People

Prof. Michael Berumen

Principal Investigator

Red Sea Research Center Director

Professor of Marine Science and Engineering at KAUST

Adjunct Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution​​​​​

Research Interests

Dr Berumen has authored more than 100 journal articles and is co-editor of one book (the Biology of Butterflyfishes). His research focuses on a range of coral reef taxa. He has extensive field experience on coral reefs around the world, and is a participant in active projects in French Polynesia, Australia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Saudi Arabia.
 
Dr. Berumen‘s research interests are focused on coral reef ecology, including larval connectivity in coral reef fishes, movement ecology of coral reef organisms, biogeography, and the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. These projects utilize techniques ranging from simple in-situ observations to parentage analysis using DNA microsatellite markers.  He is a part of an international team developing techniques used to track the dispersal patterns of larval fish and is leading one of the world's largest whale shark tagging and tracking programs.
 
Dr. Berumen was named the Sir John and Laurine Proud Fellow from the Lizard Island Research Station (part of the Australian Museum) in 2009. He was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship from the American Australian Association in 2008. Dr. Berumen is a member of a number of scientific and professional organizations, including the International Society for Reef Studies, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Ecological Society of America. He currently serves as an Ecology Editor of Coral Reefs, the journal of the International Society for Reef Studies.

Dr. Berumen received his doctoral degree in Marine Biology from James Cook University, Australia. He earned his Bachelor‘s degree (summa cum laude) in Zoology at the University of Arkansas. As part of his undergraduate studies, he spent a year studying coral reef science at James Cook University. He then conducted six months of independent research that formed the basis of his honors thesis.
 
Dr. Berumen leads the Reef Ecology Lab in the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST. Topics addressed in the lab include:
 
·      Life history studies of reef fishes
·      Larval connectivity and dispersal of reef fauna
·      Movement ecology of reef fishes and sharks
·      Evolutionary biology of Red Sea fauna
·      Ecology and population dynamics of coral reef communities