Marcelle Muniz Barreto

VSRP Student​


I have always been fascinated by nature and all its wonders. I graduated in
Biological/Environmental sciences in Brazil, focusing on terrestrial ecology. My first encounter with
marine ecology was during a semester abroad in Puerto Rico, where I investigated epibionts of the
sea cucumber Holothuria mexicana. Since then, I've been hooked, continuing to investigate the
sea's mysteries during my Master's degree. For my thesis, I studied phytoplankton growth and
grazing rates under increased temperature.
As I have an infinite amount of curiosity, after my master's degree I set up to work on many
different conservation and outreach programs in Central America. I have worked with sea turtle
ecology, aquatic birds communities, predator-prey interactions between jaguars and sea turtles,
general biodiversity assessments and environmental education, inspiring the next generation of
biologists. I started to feel the Call of Science again and decided to join the Reef Genomics
laboratory, at KAUST. It is my first time delving into the world of genomics, and I am excited to
investigate the effects of ocean acidification on Stylophora pistillata microbiome, my research here
as a VSRP student.


  • ​BSc in Biological/Environmental Sciences, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (2009)
  • MSc in Marine biodiversity and conservation, Ghent University & Université Pierre et Marie Curie (2012)​