21 March, 2018Prof. Duarte honored for outstanding accomplishments in marine biodiversity science
Carlos Duarte was named the first recipient of the Carlo Heip Award for outstanding accomplishments in marine biodiversity science. Duarte will receive the award at the Carlo Heip Award ceremony, which will take place on May 15 in Montreal, Canada.
15 February, 2018RSRC Ph.D. student Nils Rädecker wins best student presentation award at ECRS 2017
Nils Radecker, a Ph.D. student in the RSRC's Reef Genomics Lab, won a best student presentation award at the European Coral Reef Symposium (ECRS) 2017. Radecker's talk entitled "Understanding coral bleaching in the light of holobiont nutrient cycling" was focused on his work to decipher the underlying mechanisms of coral bleaching, or the breakdown of the symbiosis between corals and endosymbiotic algae due to ocean warming.
01 February, 2018Coral lifestyles reflected in their genes
The first comparative genome study between two corals reveals significant evolutionary differences. These findings could help scientists understand the resilience of corals and how they might respond to climate change. Reef-building corals diverged into two genetically distinct groups, called the robust clade and the complex clade, at least 240 million years ago. Until now, the only complex coral genome available has been for the complex coral Acropora digitifera. An international team, led by Christian Voolstra and Manuel Aranda from KAUST, sequenced the genome of the robust coral Stylophora pistillata and then compared it with the existing Acropora genome.
11 January, 2018Marine Natural Products project - RSRC research cruise starting January 16
The cruise will be from the 16th to the 24th on board of R/V Al Azizi (KAU vessel) heading to the Farasan banks, where the participants will visit reefs, mangroves, seagrass meadows and beaches along the coastline and offshore. We will be 9 participants mainly from the Red Sea Research Center plus one from the Water Desalination and Reuse Center and two visitor professors from Greece.
07 January, 2018Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic
KAUST Professor/Director of the Red Sea Research Center, Carlos Duarte, and his student Cecilia Martin were part of a team that measured the amount of plastic debris in the Red Sea during sea voyages in 2016-2017. They found that the quantity of plastic in the Red Sea was quite low, which they attribute to there being no consistent inflow from a river and to plastics collecting in corals and mangroves.
13 November, 2019Whale Shark Hot Spot Offers New Conservation Insights
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50% in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
03 November, 2019Shark skin microbiome resists infection
A survey of the shark skin microbiome provides the first step toward understanding the remarkable resilience of shark wounds to infection.
In the wild, blacktip reef sharks are often seen bearing wounds, but they rarely exhibit obvious signs of infection around the wounds. As a first step toward understanding this phenomenon, an international team led by researchers at KAUST’s Red Sea Research Center investigated the microbial community living on the skin of sharks.
05 September, 2019Date palms picky about bacterial partners
Bacterial DNA sequencing analyses show date palms that are cultivated over a vast stretch of the Tunisian Sahara Desert consistently attract two types of growth-promoting bacteria to their roots, regardless of the location. This finding could help with improving crop cultivation in a warming climate.
03 September, 2019Corals take control of nitrogen recycling
Corals are shown to recycle their own waste ammonium using a surprising source of glucose—a finding that reveals more about the relationship between corals and their symbiotic algae. Symbiosis between corals and algae provides the backbone for building coral reefs, particularly in nutrient-poor waters like the Red Sea.
06 August, 2019New study reveals star role of seaweed in struggle against climate change
In a first of its kind study, researchers from the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) and Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC) at King Abdullah University Science and Technology (KAUST), provided global-scale evidence of the important role that macroalgae play in trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the deep sea.
KAUST scientists found a great diversity of macroalgae drifting in the global open ocean at distances ranging almost up to 5,000 km away from coastal areas 69% of this drifting macroalgae stock sinks below 1,000 m depth, leading to the sequestration of the carbon contained in their biomass in deep ocean waters.
29 July, 2019Prof. Carlos Duarte awarded the 2019 Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology
Prof. Carlos M. Duarte has been awarded the 2019 Premi Ramon Margalef d’Ecologia. The jury of this award, the most important given by the Generalitat of Catalonia together with the Premi Internacional Catalunya, has decided that the prize goes to this oceanographer, born in Portugal but of Spanish nationality, for his discoveries and scientific advances.
25 July, 2019Industrialised Fishing Overlaps Threaten Shark Hotspots Worldwide
An international team of over 150 scientists from 26 countries have collated movement data from nearly 2,000 sharks tracked with satellite transmitter tags. The groundbreaking study, published in the journal Nature reports, revealed that even the remotest parts of the ocean appear to offer highly migratory sharks little refuge from industrialised fishing fleets. The researchers, part of the marine megafauna movement, brought together by Carlos Duarte, Professor of Marine Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) mapped shark positions and revealed 'hotspots' of space use in unprecedented detail.
21 July, 2019Spilling the story of oil in the Arabian Gulf
Marine sediments tell the history of an environment, including oil spills. By "reading" sediments from the past century, a research team has now determined how much oil hydrocarbon is accumulated in different vegetated coastal habitats of the Arabian Gulf and the significance of this for environmental management.
21 May, 2019Growth and death in bacterial communities
The coastal waters of the Red Sea have enough resources to support bacterial growth, but predation by protistan grazers limits the population, according to new research from KAUST. Since bacteria are vital players in the marine food web, determining the factors that affect their growth and abundance is critical to understanding marine ecosystems and how they will respond to climate change.
13 May, 2019Mangrove forests trap floating litter
Mangrove forests on the coasts of Saudi Arabia act as litter traps, accumulating plastic debris from the marine environment, according to new research from KAUST. The study offers an explanation for the fate of missing marine plastic litter and highlights the threat it poses to coastal ecosystems.
15 April, 2019Bacterial mix helps predict future change
A controlled, laboratory approach, along with computer simulations, has helped KAUST researchers to show that bacterial communities can homogenously disperse within aquatic ecosystems even with slow flowing water and the persistence of their preferred, localized conditions.
08 April, 2019Global study shows exotic species are a complex threat
When species are introduced by humans into marine habitats, they can disrupt their new environment, according to a study at KAUST, which also identified key species for conservation efforts to focus on.
13 March, 2019Speargrass recruit sandy microbes for help
Sticky, sandy sheaths surrounding the roots of three speargrass species growing in the Namib Desert recruit whatever growth-promoting bacteria are available in the surrounding sand. This is contrary to the more specialized root sheaths of plants growing in resource-rich soils, where different plant species recruit different types of bacteria.