Claudia Pogoreutz

Postdoctoral Fellows



I am a trained marine scientist who originally graduated with a Diploma (equiv. M.Sc.) in Biology from the University of Vienna, Austria. In my diploma thesis in the framework of the SPICE (Science for the Protection of Indonesian Coastal Ecosystems) II Project by the German BMBF as part of a collaboration between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany and the University of Vienna, I investigated the biodiversity patterns and trophic relationships of fish assemblages in tropical seagrass meadows in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia.

Following this, I headed the Kuramathi EcoCentre, Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives, for a year. While working with people and the ocean on a daily basis, I was constantly confronted with the immediate direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic activity on coral reefs. As a consequence, I decided to pursue a PhD on how anthropogenic impacts shape these unique ecosystems.

During my PhD at the University of Bremen, Germany, I conducted multidisciplinary work on the stress biology of tropical reef-building corals. This project involved the continuation of a fruitful collaboration between the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), the University of Bremen, and Prof. Voolstra’s lab, the Coral Reef Genomics Group at the Red Sea Research Centre (KAUST). Drawing from physiological, microbiological, and biogeochemical parameters to address stress responses of the coral holobiont, its symbiotic algae Symbiodinium, and the diverse bacterial community to dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, I gained exciting insights into the complex interactions within the coral meta-organism.

Intrigued by this complexity, I have returned to KAUST as a postdoc to delve deeper into functional microbiology to expand our understanding of the role of the bacterium Endozoicomonas in coral holobiont functioning.

Research Interests

In my postdoctoral project I am targeting the potentially complex interactions within the different functional compartments of the coral holobiont. My project focuses on the Acropora humilis-Endozoicomonas association, which I am tackling by combining traditional culturing and functional microbiology approaches with state-of-the-art molecular and metabolomics tools along with (eco)physiological applications.

Selected Publications

  • Pogoreutz, C., Rädecker, N., Cárdenas, A., Gärdes, A., Wild, C, Voolstra, C.R. (2018) Dominance of Endozoicomonas bacteria throughout coral bleaching and mortality suggests structural inflexibility of the Pocillopora verrucosa microbiome. Ecology and Evolution. Doi: 10.1002/ece3.3830. 
  • Cárdenas, A., Neave, M., Haroon, F., Pogoreutz, C., Rädecker, N., Wild, C., Gärdes, A., Voolstra, C.R. (2017) Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton. The ISME Journal.  Doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.142
  • Pogoreutz*, C., Rädecker*, N., Cárdenas, A., Gärdes, A., Voolstra, A., Wild. (2017) Nitrogen fixation aligns with nifH abundance and expression in two coral trophic functional groups. Frontiers in Microbiology. Doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01187
  • Rädecker*, N., Pogoreutz*, C., Ziegler, M., Ashok, A., Barreto, M.M., Chaidez, V.,Grupstra, C.G.B., Ng, Y.M., Perna, G., Aranda, M., Voolstra, C.R.  (2017). Assessing the effects of iron enrichment across holobiont compartments reveals reduced microbial nitrogen fixation in the Red Sea coral Pocillopora verrucosa. Ecology and Evolution. Doi: 10.1002/ece3.3293
  • Pogoreutz*, C., Rädecker*, N., Cárdenas, A., Gärdes, A., Voolstra, A., Wild. (2017) Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching. Global Change Biology 23, 3838-3848.
  • Rädecker, N., Pogoreutz, C., Voolstra, C. R., Wiedenmann, J., & Wild, C. (2015) Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning? Trends in Microbiology 23, 490-497. Video abstract:
  • Pogoreutz, C. & Ahnelt, H. (2014). Gut morphology and relative gut length do not reliably reflect trophic level in gobiids: a comparison of four species from a tropical Indo-Pacific seagrass bed. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 30, 408-410.
  • Pogoreutz, C., Kneer, D., Litaay, M., Asmus, H. & Ahnelt, H. (2012). The influence of canopy structure and tidal settings on fish assemblages in tropical South-East Asian seagrass meadows. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 107, 58-68.


​​Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition 2015: Category Winner 'Behaviour' with photo: 'Going with the flow: schooling to avoid a predator'.

KAUST Affiliations

​​Red Sea Research Center​

Research Interests Keywords

Marine microbiology Biological networks and interactions Marine ecology Genomics