Jessica Menzies

Masters Students



B2/L2 - Sea Side - 2204-WS07


​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

For my Masters project I am looking at the effect of uric acid synthesis inhibition in dinoflagellates and the effect on cell density when in symbiosis with cnidaria. I am interested in the morphological changes undergone by symbionts and epigenetic changes which occur in symbiosis.


  • M.Sc. Bioscience - KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2019 - Present)
  • Research Assistant, Catania University, Sicily (2018)

  • B.Sc. Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK (2015 - 2018)​

Professional Profile

VSRP Internship - KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2019)

KAUST Affiliations

● ​Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

● Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

Research Interests Keywords

Symbiosis Molecular Biology