07 November, 2021

Restoring coral health

Coral reef ecosystems are severely threatened by climate change. The urgent need to address the issue is driving a new era of innovation in reef science, shown by a global multidisciplinary exploration of different approaches to enhance coral resilience. An international team including KAUST professors Manuel Aranda and Raquel Peixoto, with adjunct professor Chris Voolstra, have proposed an adaptive framework to increase the resilience of corals in the face of climate change.

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31 October, 2021

KAUST scientists propose a nature-based adaptive approach to boost coral restoration

Coral reefs are rapidly degrading all over the world due to climate change and human activity. This phenomenon has dire consequences on the livelihoods of almost one billion people who directly depend on the ecosystem services delivered through healthy tropical reefs. Based on current projections, and without active intervention, coral reefs may become extinct by the year 2050.

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28 October, 2021

Agreements support two new centers aimed to mitigate climate impacts in Middle East

Vice President for Research Dr. Donal D. C. Bradley of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) met with Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ayam Ghulam of the National Center for Meteorology (NCM) on October 17, 2021, at KAUST to sign agreements in support of the creation of two new climate centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The National Center for Climate Change, and the Regional Sand and Dust Storms Early Warning and Advisory Center

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27 October, 2021

Distinguished Professor Carlos M. Duarte has been appointed Academic with the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences

Distinguished Professor Carlos M. Duarte has been appointed Academic with the Spanish Royal Academy of Science for his seminal contributions to further understanding marine ecosystems and their responses to global change.

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20 October, 2021

World’s longest coral survey: a century of change at Aua reef

The recent paper by RSRC Research Scientist by Dr. Alison Green documents the scope of their findings, with a focus on areas of lowest and highest resilience across Aua and the neighboring coral reefs of the American Samoan islands amidst high stress conditions through time. With coral reefs worldwide declining due to warming sea temperatures and related climate change stressors, long-term monitoring of reef ecosystems reveals patterns and dynamics that are useful, not only for research but for reef management and protection.

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13 October, 2021

KAUST and NHK sign agreement to document the Red Sea using high-definition, 8K technology

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) signed a collaborative agreement for NHK to film the wonders of the Red Sea in high-definition, 8K technology. Planned in coordination with researchers from the University's Red Sea Research Center, the film is part of NHK's global scientific documentary series "Deep Ocean," narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

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29 September, 2021

Prof. Carlos Duarte has been honored with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award organized by Fundación BBVA in Spain

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology has gone in this twelfth edition to marine biologists Carlos Duarte, Terence Hughes, and Daniel Pauly for “their seminal contributions to our understanding of the world’s oceans, and their efforts to protect and conserve marine biodiversity and oceanic ecosystem services in a rapidly changing world,” in the words of the award citation.

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16 September, 2021

Quantifying future impacts on coral reefs

Tropical and subtropical coral reefs will increasingly experience bleaching and substantial declines in productivity, calcification and survival within the next two decades under low and intermediate greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

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07 September, 2021

Student Focus: Silvia Vimercati

We caught up with Silvia Vimercati, a PhD student in the KAUST Habitat and Benthic Biodiversity (HaBB) Lab, who studies the unique relationships between stony corals (the Scleractinia) and coral-dwelling gall crabs (in the family Cryptochiridae).

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15 August, 2021

Probiotics for corals boost resilience, help prevent mortality

As more coral reefs around the world suffer from bleaching and mass mortality due to warming ocean temperatures and related climate change conditions, good news about reefs is welcome news. A new study, Coral microbiome manipulation elicits metabolic and genetic restructuring to mitigate heat stress and evade mortality, shows probiotics to be helpful protagonists in boosting coral health and preventing mortality in the face of environmental stressors.

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13 August, 2021

Corals survive the heat with bacterial help

Treating corals with a probiotic cocktail of beneficial bacteria increases survival after a bleaching event, according to new research. This approach could be administered in advance of a predicted heatwave to help corals recover from high sea temperatures.

