Susana Carvalho, Ph.D.

Research Scientists

Senior ​​Research Scientist

Research Interests

Dr. Carvalho’s research interests include the assessment of the effects of anthropogenic and natural stressors on the biodiversity and functioning of the marine ecosystem from the gene to the community level. In the Red Sea, Dr. Carvalho has been investigating changes in the biodiversity patterns along multiple spatial and temporal scales through a combination of molecular and morphology-based approaches. Research has been focused on pelagic and benthic (coral reefs and soft-sediment) biotopes aiming for a holistic understanding of the Red Sea ecosystem functioning. 

Selected Publications

  • Disentangling the complex microbiological network within vulnerable coral reef ecosystems 
    Pearman J.K., Aylagas E., Voolstra C., Anlauf H., Villalobos R., Carvalho S.
    Molecular Ecology, (2019)
  • Beyond the visual: introducing the hidden reef cryptobiome 
    Carvalho S., Aylagas E., Villalobos R., Kattan Y., Berumen M., Pearman J.K.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B., 286: 20182697, (2019)
  • An in situ approach for measuring metabolic rates and biogeochemical fluxes of complex benthic communities 
    Roth F., Wild C., Carvalho S., Rädecker N., Kürten B., Anlauf H., Carolan R., Jones B.H.
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10: 712-725., (2019)
  • Cross-shelf investigation of coral reef cryptic benthic organisms reveals diversity patterns of the hidden majority 
    Pearman J.K., Leray M., Villalobos R., Machida R.J., Berumen M.L., Knowlton, N., Carvalho,...
    Scientific Reports, volume 8, Article number: 8090., (2018)
  • Coral reef degradation affects the potential for reefs to recover after disturbance 
    Roth F., Saalmann F., Thomson T., Coker D.J., Villalobos R., Jones B.H., Wild C., Carvalho...
    Marine Environmental Research 142: 48-58, (2018)
  • Evaluation of the sediment contamination status in areas lacking background concentrations: the case of the Saudi A... 
    Ruiz-Compean P., Ellis J., Cúrdia J., Payumo R., Langner U., Jones, B., Carvalho S.
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 123: 205-218, (2017)
  • Microbial planktonic communities in the Red Sea: high levels of spatial and temporal variability shaped by nutrient... 
    Pearman J.K., Ellis J., Sarma Y.V.B., Jones B.H., Carvalho S.
    Scientific Reports, 7, article 6611, (2017)
  • Cross shelf benthic biodiversity patterns in the Southern Red Sea 
    Ellis J., Anlauf H., Kürten S., Lozano-Cortés D., Alsaffar Z., Cúrdia J., Jones B., Carva...
    Scientific Reports, 7, article 437, (2017)
  • Implementing and innovating marine monitoring approaches for assessing marine environmental status 
    Danovaro R., Carugati L., Berzano M., Cahill A., Carvalho S., ... ,
    Frontiers in Marine Science, 3: 213, (2016)
  • How functional traits of estuarine macrobenthic assemblages respond to metal contamination? 
    Piló D., Ben-Hamadou R., Pereira F., Carriço A., Pereira P., Corzo A., Gaspar M.B., Carval...
    Ecological Indicators, 71: 645-659, (2016)


  • ​Ph.D., University of Algarve, Portugal, 2007
  • MSc, University of Aveiro, Portugal, 2000

Professional Profile

  • 2018-present: Associate Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science, Section Marine Ecosystem Ecology
  • 2016-present: Editor, BMC Ecology, Springer
  • 2014-present: Editor, Nature Scientific Reports
  • 2012-Present: Research Scientist, KAUST, Red Sea Research Center, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2008-2011: Postdoctoral Fellow, Portuguese Institute for Fisheries and Sea Research; Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucia (ICMAN) – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain
  • 2007-2008:  Research Technician, Portuguese Institute for Fisheries and Sea Research, Portugal

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Marine ecology Ecological Indicators Environmental Impacts Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Biological networks and interactions Meta-Barcoding