Matthew Tietbohl

Ph.D. Students

​​​​​​Ph.D. Student

Research Interests

​As a student and citizen, I am highly enamored with marine ecosystems. I am very keen on better understanding how they currently function, the key roles species play ​​​​in sustaining each other and ecosystem functions, and how best to manage these systems for resilience to future change, future human use, and conservation.​​

Selected Publications

  • A Unique Bellyful: Extraordinary Gut Microbes Help Herbivorous Fish Eat Seaweeds 
    Matthew D. Tietbohl, David Kamanda Ngugi, Michael L. Berumen
    Front. Young Minds. 8:58, (2020)
  • An integrated morpho-molecular approach to delineate species boundaries of Millepora from the Red Sea 
    R. Arrigoni, D. Maggioni, S. Montano, B.W. Hoeksema, D. Seveso, T. Shlesinger, T.I. Terran...
    Coral Reefs, pp. 1-18, (2018)
  • Exploring the genetic diversity of shallow-water Agariciidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) from the Saudi Arabian Red Sea 
    Terraneo, T. I., Arrigoni, R., Benzoni, F., Tietbohl, M. D., & Berumen, M. L.
    Marine Biodiversity, (2017)
  • Genomic diversification of giant enteric symbionts reflects host dietary lifestyles 
    D.K. Ngugi, S. Miyake, M. Cahill, M. Vinu, T.J. Hackmann, J. Blom, M.D. Tietbohl, M.L. Ber...
    PNAS 114:36 E7592E7601, (2017)


  • M.Sc. Marine Science, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, 2016 ​​​
  • B.S. (summa cum laude), Biology, Wake Forest University, 2015​

Professional Profile

  • ​​2016 - Present: PhD student, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia​​​​​

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​​Society for Conservation Biology Marine Section (SCB Marine)
  • International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS)​​​​​


  • ​Distinguished Student Researcher (School for Field Studies, 2015)
  • Elton C. Cocke Scholarship (Wake Forest University, 2015)​
  • Sullivan Scholarship for Expanding Biological Horizons (Wake Forest University, 2014 & 2015)

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Marine ecology Food webs Resilience Conservation Restoration Biodiversity Mesophotic reefs