Wajd Alaidrous

Master's Student



Research Interests

Wajd was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She is passionate about biological research and finding ways to make research more innovative, accurate, and economical both in time and resources. Outside of science she enjoys playing piano, swimming, meeting new people, watching movies, listening to podcasts, learning about different cultures, and traveling.

Wajd received her BSc degree in biology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. At Emory, she studied and completed a thesis on the effect of population density on disease resistance in monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus. This study was part of the work exploring the formation of sedentary monarch populations, where monarchs no longer migrate and settle in mild climate areas, that are characterized by high densities and parasite prevalence. She was also involved in a study exploring circadian rhythms in monarchs. Working in the monarch lab at Emory, she grew interests in genetics, migration patterns, ecology and evolution.

Wajd joined KAUST in August 2021 as an MSc student, where she later joined the Reef Ecology Lab under the supervision of Professor Michael Berumen. KAUST provides a spectacular opportunity to explore the ecology of extreme environments being next to the Red Sea, especially for studying coral reefs. Thus, she is looking forward to study the ecology of corals reef and developing lab and analysis skills. Specifically, she is interested in coral reef fish movement ecology, differential gene expression, and behavior.