Victoria Golding

Masters Students



B2/L2 – Sea Side – 2204-WS28


I completed my bachelor’s degree in Marine Science with Arctic Studies on the west coast of Scotland at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2019. My thesis focused on the abundance and distribution of microplastic pollution in the Arctic Ocean, which I became interested in when I spent four months in the Arctic at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) studying environmental pollution as part of an exchange program during my undergraduate degree. However, after being awarded a scholarship to learn about coral reef ecology in Bermuda in the summer of 2019, my research interests quickly changed as I became fascinated by the ecology of scleractinian corals. I have been involved in other aspects of marine research such as helping on a research cruise in the Ligurian Sea focusing on the abundance and distribution of cetaceans with Tethys Research Institute (TRI), and I spent three weeks in Saudi Arabia learning about marine science in the Red Sea as part of the Red Sea Summer Program. It was during this experience that I realized I wanted to pursue my interest in coral research at KAUST, and I am now currently studying my Masters here in Saudi Arabia.

Research Interests

With coral reefs in a global decline due to anthropogenic stresses and mass bleaching events caused by increased ocean temperatures, it is imperative that research into corals resilience to heat stress be investigated as they play a vital role in the health of our oceans. The Red Sea experiences some of the highest ocean temperatures in the world and is therefore a prime location to conduct such research on heat tolerance in corals. 

My main interest is to investigate acclimation and adaptation in scleractinian corals to different environmental conditions, specifically identifying how corals acclimate to their new environment, how this affects their growth and reproduction, in addition to identifying if acclimation in a parent coral induces certain traits in their offspring as a way of adaptation. This may help identify processes of how coral communities respond to environmental conditions in the face of climate change and could provide valuable insights in coral restoration techniques.


  • M.Sc. in Marine Science – KAUST, Saudi Arabia (2019 - Present)
  • B.Sc. (Hons) in Marine Science with Arctic Studies – University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland (2015 - 2019)
  • International exchange – University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Svalbard (August – December 2017)


  • UK Associates of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences Scholarship – Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Bermuda (2019)
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)– Red Sea Summer Program at KAUST (2018) 
  • Student Development Fund (University of the Highlands and Islands) – Tethys Research Institute, Italy (2017)

KAUST Affiliations

● Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

● Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division (BESE) ​​

Research Interests Keywords

Coral Reefs Climate Change Genomics Marine Ecology