Research Interests

​I am currently a Research Scientist working with the Jones Lab and the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center. Prior to joining KAUST, I carried out research related to the environmental sciences - ocean circulation, air-sea interaction and remote sensing in the Indian Ocean region at various research and academic organization since 1982. I have applied statistical methods, mathematical modeling and remote sensing techniques in addition to the classical methods to study the ocean dynamics. My research experience ranges from environmental impact assessment to deep-sea hydrothermal vents. In Oman, I worked on biophysical dynamics and numerical modeling of ocean circulation to investigate the causes of increasing events of harmful algal blooms and their impact on living marine resources. Earlier, worked on environmental impact assessment of central Indian Ocean poly-metallic nodules, and developed large database to study the hydro-biological impacts on deep-sea mining for manganese nodules.

Selected Publications

  • Biodiversity patterns of plankton assemblages at the extremes of the Red Sea
    J.K. Pearman, S. Kurten, Y.V.B. Sarma, B.H. Jones, S. Carvalho
    FEMS microbiology ecology, volume 92, issue 3, (2016)
  • Evaluation of downwelling diffuse attenuation coefficient algorithms in the Red Sea
    S.P. Tiwari, Y.V.B. Sarma, B. H. Jones
    Proceedings: Remote Sensing of the Oceans and Inland Waters: Techniques,..., (2016)
  • Long-term changes in sea surface temperature in the Sea of Oman and Arabian Sea around Oman
    Sarma, Y. V. B., Govender, A., Nyadjro, E. S., and Piontkovski, S
    International Journal of Marine Science, 3(18), 145-150, (2013)
  • The sea surface warming and its implications for harmful algal blooms off Oman
    Sarma, Y. V. B., Al-Hashmi, K, and Smith, S.L.
    International Journal of Marine Science, 3(8), 65-71, doi:10.5376/ijms.2013.03.0..., (2013)
  • Optimizing a Submerged Outfall Design through CORMIX Simulations, Journal of Science
    Purnama, A., Al-Bawain, M., and Sarma, Y. V. B.
    Technology and Environment, 2(1), 1-9. , (2012)
  • Phytoplankton community structure in the Bay of Bandar Khyran, Sea of Oman: Special reference to harmful algae
    Al-Hashmi, K. A., Sarma Y. V. B, Claereboudt, M., Al-Azri, A. R., Piontkovski, S. A., and ...
    H. International Journal of Marine Science, 2 (5), 24-35, (2012)
  • Interannual Variability of Chlorophyll-a in the Arabian Sea and its gulfs
    Sarma, Y. V. B., Al-Azri, A., and Smith, S. L.
    International Journal of Marine Science, 2(1),1-11, (2012)

Education Profile

  • Ph.D., Some aspects of ocean surface waves from synthetic aperture radar imageris, Andhra University, India, 1988.
  • M.Sc., Marine Science with specialization in Physical Oceanography, Andhra University, India, 1981
  • B.Sc., Physics, Andhra University, India, 1979. 

Professional Profile

  • Feb 2014-Present:Research Scientist, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 2005-2013: Assistant Professor, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
  • 1998-2005: Scientist-E2, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India
  • 2001-2003: Visiting Professor, Fundacao Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Brazil
  • 1993-1998: Scientist-E1, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India.
  • 1988-1993: Scientist-C, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India.
  • April-June 1989:Visiting Scientist , Department of Numerical Mathematics, USSR.
  • June-December 1991: Visiting Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 1983-1988 :Scientist-B, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India.
  • 1982 –1983: Trainee Scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India.

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of Indian Geophysical Union, 2002.
  • Life Member, Indian Geophysical Union, Hyderabad.
  • Life Member, Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Dehra Dun.
  • Life Member, Indian Meteorological Association, New Delhi.
  • Member, American Geophysical Union, USA.


  • Received Dr. M.S. Krishnan Gold Medal, 2000
  • Received Indian National Remote Sensing Award, 1998

KAUST Affiliations

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