Elisa Laiolo

PhD Students

PhD Student



Building 2, Level 2, Sea Side. Office number: 2207-WS20


I am a PhD student at KAUST since August 2020, I’m a marine biologist interested in studying the role of microbial communities in a wide range of sedimentary habitats.

During my B.Sc. in Ancona, Italy, I moved my first steps using metagenomics in order to investigate global patterns of microbial diversity in aquatic environments, then my M.Sc. thesis further merged my passion for the so-called “unseen majority”, microbes, and the one for the deep sea and extreme environments.

My goal now is, using metagenomics, to investigate the prokaryotic diversity of target sedimentary habitats and their functional potential, in terms for example of metabolic adaptations and secondary metabolites production.

Research Interests

Microbial ecology, Metagenomics, Sedimentary habitats, Extreme Habitats, Blue Carbon Habitats


  • PhD, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, August, 2020 – Present
  • M.Sc., Marine Biology, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, 2020
  • B.Sc., Biological Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy, 2018

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Microbial ecology Metagenomics Benthic habitats Extreme Habitats Blue carbon