Alejandro R. Prieto

Research Staff

Senior Research Specialist-Aquarist

Research Interests

​Alex's research field is Marine Aquariology, with a primary interest in understanding the coral reef ecosystem and its associated biodiversity. 

Even though coral reefs occupy a small percentage of the world's area, they are considered incalculable value ecosystems due to their ecological role and the essential source of income they provide for millions of people. Due to threats that these ecosystems face, it becomes more crucial than ever to understand and conduct research under controlled conditions that help improve and develop coral gardening techniques and reef restoration projects.

Throughout his career, Alex has worked in several institutions from around the world and in multicultural environments composed of people with different backgrounds. He has been usually involved in coral farming activities, marine fauna rehabilitation/release tasks and breeding projects such as coral spawning, seadragons and seahorse, jellyfish, and fish.


  • ​M.Sc., Aquaculture, Universitat de València and Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain, 2011.
  • B.Sc., Biology (specialization on Zoology), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2010.

Professional Profile

  • ​2020-present: Research Specialist / Aquarist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2019-2020: Senior Coral Aquarist, Sea Life London Aquarium, London, United Kingdom
  • 2016-2019: Senior Aquarist, Malta National Aquarium, Malta
  • 2019: Aquarist, Universidad de Murcia Aquarium, Murcia, Spain

KAUST Affiliations

  • Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

Research Interests Keywords

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