. The incredible biodiversity of the Red Sea holds untapped potential

for pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications, such as the development of new drugs, enzymes useful for catalysis, and nutraceutical compounds. Red Sea organisms may also serve as models for understanding biological systems and adaptation to extreme environments.

Studies conducted by scientists within and in collaboration with the Red Sea Research Center have already broken the boundaries of current marine research and are making waves in the field.

Vision and Mission

The Red Sea Research Center is committed to developing an integrated understanding of coral reef ecosystems and their oceanographic context – the physical, chemical, biological, and geological environment, the stresses arising from natural as well as anthropogenic factors including overfishing pollutions, coastal development, and global climate change.

The primary focus of the Red Sea Research Center is developing a scientific basis for sustaining and conserving coral reef environments along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

“In any given morning, I can be out on a reef diving and collecting samples, have lunch at my house, be in a very modern lab facility in the afternoon, and teach class in the evening,” says Michael Berumen, Assistant Professor of Marine Science with the Red Sea Research Center. “It’s a really unique situation that the University has such great access to very good coral reefs with such great world-class facilities right on the water.”

International Collaboration with a Regional Focus

The combination of extraordinary biological, physical, and chemical diversity within the Red Sea makes it a challenge to research, but worthwhile as models for ecosystems around the world and potential for pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications. Academic and private-sector collaborators come from around the globe.

  •     Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

  •     Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia.

  •     The American University in Cairo.

  •     The National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Egypt.

  •     The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA).

  •     University of Cambridge, UK.University of Utretch, the Netherlands.

  •     Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US