Marco Casartelli

Ph.D. Students

PhD Student

Research Interests

Marco is interested in understanding the potential of coral associated microbial communities to persist over generations. Specifically, he investigates the ability of the coral microbiome to be transferred from parent colonies to offspring during sexual reproduction events. In his research, Marco addresses population genetic to uncover patterns of distribution of coral colonies within the reef, as well as microbiome assessment analyses over time to monitor larvae settlement and recruits’ development.


Selected Publications

  • Montalbetti, E., Fallati, L., Casartelli, M., Maggioni, D., Montano, S., Galli, P. & Seveso, D. Reef complexity influences distribution and habitat choice of the corallivorous seastar Culcita schmideliana in the Maldives. Coral Reefs, 2022
  • Nieuwenhuis, B. O., Marchese, F., Casartelli, M., Sabino, A., Van der Meij, S. E. T., &  Benzoni F. Integrating a UAV-Derived DEM in Object-Based Image Analysis Increases Habitat Classification Accuracy on Coral Reefs. Remote Sensing, 2022


  • M.S., Marine Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2021
  • Bachelor, Biological Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy, 2018

Professional Profile

  • 2022-Present: PhD Student at the Marine Microbiomes Lab, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 09/2021-03/2022: Visiting Student at the Habitat and Benthic Biodiversity Lab, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

KAUST Affiliations

Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)

Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering Division (BESE)

Research Interests Keywords

Coral Spawning Population genetics Coral microbiome Millepora Red Sea