Faculty

Burton Jones, Ph.D.

​​Professor of Marine Science​

Research Interests: Biological networks and interactions, Environment modeling, Marine ecology, Scientific Visualization, Fluid mechanics, Networks and wireless communications, Sensors

Carlos M. Duarte, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Environment, Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Ecosystem ecology, Coastal ecology Aquaculture, Carbon, Seagrass Meadows, Climate Change

Daniele Daffonchio, Ph.D.

​Professor of Bioscience

Research Interests: Microbial ecology, Extreme environments, Deep sea brine pools, Mangrove ecosystem microbiology

Francesca Benzoni, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Coral reef ecology, Marine Habitat Mapping, Biogeography, Climate Change, Coastal Conservation, Bioconstruction, Taxonomy

Manuel Aranda Lastra, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests: Genomics, Symbiosis, Epigenetics, Molecular biology

Michael Berumen Ph.D.

Center Director | Director of Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center | Professor of Marine Science ​

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Coral reef ecology, Fish ecology, Fisheries, Ecosystems, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Marine environment

Raquel Peixoto, Ph.D.

​Associate Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests: Microbial ecology, Environmental microbiology, Marine Probiotics, Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs), Resilience, Coral restoration, Global change, ​Microbiology

Russell Rusty E. Brainard, Ph.D.

​Courtesy Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests: Coral reef ecosystems, Climate Change, Ocean acidification, Fisheries, Biodiversity, Ecology, Natural resource management, Sustainability

Susana R. Agustí, Ph.D.

​​​​Professor of Marine Science​

Research Interests: ​​​Enviornment, Biodiversity, Water quality, Ecology, Climate Change, Marine ecology, Ecosystems, Marine biology, Aquatic ecosystems

Xosé Anxelu G. Morán

Adjunct Associate Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests: Ecology, Climate Change, Marine ecology, Marine biology, Biogeochemistry, Aquatic ecosystems, Biological Oceanography, Phytoplankton

Research Scientists

Alison Green, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine protected areas, Coral reefs fishes

Alkiviadis Kalampokis, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Physical Oceanography, Observational oceanography, Operational oceanography, HF-radars, Buoys, Lagrangian systems, Currents

Anders Rostad, Ph.D.

Senior ​​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Acoustics, Ocean vertical carbon flux, Mesopelagic fish

Chakkiath Paul Antony, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Marine microbiology, Microbial bioinformatics, Marine symbioses, Extremophiles, Bacterial metabolism, Methanotrophs/methylotrophs

Darren Coker, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​​Behavior, Biodiversity, Disturbances, Ecological Processes, Habitat, Marine ecology, Reef Fishes

Fabio Marchese, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Geomorphology, seafloor mapping, benthic habitat mapping, geomorphometry, terrain analysis, Remote Sensing, geographic information system

Helena Villela, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Microbial ecology, Coral Microbiology, Marine Probiotics, Marine Symbiosis, Chemosynthesis, Applied Microbiology

Jesse Cochran, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Movement ecology, Population ecology, Megafauna

Malika Kheireddine, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Bio-optical oceanography, Biogeochemical processes, Long-term changes in phytoplankton dynamics

Ramona Marasco, Ph.D.

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Environmental microbiology, Plant-microbe interaction, Microbial ecology of extreme environments, Mangrove microbial ecology, Agriculture microbiology, Microbial biotechnology

Sebastian Schmidt-Roach, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Evolution, Epigenetics, Coral taxonomy

Shannon Klein, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine biology, Climate Change, Pollution, Acclimatization, ​Coral reefs, ​Applied Statistics

Song He, PhD

​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine FIsh Hybridization, Hybridization Speciation, Biogeography

Susana Carvalho, Ph.D.

Senior ​​Research Scientist

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Ecological Indicators, Environmental Impacts, Integrated Ecosystem Assessment, Biological networks and interactions, Meta-Barcoding

Vincent Saderne, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Interests: Benthic Ecology, Carbonate Chemistry, Biogeosciences

Yasser O. Abualnaja, Ph.D.

