Research Interests

The main goal of my post-doctoral research is getting a better understanding of coral reef microbes. 

I am interested in further applying cutting-edge computational methods to understand microbial interactions in coral reefs. Some of the projects I am currently involved are: 

  • Exploration of functional features of coral-associated bacterial populations
  • Bacterial and viral mediation of coral larval settlement 
  • Organosulfur compound transformations mediated by coral-associated bacteria 

Selected Publications

  • Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching
    C. Pogoreutz, N. Rädecker, A. Cárdenas, A. Gärdes, C.R. Voolstra, C. Wild
    Global Change Biology, (2017)
  • The formation of aggregates in coral reef waters under elevated concentrations of dissolved inorganic and organic c...
    Cárdenas A, Meyer F, Schwieder H, Wild C, Gärdes A.
    Marine Chemistry. Oct 20;175:47-55, (2015)
  • Shifts in bacterial communities of two Caribbean reef-building coral species affected by white plague disease.
    Cárdenas A, Rodriguez-r LM, Pizarro V, Cadavid LF, Arévalo-Ferro C.
    The ISME journal. Mar 1;6(3):502-12, (2012)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Marine Microbiology, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen University, Germany, 2017
  • M.Sc., Marine Microbiology, Max Plank Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen University, Germany, 2014
  • M.Sc., Microbiology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, 2012
  • B.Sc.,  Biology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia​​, 2010

Professional Profile

  • 2017- present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • ​​International Society for Coral Reef Studies​​


  • 2017: Ph.D. dissertation awarded with academic excellence honors summa sum laude at the University of Bremen, Germany
  • 2012: Stipendium von der Exzellenzstiftung der Max- Planck –Gesellschaft.

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​​Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering Division (BESE)​​