People

Claire Shellem

Master's Students

Research Interests

Claire grew up in California USA where she was lucky to be surrounded by both ocean and mountains. She spent a great deal of her childhood on camping trips where she gained a passion for the natural world which led her to study Biology. In 2017, she earned her B.A. from Occidental College in Biology, with an emphasis in Marine Biology. During her junior year, she was fortunate enough to study abroad at James Cook University in Australia where she gained an appreciation for corals and coral reefs. During her time at Occidental she was member of the Vantuna Research Group and the Computational Biology Lab. As part of an honors research project, Claire investigated the correlation between rising sea surface temperature and changes in the fish assemblage in southern California. Her thesis project involved researching the effectiveness of using Marine Protected Areas to help endangered marine populations recover.


After graduating from Occidental, Claire was hired by the State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She worked for the California Recreational Fisheries Survey, and collected species and biological data of species in and around the San Francisco Bay. The data she collected was actively used in the management of those fisheries. This experience solidified Claire’s interest in anthropogenic effects on the marine environments, and how those effects can be minimized.


Claire attended the RSRC summer course in 2017 and was amazed by everything KAUST has to offer. Now back at KAUST as a master’s student, Claire plans to study anthropogenic stressors in the Red Sea.