Ricardo M. Pedraza-Pohlenz

Masters Students



I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur in La Paz, Mexico. For my undergraduate thesis, I used macro digital imaging and scanning electron microscopy to measure different morphological traits in the corallites of scleractinian corals to identify sexual dimorphism in them. After I went to the X Mexican Coral Reefs Symposium and later, attended a course involving coral reefs ecology in Bermuda, I decided that I would like to continue studying coral reefs. Considering that nowadays coral reefs are suffering worldwide from great bleaching events, the Red Sea is a place where corals survive under extreme conditions, making it an ideal location for studying their tolerance to stress. This led me to continue my studies at KAUST doing a MSc. in Marine Science. I am very excited being part of The Coral Symbiomics Lab and studying the response and adaptations of corals to thermal stress.

Research Interests

While my undergraduate research has focused on the morphological aspects of corals, I am very interested in working with molecular technologies. For my master’s research I will be studying the transcription factor binding sites in the Aiptasia genome and their responsiveness to DNA methylation. Also, I am interested in the role that epigenetics has in the adaptations and acclimations of corals to stress, particularly, in how the epigenetic mechanisms can be passed down from one generation to another.



  • M.Sc. Marine Science – King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (2021-present)
  • BSc. Marine Biology - Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, La Paz, Mexico (2015-2020)



  • Second place in oral presentations at the X Mexican Coral Reefs Symposium at the undergraduate level, April 2019.
  • First place presenting the advances of my undergraduate thesis at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, November 2018.


KAUST Affiliations

  • Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)


Research Interests Keywords

Coral symbiosis Coral resilience Molecular Biology Genomics Epigenetics