Thank you for your interest in applying to VSRP internships at KAUST.
We are happy to share that our in-person internship program has restarted!
However, due to the pandemic, all VSRP applicants applying for in-person internship, must obtain and show proof of full vaccination (vaccine certificates for COVID 19) with one of the following vaccines to be processed as VSRP interns: 2 doses of Pfizer BioNTech, 2 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca, 2 doses of Moderna,1 dose of Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen, 2 Doses of Sinopharm vaccine and one dose of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Janssen, or 2 Doses of Sinovac vaccine and one dose of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Janssen.
We are continuing to offer Remote/Virtual internship. If you are interested in a Remote VSRP internship, please check our “Internship page” and apply to the project of your choice. You may upload a blank page in lieu of vaccination proof in your application form, and mention that you are applying for a Remote internship in your Statement of Purpose.
Improving coral thermal tolerance through association with acclimatized Symbionts
Corals have shown capable of coping with increasing temperatures; however strong inter-species and intra-species variation is evident. Different thermal tolerances between members of the same species have been attributed partially to the associated zooxanthellae. The Red Sea offers a unique environment to understand these associations as host and symbiont live in higher annual temperatures than counterparts elsewhere. Using the coral model organism Aiptasia pallida, a small anemone, we investigate whether Symbiodinium from anemones of the Red Sea can improve heat stress resilience of individuals from geographically distant locations.
Program -Marine Science
Division -Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation -Red Sea Research Center
Field of Study -Biological Sciences, Marine Sciences
About the Researcher
Associate Professor, Marine Science
Prof. Aranda is an evolutionary biologist with a strong background in functional genetics and coral reef genomics. His group studies the molecular underpinnings of the cnidarian-algal symbiosis and its environmental stress-related breakdown using functional genomics and genetics approaches. Furthermore, they are interested in how corals use the ability to modify their genomes through epigenetic mechanisms in order to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
Desired Project Deliverables
Bleaching and re-infecting anemones with different strains of Symbiodinium cultured in the labQuantification of phenotypic changes between host-symbiont combinations during and after heat stress exposure
RNA extraction and gene expression analysis of interesting and informative biomarkers
Perform further analysis on data obtained
Write a (short) manuscript of these analyses