Anny Cárdenas

Postdoctoral Fellows



​My path started in Colombia exploring the physiology and metabolism of coral, algae and sponge bacterial isolates. These first steps in Colombia led me to the study of bacterial dysbiosis in coral diseases under the supervision of Prof. Catalina Arévalo and Prof. Luis Fernando Cadavid with the collaboration of Prof. Katharina Riedel at the Helmholtz Institute for Infection Research (HZI). My short visits to Germany encouraged my enrollment to the M.Sc./Ph.D. International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology in Bremen. During my time in Bremen, I investigated coral reef planktonic bacterial diversity associated with increases in dissolved organic carbon. This project fast developed into my Ph.D. thesis in the frame of the collaboration between the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) and KAUST under the supervision of Dr. Astrid Gaerdes and Prof. Christian Voolstra. My Ph.D. thesis was focused on the role of algal exudates on bacterial-mediated coral reef degradation by promoting virulence expression. I returned to KAUST as a post-doctoral research fellow with the goal of getting a better understanding of coral reef microbes. ​

Research Interests

​​I am interested in further applying cutting-edge computational methods to understand microbial interactions in coral reefs. Some of the projects I am currently involved are: 

● Exploration of functional features of coral-associated bacterial populations
● Bacterial and viral mediation of coral larval settlement ​​


Selected Publications

  • Cárdenas A, Rodriguez-r LM, Pizarro V, Cadavid LF, Arévalo-Ferro C. Shifts in bacterial communities of two Caribbean reef-building coral species affected by white plague disease. The ISME journal. 2012 Mar 1;6(3):502-12.
  • Cárdenas A, Meyer F, Schwieder H, Wild C, Gärdes A. The formation of aggregates in coral reef waters under elevated concentrations of dissolved inorganic and organic carbon: A mesocosm approach. Marine Chemistry. 2015 Oct 20;175:47-55.
  • Pogoreutz C, Rädecker N, Cárdenas A, Gärdes A, Voolstra CR, Wild C. Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching. Global Change Biology. 2017 Apr 21.



  • Ph.D. Marine Microbiology, Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen University, Germany 2017
  • M.Sc. Marine Microbiology, Max Plank Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen University, Germany 2014
  • M.Sc. Microbiology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia 2012
  • B.Sc. Biology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia 2010​

Research Interests Keywords

Bioinformatics Genomics Marine microbiology