Senior ​​​Research Scientist

Research Interests: ​Air-sea interaction, air-sea heat fluxes, water mass, salt and heat exchange, meso-scale ocean circulation, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

Research Staff

Alejandro R. Prieto

​Research Specialist-Aquarist

Research Interests: ​Coral reef propagation & restoration, Coral reef organisms breeding, Aquariology, Reef aquaculture, Coral gardening, Marine conservation, Reef symbiosis, Plankton culture

Alex Kattan

​Research Specialist

Research Interests: Marine conservation, Coral reef ecology, Movement ecology, Climate Change, Marine protected areas, Citizen science

Alicia Schmidt-Roach

​Laboratory Assistant

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Shark ecology, movement and population genetics

Aymere Awoke Assayie, Ph.D.

Laboratory Technician

Research Interests: Environment, Aquatic Ecology, Water quality, Limnology, Environmental Health, Water and Wastewater treatment, Ecosystem services, Marine ecology, Nature management, Biodiversity

Bruno Pato

​Software Engineer

Research Interests: ​Deep learning, Data Science, Optics, Marine biology

Carolina Bocanegra Castano

​Laboratory Technician

Research Interests: Genomics, Molecular biology, NGS platform

Cristina Alcon

Molecular Laboratory Technician

Fadiyah Baalkhuyur

​Laboratory Assistant

Research Interests: ​Plastic pollution, Microplastics, Marine ecology, Fish biology

Ibrahim Alabdali

Marine Research Engineer

Joao Curdia, Ph.D.

​​Research Technician

Research Interests: Ecology, Zoology, Ecology of macrobenthic communities, Succession in ecology, Population dynamics of marine species, Data analysis of biological datasets, Diversity

Kaitlyn O'Toole

​Field Technician

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Benthic Ecology, Geospatial science, Climate Change, Restoration ecology

Mongi Ennasri

​Chemistry Research Technician

Research Interests: ​Marine chemistry, Environmental analysis

Mustapha Ouhssain

​Lab and Field Engineer

Research Interests: ​Biogeochemical cycles, Primary production, Phytoplankton pigments, Apparent and Inherent optical properties, Ocean color, Profiling floats, Gliders

Neus Garcias-Bonet, Ph.D.

​Research Specialist

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Microbial ecology, Host-associated Microbiomes, Blue Carbon Ecosystems, Climate Change, Climate changes

Pu Yin

​Lab Technician

Reham Alansari

Laboratory Technician

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Microbial ecology, Marine environment, Marine environment protection

Reny Devassy

Research Specialist​

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Microphytoplankton taxonomy, Plankton biology

Ricardo N. Alves, Ph.D.

​Research Specialist

Research Interests: Fish immune system, Fish endocrinology, UV-A and UV-B radiation, Environmental and anthropogenic stressors, Climate changes, Molecular biology, Transcriptomics, Aquaculture

Ronald Cadiz

Research Integration Analyst

Sreejith Kottuparambil, Ph.D.

​Ecotoxicologist

Research Interests: ​Ecotoxicology, Flow cytometry, PAM fluorometry, Algal metabolites

Taskeen Begum

Research Specialist

Tatiana Gromova

​Laboratory Assistant

Ute Langner

​Geographic Information System Specialist

Research Interests: Spatial Modeling and Analysis, Scientific Visualization, Relational Database Management, GIS, Ecology

Vijayalaxmi Dasari

​​​​​​​Laboratory Technician

Wajitha Jasmine Raja Mohamed Sait

​Laboratory Technician

Research Interests: ​Molocular Biology, Genetics, Immunohistochemistry

Postdoctoral Fellows

Alan Barozzi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Microbial communities, Brine Pools, Extreme environemnts

Alexandra Steckbauer, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Global change, Anthropogenic stressors, Multiple Stressors, Environmental Impacts, Coastal Ecosystems, ​Reef Ecology, Ecosystem Recovery

Arun Prasanna Nagarajan, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Transcriptomics, Genomics, Phylogenomics

Cristina Andres-Barrao, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​​​​Prokaryotes, Extremophiles, Marine ecology, Taxonomy, Genomics, Metagenomics, Transcriptomics, NGS, Data analysis

Elisa Garuglieri, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Intertidal microbiology, Bacterial symbiosis in animals, Biofilms, Oxidative stress, Metaorganism, Evolutionary biology

