Research Interests


I am broadly interested in the field of mesozooplankton ecology, with particular focus on the ecology of copepods, their ecophysiological characteristics and their trophic role in marine food web. My research so far has involved field studies, mesocosm and laboratory experiments with main areas of investigation:

  • Copepod feeding physiology (functional response and prey selection). "Bottom-up" effects on copepod reproductive performance. Structure and functioning of marine planktonic food web under climate change scenarios

  • Zooplankton and fish larvae abundance and assemblage structure in relation to mesoscale hydrological structures and biological parameters

  • The key role of mesozooplankton as prey for small pelagic fish

I am currently investigating how zooplankton and ichthyoplankton communities are affected by the North-South environmental gradients in the Red Sea. To explore species diversity of larval fish I use an integrative approach, combining morphological characteristics and DNA barcoding. In parallel, I am engaged in experimental laboratory work, testing the effects of different environmental stressors (e.g., temperature, UV) on the physiology of zooplankton species in the Red Sea.

Selected Publications

  • Exploring the larval fish community of the central Red Sea with an integrated morphological and molecular approach
    S. Isari, J.K. Pearman, L. Casas, C.T. Michell, J. Curdia, M.L. Berumen, X. Irigoien
    PLoS ONE, 12(8): e0182503, (2017)
  • Lack of evidence for elevated CO2-induced bottom-up effects on marine copepods: A dinoflagellate-calanoid prey-pred...
    S. Isari, S. Zervoudaki, J. Peters, G. Papantoniou, C. Pelejero, E. Saiz
    ICES Journal of Marine Science. in press, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv078 , (2015)
  • Copepod vital rates under CO2-induced acidification: a calanoid species and a cyclopoid species under short term ex...
    S. Isari, S. Zervoudaki, E. Saiz, C. Pelejero, J. Peters
    Journal of Plankton Research, 37(5), 912922, (2015)
  • Ageing and caloric restriction in a marine planktonic copepod.
    E. Saiz, A. Calbet, K. Griffell, J.G.F. Bersano, S. Isari., M. Solé, J. Peters, M. Alcar...
    Nature Scientific Reports, 5, 14962, (2015)
  • Light-induced changes on the feeding behaviour of the calanoid copepod Clausocalanus furcatus (Brady, 1883): eviden...
    S. S. Isari, S. Zervoudaki, A. Calbet, E. Saiz, R. Ptacnikova, J.C. Nejstgaard, D. Sousoni...
    Journal of Plankton Research, 36(5), 12331246, (2014)
  • Feeding rates and prey/predator size ratios of the nauplii and adult females of the marine cyclopoid copepod Oithon...
    E. Saiz, K. Griffell, A. Calbet, S. Isari
    Limnology and Oceanography, 59(6), 20772088, , (2014)
  • Copepod foraging on the basis of food nutritional quality: Can copepods really choose?
    S. Isari, M. Antó, E. Saiz
    PLoS ONE, 8 (12), e84742, (2013)
  • Diet of sardine Sardine pilchardus: An “end to end” field study.
    N. Nikolioudakis N., S. Isari, P. Pitta, S. Somarakis
    Marine Ecology Progress Series, 453, 173188, (2012)
  • Interannual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (Eastern M...
    S. Isari, N. Fragopoulu, S. Somarakis
    Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science, 79(4): 607-619, (2008)
  • Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the Nor...
    S. Isari, S. Psarra, P. Pitta, P. Mara, M.O. Tomprou, A. Ramfos, S. Somarakis, A. Tselepid...
    Marine Biology,151, 1035-1050, (2007)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Zooplankton Ecology, University of Patras, Greece, 2008
  • M.Sc., Environmental Biology and Management of Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems, University of Patras, Greece, 2002
  • B.Sc., Biology, University of Patras, Greece, 2000

Professional Profile

  • Current postition: Research Scientist, Red Sea Research Center, Kaust, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2015-2016:Postdoctoral fellow, Red Sea Research Center, Kaust, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2015: Postdoctoral fellow, Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, Athens, Greece
  • 2010-2014: Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Marine Sciences, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2008-2009: Postdoctoral fellow, Hellenic Centre of Marine Research, Crete, Greece

KAUST Affiliations

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