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04 August, 2021

Professor Francesca Benzoni and Professor Froukje van der Zwan appointed as Associate Directors of the Red Sea Research Center

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointments of Associate Professor Francesca Benzoni and Assistant Professor Froukje van der Zwan as associate directors for the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), effective August 1, 2021.

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25 July, 2021

A radical plan to save ravaged coral reefs—with customized medicine

For decades, scientists have been engaged in a furious effort to save the world’s coral reefs, which are vanishing at an alarming rate—about half of them are believed to have died over the last 50 years. Efforts to “do something about it” have ranged from replanting programs to genetic engineering and establishing protective reserves. The combined effects of acidification, pollution, and climate change, however, continue to ravage these colonies. Scientists predict that up to 9O percent will die out over the next two decades and that they will be gone completely by 2100.

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07 July, 2021

Professor Raquel S. Peixoto: The Coral Warrior

The world’s coral reefs are in crisis, with climate change emerging as the biggest threat of mass coral reef bleaching. Coral reef health walks hand-in-hand with overall ocean health, in addition to supplying effective shoreline protection and supporting businesses globally, from fishing to tourism. In the search for solutions, Professor Raquel S. Peixoto and her team at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have reportedly found a new method to aid the stress tolerance and resilience of coral.

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09 July, 2021

Creating a lab mangrove helps to identify new bacteria

A pioneering cultivation strategy that recreates a mangrove environment in the lab has enabled identification of novel bacteria residing in Red Sea mangroves and will help improve understanding of mangrove ecosystem stability, resilience and sustainability. Mangroves are highly productive, dominant coastal ecosystems that line between 60-70 percent of the world’s tropical and subtropical coastlines.

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30 June, 2021

Saudi environmental stewards release hawksbills

​Scientists from KAUST and the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) have been working to rescue wildlife along the Red Sea coast. A team recently released two Hawksbill sea turtles named Amal (Hope) and Hayat (Life). The initiative was headed up by RSRC, KAUST alumna and Protected Species Science Manager Royale Hardenstine and her colleague at TRSDC, Senior Compliance and Enforcement Manager, Khalid Aldahlawi.

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27 June, 2021

TRSDC Signs Master Research Agreement with KAUST

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world's most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has signed a Master Research Agreement (MRA) with KAUST. The agreement follows extensive collaboration between the two organizations on flora and fauna assessments, marine spatial planning, and an international competition called the Brains-for-Brine Challenge.

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22 June, 2021

NEOM and KAUST partner on coral garden

The NEOM Company and KAUST recently announced a joint project to establish the world's largest coral garden at Shushah Island in the Red Sea area of NEOM, in northwest Saudi Arabia. The project is a tangible demonstration of Saudi Arabia's commitment to protect 95% of nature within NEOM. The 100-hectare Shushah Island Coral Reefscape will showcase reef restoration innovations and accelerate solutions for conserving coral reefs in a changing climate.

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26 May, 2021

Sounds of the ocean reveal marine conditions

Ocean noise is increasing in prevalence and scale from human sources such as cargo shipping, seismic blasting, active sonar, pile driving and fishing vessels. The extent to which it is changing the character of the ocean soundscape and impacting marine life and their habitats is a largely understudied and unaddressed area. A multi-institutional meta-study published in Science, in February 2021, "The soundscape of the Anthropocene ocean", documents the adverse effects of this sonic footprint, and presents a path toward solutions in a context of ocean health and sustainable ocean economies.

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23 May, 2021

Deep and extreme: Microbes thrive in transition

A diverse microbial community has adapted to an extremely salty environment deep in the Red Sea. The microbes, many unknown to science, occupy a one-meter-thick area overlying the Suakin Deep, an expansive 80-meter-deep brine lake, 2,771 meters below the central Red Sea. The chemical properties of this thin “brine-seawater interface,” along with the composition of microbial communities, change surprisingly rapidly across a sharp gradient.

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