Research Interests

I am interested in how environmental gradients can shape the diversity of microbial communities and how the communities are able to cope when exposed to variable conditions. To reach this goal my research activity has been focused on the study of microbial community dynamics along physicochemical gradients in two different Red Sea environments, such as brine pools and coastal marine sediments. In particular, I have been investigated how the steep gradients formed between the seawater and the hypersaline anoxic water of the brine interface determines the stratification of the microbial communities, that thrive in these extreme conditions. Whereas in a time series project, I have been examined the effect of temperature gradients on the microbial community assemblies associated with coastal marine sediments, exposed to the different range of temperature variations along the year. 

Selected Publications

  • Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins
    G. Merlino, A. Barozzi, G. Michoud, D.K. Ngugi, D. Daffonchio
    FEMS Microbiology Ecology, fiy085, (2018)
  • Microbial diversity and biotechnological potential of microorganisms thriving in the deep sea brine pools
    Barozzi Alan, Mapelli Francesca, Michoud Grégoire, Crotti Elena, Merlino Giuseppe, Molinar...
    Taylor &Francis , (2018)
  • Adaption of microbial life to environmental extremes: Novel research results and application, second edition
    Francesca Mapelli, Alan Barozzi, Grégoire Michoud, Giuseppe Merlino, Elena Crotti, Sara Bo...
    Springer, (2017)

Education Profile

  • M.Sc.; Biology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2014
  • B.Sc.; Biological Science, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2012

Professional Profile

  • ​2015-Present: Ph.D. in Marine Science, KAUST, Thuwal

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)