Prof. Michael Berumen

Principal Investigator

Director of the Red Sea Research Center
Professor of Marine Science

Research Interests

Michael Berumen is a professor of Marine Science within KAUST’s Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division.  Dr Berumen’s research interests are focused on coral reef ecology, including larval connectivity in coral reef fishes, movement ecology of marine organisms, and biodiversity and biogeography of coral reef ecosystems. These projects utilize techniques ranging from in-situ observations to comparative genomics.  He is a part of an international team developing techniques used to track the dispersal patterns of larval fish and he advises key stakeholders in making scientifically informed conservation decisions.

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 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



Research Interests Keywords

Marine Ecology Coral Reef Ecology