Fabio Marchese, Ph.D.

Research Scientists

​Research Scientist

Research Interests

​Dr. Marchese is a marine geomorphologist specialized in seafloor and habitat mapping techniques, his research interest focuses on study how the geomorphic processes create the present seafloor morphologies, how to detect and characterize them through maps, models, and augmented reality.
Before joining KAUST he completed his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) and in collaboration with the Italian National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Sciences (CoNISMa).

Over the years, Dr. Marchese has worked in interdisciplinary research on deep-sea ecosystems (cold-water corals), and coastal research (coralligenous bioconstructions), up to the study of tropical coral reef habitats. He uses different quantitative techniques to analyze datasets coming from geophysical acoustic sensors (Multibeam, Side Scan Sonar, and Sub-Bottom Profiler), photogrammetry by Structure from Motion techniques (scuba diving, snorkeling, ROV, and drones), and hyperspectral underwater cameras.

Dr. Marchese participated in more than 15 international oceanographic cruises and several hydrographic surveys under the umbrella of major Italian (MaGIC, RITMARE, and BioMAP) and European (CoralFish, COCONET, and Marine Strategy) projects.

Selected Publications

  • Assessing Fine-Scale Distribution and Volume of Mediterranean Algal Reefs through Terrain Analysis of Multibeam Bat... 
    Marchese, F., Bracchi, V.A., Lisi, G., Basso, D., Corselli, C., Savini, A. 
    Water, (2020)
  • Multi-Temporal UAV Data and Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) for Estimation of Substrate Changes in a Post-Bleach... 
    Fallati, L., Saponari, L., Savini, A., Marchese, F., Corselli, C., Galli, P.
    Remote Sensing, (2020)
  • Application of Hyperspectral Imaging to Underwater Habitat Mapping, Southern Adriatic Sea 
    Foglini F., Grande V., Marchese F., Bracchi V., Prampolini M., Angeletti L., Castellan G.,...
    Sensors, (2019)
  • UAV-based surveying in volcano-tectonics: An example from the Iceland rift 
    Bonali F.L., Tibaldi A., Marchese F., Fallati L., Russo E., Corselli C., Savini A. 
    Journal of Structural Geology, (2019)
  • Coralligenous morphotypes on subhorizontal substrate: A new categorization 
    Bracchi V., Basso D., Marchese F., Corselli C., Savini A.
    Continental Shelf Research, (2017)
  • Santa Maria di Leuca province (Mediterranean Sea): Identification of suitable mounds for cold-water coral settlemen... 
    Bargain, A, Marchese, F, Savini, A, Taviani, M, Fabri, MC.
    Frontiers in Marine Sciences, (2017)
  • The “Sardinian cold-water coral province” in the context of the Mediterranean coral ecosystems 
    Taviani, M., Angeletti, L., Canese, S., Cannas, R., Cardone, F., Cau, A., Cau, A. B., Foll...
    Deep-Sea Research, (2017)
  • Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (central Mediterranean): An as... 
    Savini A, Vertino A, Marchese F, Beuck L, Freiwald A.
    PLOS ONE, (2014)


  • ​Ph.D., Earth Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2016
  • M.Sc., Geological Sciences and Technologies, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2010
  • B.Sc., Geological Sciences and Technologies, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2007

Professional Profile

  • ​2016-2020: Postdoctoral fellow, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  • 2015-2016: Research Fellow, CoNISMa, Rome, Italy
  • 2010-2012: Research Fellow, CoNISMa, Rome, Italy

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​ LITHOMAR Task Force (Assessing the relationships between lithospheric processes and seafloor topography at oceanic hotspots and divergent margins) of the International Lithosphere Program.

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Geomorphology seafloor mapping benthic habitat mapping geomorphometry terrain analysis Remote Sensing geographic information system