Holger Anlauf, Ph.D.

Research Staff

Research Specialist

Research Interests

For Holger coral reef restoration needs to anticipate coming ocean changes and existing knowledge gaps in efforts to maintain coral reef ecosystem services in the future. He has been working on coral reef ecology and benthic community dynamics in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Eastern Pacific, and Caribbean. His work has focused on studying the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic pressures on coral physiology and ecosystem-wide responses. In an earlier position at the RSRC he was actively involved in coral reef assessments in Saudi Arabian Red Sea waters also leading research cruises. At the University of Seychelles, he taught and addressed coral reef resilience in coral restoration, while promoting the importance of ridge to reef approaches for coastal management and simple socioecological actions to aid ecosystem recovery. He rejoined the Red Sea Research Center to investigate how selective breeding can enhance the climate resilience of corals at reef scale, as well as using sexual coral reproduction to strengthen corals and explore fundamental questions of coral physiology.

Selected Publications

  • 2019 Ellis, J.I., Jamil, T., Anlauf, H., Coker, D., Curdia, J., Dasari, H., Hewitt, J., Jones, B.H., Krokos, G., Kuerten, B., Roth, F., Carvalho, S., Hoteit, I. "Multiple stressor effects on coral reef ecosystems in the Red Sea". Global change Biology 25(12): 4131-4146, https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14819
  • 2019 Pearman, J.K., Aylagas, E., Anlauf, H., Voolstra, C., Carvalho, S. "Disentangling the complex microbial community of coral reefs using standardized Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS)". Molecular Ecology 28(15): 3496-3507, https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15167
  • 2019 Roth, F., Wild, C., Carvalho, S., Rädecker, N., Voolstra, C.R., Kürten, B., Anlauf, H., El-Khaled, Y.C., Carolan, R., Jones, B.H. "An in situ approach for measuring biogeochemical fluxes in structurally complex benthic communities". Methods of Ecology and Evolution 10(5): 712-725, https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13151
  • 2019 David, R., Uyarra, M.C., Carvalho, S., Anlauf, H., Borja, A., Cahill, A.E., Carugati, L., Danovaro, R., De Jode, A., Feral, J-P., Guillemain, D., Lo Martire, M., De Ville D'Avray, l.T., Pearman, J.K., Chenuil, A. "Lessons from photo analyses of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures as tools to detect (bio-) geographical, spatial, and environmental effects". Marine Pollution Bulletin 141: 420-429, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.02.066
  • 2017 Ellis, J., Anlauf, H., Kurten, S., Lozano-Cortes, D., Alsaffar, Z., Curdia, J., Jones, B., Carvalho, S. (2017). "Cross shelf benthic biodiversity patterns in the Southern Red Sea." Scientific Reports, 7(1), 437, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00507-y
  • 2016 Pearman, J.K., Anlauf, H., Irigoien, X., Carvalho, S., “Please mind the gap - Visual census and cryptic biodiversity assessment at central Red Sea coral reefs“ Marine environmental research 118 (2016) 20-30, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2016.04.011
  • 2011 Anlauf, H., D'Croz, L., O’Dea, A. 2011. "A corrosive concoction: The combined effects of ocean warming and acidification on the early growth of a stony coral are multiplicative." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 397(1): 13-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2010.11.009
  • 2008 Klaus, R., Kemp, J., Samoilys, M., Anlauf, H., El Din, S., Abdalla, E.O., Chekchak, T. "Ecological patterns and status of the reefs of Sudan“, Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 2008 


  • PhD , Earth and Ocean Science - “Calcification by Marine Organisms”, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, UK, 2016
  • Master of Science (German Diploma degree) “The effects of experimentally elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on planula-larvae and primary polyps of the Scleractinian coral, Porites panamensis”, UNIVERSITY OF ROSTOCK, GERMANY, 2005

Professional Profile

  • June 22 – present Research Specialist, Red Sea Research Center, KAUST, Symbiomics Lab
  • Jul 19 – Jun21 Senior Researcher and Lecturer, UNIVERSITY OF THE SEYCHELLES, ANSE ROYAL
  • 2014 - Jan 2018 Research Field Technician ,KAUST, RED SEA RESEARCH CENTER, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
  • 2009 - 2016 Calmaro - Marie Curie FP7 PhD student– Molecular controls of calcification in Emiliania huxleyi using transcriptome and proteome analysis, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON, UK, NOCS
  • 1994 – 1997 Technical Biological Assistant, SCHERING AG, GERMANY

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • International Coral Reef Society

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Coral reef ecology Coral reef resilience and functioning in climate change Coral restoration Sexual coral reproduction coral holobiont Ridge to reef Transition toward a sustainable Anthropocene