15 September, 2020

Better communication helps translate molecular tools

A sustained dialogue must be established between molecular ecologists, policymakers and other stakeholders for DNA-based approaches to be adopted in marine monitoring and assessment, according to KAUST scientists and colleagues.

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10 September, 2020

Diving for Coral Reefs in the Red Sea

It takes a good eye to identify new species of coral. “You have to have a kind of Rosetta Stone in your mind of what species we’ve already identified looks like. Because I would say 99% of the time that something looks unlike any known species underwater, it ends up being a new species after we've done our analysis,” says Dr. Francesca Benzoni.

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25 August, 2020

Prof. Carlos Duarte on COVID-19 ecosystem rebound

In this lecture Prof. Carlos Duarte, a KAUST professor of marine science and the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology, lays out evidence of global ecosystem rebound in light of decreased human activity, and what that tells us about our ability to make positive change in the fight against climate change.

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18 August, 2020

Measuring how corals accumulate pollutants

Marine pollutants are taken up by corals directly from seawater as well as through accumulation in their food, shows research from KAUST that uses a state-of-the-art spectroscopy technique known as cavity ring-down spectroscopy. This is the first time the approach has been used to measure pollutant accumulation.

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27 July, 2020

Reef sharks around the world are in trouble

A massive survey of hundreds of coral reefs along the coasts of nearly 60 nations found that overfishing has significantly diminished the numbers of sharks that live within these tropical habitats. Scientists did not see any sharks on nearly 20 percent of the reefs they examined, and saw only half as many sharks as they predicted in 35 nations.

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05 July, 2020

A different slant of light

Special cells in giant clams shift the wavelength of light to protect them from UV radiation and increase the photosynthetic activity of their symbionts, shows research from KAUST-originally intended as a photonics investigation.

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15 June, 2020

Red Sea plankton communities ebb and flow with the seasons

The communities of tiny picoplankton in oceans reveal a great deal about the health of marine ecosystems and food webs. KAUST researchers have examined how numbers of these organisms vary across the year in both coastal and offshore locations in the Red Sea, while investigating the predators and viruses that control them.

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20 May, 2020

These vast hidden forests under the sea could help save Earth

There’s more to marine habitats than meets the eye. Meet the KAUST-based professor working to enhance “blue carbon” sinks—which could make a huge contribution to Paris climate goals. The epiphany came whilst diving deep in the azure waters off the island of Mallorca. It was 1993, and marine ecologist Carlos Duarte was studying a seagrass called posidonia oceanica, which forms vast underwater meadows in the Mediterranean.

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15 May, 2020

Sea skaters are a super source of inspiration

Tiny sea skaters, as insect ocean pioneers, may hold the secret to developing improved water repellant materials. A KAUST study also provides insights into the insect’s physical features, including the hairs and waxy coating that cover its body, and its movement to evade the sea’s dangers.

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07 May, 2020

Aiding sustainable conservation of the Red Sea

Scientists at KAUST have discovered a new brine pool in their quest to understand and conserve the Red Sea more effectively.

Brine pools are lakes of extremely salty water that sit on the sea floor at depths approaching 3,000 meters.

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31 March, 2020

Dr. Rusty Brainard has been appointed courtesy professor of marine science

Dr. Rusty Brainard, the chief environmental officer at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), has been appointed courtesy professor of marine science at the KAUST Red Sea Research Center in the University's Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division.

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31 March, 2020

Student Focus: Afrah Alothman

"The impossible can come true with willpower and determination." This sentence sums up KAUST marine science Ph.D. student Afrah Alothman's educational journey from Saudi Arabia to Canada and the U.S. and then finally to the University.

Alothman began her university studies in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, where she obtained her bachelor's degree with distinction in biology from King Faisal University. However, her ambition did not stop there⁠—she decided to pursue a master's degree in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and was supported through the late King Abdullah's Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for External Scholarship.

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26 March, 2020

Helping corals survive in the Red Sea

Recent increases in global water temperatures are causing a progressively detrimental effect on marine life and ecosystems in our oceans. Human activities generating excess greenhouse gas emissions have resulted in an increase in the average sea surface temperature of approximately 0.13 C per decade over the past 100 years, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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22 March, 2020

Simple framework helps future ocean studies

A range of information is collated through a simple framework that will help marine scientists to design more accurate experiments that will better help them understand the projected impact of global warming on marine life.

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05 March, 2020

Postdoctoral Fellow Focus: Daffne López-Sandoval

Single-minded determination married with innate curiosity led KAUST postdoctoral fellow Daffne López-Sandoval to where she is today.

López-Sandoval's journey to becoming a marine scientist in the University's Red Sea Research Center began at a young age after she watched a documentary by Jacques Cousteau, the famed French filmmaker, oceanographer, researcher and undersea explorer. Cousteau's documentary focused on nuclear tests performed by the French government at the Mururoa atoll, and it instilled in López-Sandoval a passion for marine life and research.

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04 March, 2020


KAUST's Marine Science program will be hosting a three-week summer course from July 12th to 30th, 2020. The course will highlight a range of topics relevant to the Red Sea Research Center's work, including genomics, microbiology, ecology, environmental science, biological oceanography, and geoscience.

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10 February, 2020

KAUST Professor Carlos M. Duarte receives award for research in ecology and conservation

On February 4, the University announced that Carlos M. Duarte, KAUST professor of marine science and the Tarek Ahmed Juffali research chair in Red Sea ecology, received a Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Ecology and Conservation Biology from BBVA Foundation in Spain.

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04 February, 2020

Dozens of new corals discovered on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Scientists have discovered dozens of new coral species on a recent voyage along the length of the Great Barrier Reef that will provide valuable insights to aid conservation and management of Australia's unique World Heritage site.

The team of researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), James Cook University (JCU) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) completed the 21-day expedition ranging from the Capricorn Bunkers off Gladstone to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait last month.

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13 November, 2019

Whale 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.

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12 November, 2019

Postdoctoral Fellow Focus: Eva Aylagas Martinez

KAUST Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) postdoctoral fellow Eva Aylagas Martinez spent a large part of her childhood by the seaside in Alicante, the capital of Spain's 200 kilometer-long Costa Blanca coastline. Her childhood there nurtured in her a curiosity for nature and the environment, which led her to pursue a degree in biology at the University of La Laguna (ULL), Tenerife, in 2009.

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