Lera Shepard

Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. Student

Research Interests

Lera is interested in astrobiology and space exploration. Her research is focused on extremophiles to further explore metabolic pathways and their evolution in the context of life origin and biosignatures identification.

Selected Publications

  • Novel Enzymes From the Red Sea Brine Pools: Current State and Potential
    D. Renn, L. Shepard, A. Vancea, R. Karan, S. T. Arold, M. Rueping
    Frontiers in Microbiology, (2021)


  • M.Sc., Biophysics and Bioimaging, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, 2021.
  • B.Sc., Microbiology, ULSAU, Russia, 2018.

Professional Profile

  • 2022-present: Ph.D. student, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2019-2020: Research Intern, KAUST Catalysis Center, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2018: Research Intern, Federal Research Center for Virology and Microbiology, Pokrov, Russia
  • 2016: Research Intern, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


  • Amgen Scholar, KI, Sweden, 2016

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Astrobiology Biophysics Space exploration Environmental microbiology