Research Interests

​My current research is to assess the population connectivity and functional diversity of corals and fishes from the Red Sea marine environment. I am primarily a fish ecologist investigating ecological and evolutionary questions with various approaches, which include trophic ecology, functional diversity, comparative phylogenetic methods, and genomic data. 

Selected Publications

  • Diversification and functional evolution of reef fish feeding guilds
    L. Gajdzik, R. Aguilar-Medrano, B. Frédérich
    Ecology Letters, (2019)
  • Similar levels of trophic and functional diversity within damselfish assemblages across Indo‐Pacific coral reefs
    L. Gajdzik, E. Parmentier, L.N. Michel, N. Sturaro, K. Soong, G. Lepoint, B. Frédérich
    Functional Ecology, Volume 32, Issue 5, 1358-1369, (2018)
  • Genetic diversity mirrors trophic ecology in coral reef fish feeding guilds
    L. Gajdzik, G. Bernardi, G. Lepoint, B. Frédérich
    Molecular Ecology, Volume 27, Issue 24, 5004-5018, (2018)
  • Trophic specializations of damselfishes are tightly associated with reef habitats and social behaviours
    L. Gajdzik, E. Parmentier, N. Sturaro, Frédérich B
    Marine Biology, Volume 163, Issue 6, (2016)
  • Labeo rosae (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) in the Congo basin: a relict distribution or a historical introduction?
    M. Van Steenberge, L. Gajdzik, A. Chilala, J. Snoeks, E. Vreven
    Journal of Fish Biology, Volume 85, Issue 5, 1733-1738, (2014)

Education Profile

  • ​Ph.D., Biology, Ecology, and Evolution, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium,2017. 
  • M. Sc., Marine and lacustrine Science and management, Ghent University, Free University of Brussels, Antwerp University, Belgium, 2012.
  • B. Sc., Biology, University of Namur, Namur, Belgium, 2010. 

Professional Profile

  • ​2019-present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. 
  • 2017-2018: Postdoctoral fellow, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
  • 2013: Scientific collaborator, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium. 


  • ​2017-2018: Grant of excellence “Wallonie-Bruxelles” International for postdoctoral research.
  • 2016: Fulbright grant Belgium-U.S.
  • 2013-2017: F.R.S-FNRS (“Fonds National de la Recherche scientifique”) fellowship for Ph.D. 

KAUST Affiliations

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