Jenn Thomson

Research Group Staff

Research Specialist



Building 2, Level 2, 2204-WS09


Jenn has previously worked in desert, savannah, rainforest, and marine environments, on topics such as ecology, biodiversity, adaptation to extreme environments, and coral restoration. She now focuses on ocean research and conservation. 

Her past fieldwork locations include Costa Rica, South Africa, Namibia, Thailand, Mozambique, the North Sea, and the Maldives. 

Jennifer is also a science illustrator and is always keen to explore the ways in which we can use diving and the oceans for applications in microgravity and spaceflight.

Research Interests

Marine ecology, Conservation, Extreme environments, Ecosystem restoration, Microgravity analogues, Oceans for spaceflight

Selected Publications

  •   Life history traits of free-living bush Karoo rats (Otomys unisulcatus) in the semi-arid Succulent Karoo, Wolhuter, L., Thomson, J., Schradin, C., Pillay, N., Mammal Research, (2021)
  •   The fast and the curious II: performance, personality, and metabolism in Karoo bush rats, Agnani, P., Thomson, J., Schradin, C., and Careau, V, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 74(10), 123-137, (2020)


  • M.Sc., Marine Ecosystems Management, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 2020
  • B.Sc. (Hons), Zoology with Industrial Experience, University of Manchester, England, UK, 2019
  • Diploma, Human Spaceflight, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, MOOC (Remote), 2016

Professional Profile

  • 2021 - Present: Research Specialist and Vendor, TAJRC, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2020 - 2021: Reefscapers Marine Biologist, Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Maldives
  • 2020: ELGRA Microgravity Summer School Researcher, European Space Agency, ESTEC (Remote)
  • 2019 - 2020: Editor and Illustrator, The Marine Diaries, UK (Remote)
  • 2017 - 2018: Small Mammal Research Assistant, Succulent Karoo Research Station, Goegap, South Africa


  • ESA/ESTEC Gravity Researcher (sponsored trip to ESA for a summer school, online due to covid-19)
  • (M.Sc.) St Andrews Academic prize (distinction in the dissertation with 85%)
  • (M.Sc.) Moncrieff Travel Scholarship 2019-2020, and Research Mobility Award 2019-2020 (for polar research in Antarctica, cancelled due to covid-19)
  • (B.Sc.) Zochonis Special Enterprise Award 2018-2019 (to conduct marine fieldwork in Mozambique)
  • (B.Sc.) Faculty Prize for Excellence Award 2015-2016 (overall top in Year 1 at 82.4%, and in other modules)

    KAUST Affiliations

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

    Research Interests Keywords

    Marine Ecology Conservation Ecosystem restoration Microgravity analogues Extreme environments Oceans for spaceflight