Research Interests

Prof. Peixoto's research has outlined the protocols and proved the concept that the manipulation of coral-associated microorganisms, using Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs), is possible and can increase the host’s resilience and resistance against environmental threats. This pioneering work has contributed to pave the way for new approaches to reveal and explore mechanisms of marine microbiology and symbiotic interactions. As founder and chair of the Beneficial Microbes for Marine Organisms network (BMMO), her goal is to keep promoting a powerful international platform where basic knowledge can be strengthened and transformed into products to be used for marine ecosystems and sustainable development.

At KAUST, her research addresses the diversity, ecological role and biotechnological potential of microorganisms associated with marine organisms from the Red Sea. She also seeks to investigate how these microbiomes can be used as models and sources to explore and understand key symbiotic mechanisms promoting the host's resistance and resilience against different impacts, as part of her projects on coral reef protection, restoration and rehabilitation.

Selected Publications

  • Coral Probiotics: Premise, promise, prospects
    Peixoto, R.S.; Sweet, M.; Villela, H.D.M.; Cardoso, P.; Thomas, T.; Voolstra, C.; Hoj, L.;...
    Rev. Anim. Biosci. 9:X-X, (2021)
  • Marine Probiotics: Increasing coral resilience to bleaching through microbiome manipulation
    Magalhães-Rosado, P.; Leite, D.; Duarte, G.A.; Jospin, G.; Eisen, J.; Chaloub, R.M., Bourn...
    The ISME Journal, (2019)
  • Host-associated microbiomes and their roles in marine ecosystem functions
    Laetitia G.E. Wilkins, L.; Leray, M.; Yuen B.; Peixoto, R.S.; Pereira, T.; Bik, H.; Coil, ...
    Plos Biology, 17(11): e3000533, (2019)
  • Inevitable Future: Space Colonization Beyond Earth with Microbes First
    Lopez, J.V.; Peixoto, R.S.; Rosado, A.S.
    FEMS Microbiology Ecology, (2019)
  • Specific plasmid patterns and high rates of bacterial co-occurrence and interactions within the coral holobiont
    Leite, D.C.A.; Sales, J.F.; Calderon, E.; van Elsas, J.D.; Peixoto, R.S.
    Ecology and Evolution, (2018)
  • Beneficial Microorganisms for corals (BMC): proposed mechanisms for coral health and resilience
    Peixoto, R.S.; Rosado, P.M.; Leite, D.C.A.; Rosado, A.S.; Bourne, D.G.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 8:341, (2017)
  • Broadcast spawning coral Mussismilia hispidac can vertically transfer its associated bacterial core
    Leite, D.C.A.; Leão, P.; Garrido, A. G.; Lins, U.; Santos, H.F.; Pires, D.O.; Castro, C.B....
    Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:176, (2017)
  • Oil spills impact on coral reefs can be reduced by bioremediation using coral probiotic microbiota
    Santos, H. F., Duarte, G.; Rachid, C.; Chaloub, R.; Calderon, E.; Bianchini, A.; Marangoni...
    Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 18268, (2015)
  • A Novel Marine Mesocosm Facility to Study Global Warming, Water Quality, and Ocean Acidification
    Duarte, G.; Calderon, E. N.; Santos, H. F.; Marangoni, L.; Marques, J.; Peixoto, R. S.; Ma...
    Ecology and Evolution 5, 45554566, (2015)
  • Climate Change Affects Key Nitrogen Fixing Bacterial Populations on Coral Reefs
    Santos, H. F.; Carmo, F. L.; Duarte, G; Dini Andreote, F.; Castro, C; Rosado, A. S.; Elsas...
    The ISME Journal, 8: 2272-2279, (2014)

Education Profile

  • ​Ph.D., Microbiology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Institute for Microbiology, with partial completion at Julius Khün Institute, Germany, 2005
  • M.Sc., Biotechnology and Bioprocesses, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2001
  • B.Sc., Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute for Biology, Brazil, 1998

Professional Profile

  • ​2017-2020: Visiting Professor at the University of California, Davis, hosted by Prof. Jonathan Eisen
  • 2012-2020: Associate Professor at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2011-2012: Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the University of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • ​International Coral Reef Society (ICRS)
  • International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME)
  • Research Associate at AquaRio (Rio de Janeiro Marine Aquarium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Biosphere 2 Ocean (University of Arizona, USA) partner


  • ​“Outstanding Women in Science” (category: Researchers) IMPPG/Brazil – Organized by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 
  • The Great Barrier Reef Foundation/Tiffany & Co. – “Out of The Blue Box” Challenge –Winner of the People’s choice Award – “Solution to save Coral Reefs” to increase coral resilience through the use of Coral Probiotics;
  • 2019’s most cited papers in Microbiology Springer Nature group The ISME Journal, Rosado et al., 2019 (first published on 2018, online);
  • Editors’ Choice – The best of 2019 - FEMS Microbiology Ecology Lopez, J.V., Peixoto, R.S., Rosado, A.S., 2019;
  • Editors’ Choice – The best of 2018 – The ISME Journal, Rosado et al., 2019 (first published on 2018, online);
  • Editors’ Choice – The best of 2019 – The ISME Journal, Rosado et al., 2019 
  • The Springer Nature Ecology Stars: Influential journal articles in ecology- The ISME Journal, Rosado et al., 2019 
  • The best PhD Thesis of 2005 – Raquel Peixoto - Brazilian Research Division (CAPES “Primeiro Prêmio Capes de Tese – Menção Honrosa)

KAUST Affiliations

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