People

Dr. Laura Gajdzik

Postdoctoral Fellows

Research Interests

Laura is originally from Belgium. Her passion for the ocean started after watching Cousteau’s documentaries. It led her to pursue a Bachelor degree in biological sciences at the University of Namur, Belgium. Then, she graduated from a Master degree in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management conducted at three Belgian Universities: Ghent University, Free University of Brussels, and Antwerp University. After investigating the trophic ecology of fishes from the Kenyan mangroves and working on the taxonomy of fishes from the Congolese Basin at the Royal Museum of Central Africa (Belgium), she started a Ph.D. at the University of Liege, Belgium. Her PhD thesis assessed the adaptive capacity of damselfishes utilizing a multidisciplinary approach combining tropic ecology, functional ecology, genomic data, and comparative phylogenetic methods. During her PhD, she had the chance to spend many months collecting fishes in French Polynesia and Taiwan, and the privilege to collaborate with Prof. Giacomo Bernardi (Molecular Ecology and Evolution of fishes lab) from the University of California in Santa Cruz (U.S.) thanks to a Fulbright grant. After defending her thesis, she started a postdoc in the TrEnD Lab at Curtin University (Australia), which aimed to evaluate the tropicalization of marine environments in Western Australia by focusing on the population connectivity and diet of a rabbitfish species. As a postdoc fellow in the Reef Ecology lab at KAUST, she is continuing her work on the population connectivity and functional diversity of fishes, but she is also expanding her interest to corals. 

Find her on Twitter@GajdzikLaura​​