The Coral Symbiomics Lab
Red Sea Research Center
Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering


Jessica Menzies



​I graduated in 2018 from Bristol University with a BSc in Biological sciences but have always been fascinated by marine biology. Although Bristol is a great city, I wanted to travel further from home and the opportunity to study at KAUST on the Red Sea was not to be missed!

After graduating, I worked with Dr Greg Walter in conjunction with the University of Catania, Sicily, studying phenotypic plasticity of Senecio species at different altitudes on Mt Etna. Working as a Research assistant helped me realise that I want to pursue academic research and will soon apply for a master’s course in Marine Biology. I previously have worked as a dive instructor on conservation and research projects in South East Asia. This gave me a taste of working with and on coral reefs and made me want to study corals scientifically which could potentially give insight into bleaching mechanisms and clues as to how they cope with rapid changes in the ocean environment. I have also helped carry out fieldwork and oversaw the logistics and safety of survey dives with Opwall in Indonesia.

Research Interests

​Here at KAUST I am studying the molecular biology of Aiptasia pallida symbioses, in particular how the addition of KMBA, a molecule occurring in desert plants endosymbiotic bacteria, could alter thermal tolerances.​