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Better communication helps translate molecular tools

Sep 15, 2020

A sustained dialogue must be established between molecular ecologists, policymakers and other stakeholders for DNA-based approaches to be adopted in marine monitoring and assessment, according to KAUST scientists and colleagues.

#Discovery

Diving for Coral Reefs in the Red Sea

Sep 10, 2020

It takes a good eye to identify new species of coral. “You have to have a kind of Rosetta Stone in your mind of what species we’ve already identified looks like. Because I would say 99% of the time that something looks unlike any known species underwater, it ends up being a new species after we've done our analysis,” says Dr. Francesca Benzoni.

Prof. Carlos Duarte on COVID-19 ecosystem rebound

Aug 25, 2020

In this lecture Prof. Carlos Duarte, a KAUST professor of marine science and the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology, lays out evidence of global ecosystem rebound in light of decreased human activity, and what that tells us about our ability to make positive change in the fight against climate change.

Measuring how corals accumulate pollutants

Aug 18, 2020

Marine pollutants are taken up by corals directly from seawater as well as through accumulation in their food, shows research from KAUST that uses a state-of-the-art spectroscopy technique known as cavity ring-down spectroscopy. This is the first time the approach has been used to measure pollutant accumulation.

#Discovery

Reef sharks around the world are in trouble

Jul 27, 2020

A massive survey of hundreds of coral reefs along the coasts of nearly 60 nations found that overfishing has significantly diminished the numbers of sharks that live within these tropical habitats. Scientists did not see any sharks on nearly 20 percent of the reefs they examined, and saw only half as many sharks as they predicted in 35 nations.

A different slant of light

Jul 05, 2020

Special cells in giant clams shift the wavelength of light to protect them from UV radiation and increase the photosynthetic activity of their symbionts, shows research from KAUST-originally intended as a photonics investigation.

#Discovery

Red Sea plankton communities ebb and flow with the seasons

Jun 15, 2020

The communities of tiny picoplankton in oceans reveal a great deal about the health of marine ecosystems and food webs. KAUST researchers have examined how numbers of these organisms vary across the year in both coastal and offshore locations in the Red Sea, while investigating the predators and viruses that control them.

These vast hidden forests under the sea could help save Earth

May 20, 2020

There’s more to marine habitats than meets the eye. Meet the KAUST-based professor working to enhance “blue carbon” sinks—which could make a huge contribution to Paris climate goals. The epiphany came whilst diving deep in the azure waters off the island of Mallorca. It was 1993, and marine ecologist Carlos Duarte was studying a seagrass called posidonia oceanica, which forms vast underwater meadows in the Mediterranean.

Sea skaters are a super source of inspiration

May 15, 2020

Tiny sea skaters, as insect ocean pioneers, may hold the secret to developing improved water repellant materials. A KAUST study also provides insights into the insect’s physical features, including the hairs and waxy coating that cover its body, and its movement to evade the sea’s dangers.

Aiding sustainable conservation of the Red Sea

May 07, 2020

Scientists at KAUST have discovered a new brine pool in their quest to understand and conserve the Red Sea more effectively.

Brine pools are lakes of extremely salty water that sit on the sea floor at depths approaching 3,000 meters.

Scientific paper details marine spatial planning at Red Sea Project

Apr 15, 2020

A paper detailing the marine spatial planning simulation that informed master planning of The Red Sea Project, the world's most ambitious tourism development, was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

KAUST scientists and an international team of researchers authored the paper, including researchers from the National Technical University of Athens and the University of Thessaly. Executives from The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the master developer behind the project, also contributed to the paper.

Marine life can be rebuilt by 2050

Apr 07, 2020

An international study recently published in the journal Nature that was led by KAUST Professors of Marine Science Carlos Duarte and Susana Agustí lays out the roadmap of actions required for the planet's marine life to recover to full abundance by 2050.

Student Focus: Afrah Alothman

Mar 31, 2020

"The impossible can come true with willpower and determination." This sentence sums up KAUST marine science Ph.D. student Afrah Alothman's educational journey from Saudi Arabia to Canada and the U.S. and then finally to the University.

Alothman began her university studies in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, where she obtained her bachelor's degree with distinction in biology from King Faisal University. However, her ambition did not stop there⁠—she decided to pursue a master's degree in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and was supported through the late King Abdullah's Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for External Scholarship.

Dr. Rusty Brainard has been appointed courtesy professor of marine science

Mar 31, 2020

Dr. Rusty Brainard, the chief environmental officer at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), has been appointed courtesy professor of marine science at the KAUST Red Sea Research Center in the University's Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division.

Helping corals survive in the Red Sea

Mar 26, 2020

Recent increases in global water temperatures are causing a progressively detrimental effect on marine life and ecosystems in our oceans. Human activities generating excess greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in an increase in the average sea surface temperature of approximately 0.13 C per decade over the past 100 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.