Gerrit completed his BSc in Marine Biology at James Cook University, Australia. He went on to receive his MSc from the Leibnitz Center of Marine Tropical Ecology, Germany. After a period of internships focusing mainly on elasmobranch research, he started as a Research Technician at the Coastal and Marine Resources Core Lab at KAUST. In 2010, he switched over to become the first PhD student in the Red Sea Research Center. In his dissertation, Gerrit focused on the integration of different approaches (i.e. population genetics, parentage analysis, biophysical modeling) to study metapopulation connectivity in a coral reef fish. He received a KAUST internal Competitive Research Grant to continue his studies on larval dispersal as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Berumen’s group until October 2014. Gerrit’s work focused on the influence of pre-settlement factors (e.g., genetics, parental effects, and dispersal costs) on post-settlement performance in coral reef fishes.