Erika Santoro Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Marine microbiology, Microbial ecology, Molecular biology, Biotechnology, Probiotics, Biorremediation, Host-microbiome interactions

Eslam Osman, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Corals Ecology, Corals Resilience, Microbial ecology, Functional Microbiome

Guoxin Cui, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Molecular biology, Biochemistry, Transcriptomics, Laser Microdissection

Kashif Nawaz, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Computational Epigenetics, Heat tolerance, Bioinformatics

Octavio Salazar Moya, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​Salinity tolerance, Halophytes, Tissue Tolerance, Saponins

Samir Aljbour, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Jellyfish, UV radiation​, Marine pollutants, Stress response, Metabolic responses, Marine biology

Sdena Nunes, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Phytoplankton pigments, HPLC, CHEMTAX, Chemotaxonomy, Marine ecology, Climate Change

Syed Haleem Shah, Ph.D.

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: ​​Phytoplankton ecology, Carbon Biogeochemistry

Tahira Jamil, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tullia Isotta Terraneo, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Evolution, Systematics, Genetics, Taxonomy, Sequencing, DNA, DNA sequencing

Ph.D. Students

Abbrar Labban

​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Microbiology, Marine microbial ecology, Metabolic ecology, Transcriptomics

Adam Barno

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine microbial ecology, Coral Microbiology, Molecular biology, Marine Probiotics, Epigenetics

Afrah Alothman

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine, Diatoms, Iron, Organic carbon, Temperature

Aislinn Dunne

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Aquaculture, Water quality, Marine Ecology and Conservation, Coastal Zone Management

Alessandro Moret

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: coral, Symbiosis, Algal biology, Marine ecology, Coral physiology

Ananya Ashok

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Environmental pollution, Global change, Oceanography

Anieka Parry

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Applied Statistics, Marine ecology, Chemical Ecology, Spectroscopy, Cnidarian symbiosis

Ashwag Asseri

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Global change, Marine ecology

Carol Nathaly Buitrago López

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Genomics, Marine ecology

Chunzhi Cai

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine Ecotoxicology, Marine Mussels, Marine Algae, Heavy Metal Pollution, Metal Biokenetics

Colleen Campbell

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Marine modeling, GIS, Movement

Collin Williams

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Fish biology, Fisheries management

Elisa Laiolo

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine microbial ecology, Metagenomics, Functional and comparative genomics, Sediment Habitats, Blue Carbon habitats

Eman Sabbagh

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Red Sea, Viruses, Heterotrophic nanoflagellates, Heterotrophic Bacteria, abundance, flowcytometry

Francesca Giovenzana

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Marine ecology Coral reef, Benthic invertebrate community, GIS, Geomorphology

Huawen Zhong

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Coral symbiosis, Transcriptome and regulatory network

Inês Goncalves Raimundo

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine Metagenomics, Marine microbial ecology, Microbial Cultivation, Functional and comparative genomics, Blue Biotechnology

Ioana Andreea Ciocanaru

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Remote Sensing, Sustainable development, Monitoring, Mangroves, Seagrass, Coral reef habitats

Lily Genevier

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Fisheries management, Statistical modelling, Global change biology

Lina Eyouni

​​​​​​​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Oceanography, Physical and biological coupling, Air-Sea interactions, HF Radar, Surface Circulation

Lucía Pombo Ayora

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Ecosystem functions, Fish ecology

Lucrezia Celeste Bonzi

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Genomics, Climate Change, Fish biology

Lyndsey Tanabe

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine conservation, Movement ecology, Climate Change, Coral Bleaching, Marine protected areas

Marcelle Barreto

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Coral reef ecology, Assisted evolution, Ecological genomics, Climate Change

Matthew Tietbohl

​​​​​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Food webs, Resilience, Conservation, Restoration, Biodiversity, Mesophotic reefs

Max Dhillon

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Coral reef restoration, Coral reef ecology, Marine ecology, Assisted evolution

Megan Nolan

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Benthic Ecology, Mesophotic reefs, Spatial modelling

Migle Konciute

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Molecular biology, Coral symbiosis

Nathalia Delgadillo

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Microbial communities, Deep-sea ecology, Biotechnology, Bioremediation

Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Remote Sensing, Marine ecology

Rayyan Alamoudi

Ph.D. Student

Rodrigo Villalobos Vazquez de la Parra

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​​Community ecology, Genetic diversity in coral reefs, Benthic Ecology

Saeed Amin

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, The Red Sea, ​Bacteria, Archaea, Macroalgae, Bioinformatics, Metagenomics, Next generation sequencing (NGS)

Sarah Abdullah Gozai Alghamdi

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Diatoms, Microalgae, Molecular biology, Marine ecology, Genomics, Aquatic ecosystems

Shiou-Han Hung

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Materials modeling

Silvia Arossa

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, ​Coral ecology, Global change biology, Marine pollution, ​Plastic pollution, ​Ecotoxicology

Silvia Vimercati

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Coevolution, ​Coral reefs, Symbiosis, Biodiversity

Susanne Bähr

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Corals, Coral symbiosis, Crustaceans, Fluorescence, Biodiversity

Wally Rich

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: ​Coral ecology, Global change biology, Species interactions

Xinyuan Yang

​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Microbial ecology, Mangrove ecosystem microbiology

Master Students

Ahmed Alsaggaf

​Master Student

Research Interests: ​Microbiology, Microbial ecology, Corals, Microorganisms, Marine microbes, Red Sea

Alexa Foster

​Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Marine Connectivity, Conservation biology, Citizen science

Areen Nasif

​Master Student

Research Interests: ​Coral ecology, Marine ecology, Fish biodiversity, Movement ecology, Conservation, Population genetics

Diego Rivera Rosas

Master Student

Gloria Lisbet Gil Ramos

Master Student

Research Interests: Coral reef ecology, Marine ecology, Conservation, Biodiversity, Fish biodiversity, ​​Reef fish, Fisheries

Hailey Shchepanik

​Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Biological invasions, Coral reef fish biology, Fisheries biology

Irene A. Salinas Akhmadeeva

Master Student

Research Interests: ​​Reef and Fish Ecology, MPAs, Restoration, Socio-ecological Systems

Jacqueline Victoria Alva García

​Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Marine conservation, ​Coral reefs, Bioremediation

Jessica Menzies

Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Molecular biology, Transcriptomics, Nitrogen cycling

João Gabriel Duarte Rosado

​Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Coral reef ecology, Biodiversity, Reef Functioning, Conservation biology, Coral Reef Dynamics, Bioinformatics, Molecular biology, Marine Probiotics, Climate Change

Juan D. Escobar Prieto

Master Student

Karla Gonzalez Martinez

​Master Student

Research Interests: Population genetics, Conservation

Marta Andrea Ezeta Watts

​Master Student

Research Interests: ​Coral reef, Ecology, community, Coral identification, Morphology, Coral restoration, Conservation, Science communication

Micaela Justo

Master Student

Research Interests: ​​Reef fish, Connectivity, Larval dispersal, Behavioral ecological

Michelle-Nicole Havlik

Master Student

Research Interests: Bioacoustics, Marine biology, Coral reef ecology

Milica Predragovic

Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, GIS, MSP

Pedro Moreira Cardoso

​Master Student

Research Interests: Conservation biology, Microbial ecology, Molecular biology, Marine ecology, Coral physiology

Stephania Palacios Narvaez

Master Student

Research Interests: Fish ecology, Coral reef ecology, Fish interactions, Trophic ecology, Climate Change

Taiba A. Alamoudi

​Master Student

Research Interests: Climate Change, Aquaculture, Molecular Ecology, Data Science

Victoria Golding

Master Student

Research Interests: ​Coral reefs, Thermal tolerance in corals, Ecological genomics, Anthropogenic effects, Adaptation

Viktor Nunes Peinemann

​Master Student

Research Interests: Marine ecology, Cryptofauna, eDna, Conservation

Center Operations Team

Amr Gusti

Marine Operations Support

Christine Nelson

Executive Secretary

Fran Aparicio, Ph.D.

Lab Manager

Research Interests: Phytoplankton, Marine biology, Biogeochemistry, Global change, Laboratory management, Scientific visualisation

Jin Zhu

Administrative Assistant

Manal S. Bamashmos

Business Manager

Seda Gasparyan

Communications and IT officer