Research Interests

My questions are evolutionary and ecologically driven with a particular interest in how processes like acclimation and phenotypic plasticity affect or influence mechanisms of genetic adaptation under environmental change in marine organisms. I use the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida and the brain coral Platygyra daedalea to examine these questions.

Selected Publications

  • A genomic glance through the fog of plasticity and diversification in Pocillopora
    E.C. Johnston, Z.H. Forsman, J.-F. Flot, S. Schmidt-Roach, J.H. Pinzón, I.S.S. Knapp, R.J....
    Scientific Reports 7 , (2017)
  • Diverse associations among coral host haplotypes and algal endosymbionts may drive adaptation at geographically per...
    A.M.E. Noreen, S. Schmidt-Roach, P.L. Harrison, M.J.H. van Oppen
    Journal of Biogeography 42 (9), 1639-1650 , (2015)
  • With eyes wide open: a revision of species within and closely related to the Pocillopora damicornis species complex...
    S. Schmidt-Roach, K.J. Miller, P. Lundgren, N. Andreakis
    Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 170 (1), 133 , (2014)
  • Assessing hidden species diversity in the coral Pocillopora damicornis from Eastern Australia
    S. Schmidt-Roach, P. Lundgren, K.J. Miller, G. Gerlach, A.M.E. Noreen, N. Andreakis
    Coral Reefs 32 (1), 161-172, (2013)
  • Broadcast spawning by Pocillopora species on the Great Barrier Reef
    S. Schmidt-Roach, K.J. Miller, E. Woolsey, G. Gerlach, A.H. Baird
    PLoS One 7 (12), e50847 , (2012)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 2013
  • German Diplom (M.Phil.), Marine Biodiversity, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany, 2007
  • German Vordiplom (B.Sc.), Biology, Universität Bielefeld, Germany 2003

Professional Profile

  • ​2017-present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2015-2017: Postdoctoral fellow, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany
  • 2013-2015: Research assistant, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • ​International Society for Reef Studies
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Coral Specialist Group


  • Vicki Harriott Memorial Student Prize (1st Prize), ACRS conference 2010

KAUST Affiliations

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