Matteo Monti

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral fellow

Research Interests

Dr. Matteo Monti is a marine microbial ecologist and scuba diving instructor. His research focuses on the interactions between marine invertebrates and their associated microbial communities, particularly as they relate to host health, and understanding how changing environmental conditions can alter these interactions. For the past years, Matteo focused his attention on the investigation of Caribbean coral microbiomes enhancing our understanding of their composition while also providing insights into the putative roles of members of these communities in fighting coral pathogens through the production of antimicrobial compounds. As a postdoctoral fellow at KAUST, his main goal is to understand how coral-tailored probiotics can improve the resistance and resilience of the coral-host to diseases in the context of the current global climate change scenario.

Selected Publications


  • Spatial, temporal and network analyses of bacterial communities associated with two species of Caribbean octocorals indicate possible key taxa.

    Monti M., Giorgi A., Olson J.B.

    Symbiosis DOI: 10.1007/s13199-023-00923-x (2023)

  • Cultivable bacteria associated with Caribbean octocorals are active against coral pathogens but exhibit variable bioactivity when grown under different temperature conditions.

    Monti M., Giorgi A., Kemp D.W., Olson J.B.

    Coral Reefs. DOI:10.1007/s00338-022-02285-0 (2022)

  • Long term benthic survey demonstrates a shift in the composition of benthic reef communities at shallow sites in Roatán, Honduras.

    Giorgi A., Monti M., Radawski J.D., Olson J.B.

    Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-022-02421-w (2022)

  • Transmission studies and the composition of prokaryotic communities associated with healthy and diseased Aplysina cauliformis sponges suggest that Aplysina Red Band Syndrome is a prokaryotic polymicrobial disease.

    Monti M., Giorgi A., Easson C.G., Gochfeld D.J., Olson J.B.

    FEMS Microbiology Ecology. DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiab164 (2021)

  • Hydroids on a Caribbean sea horse.

    Monti M., Giorgi A., Olson J.B.

    Coral Reefs. DOI:10.1007/s00338-018-1725-7 (2018)

  • Entoprocta-sponge associations in the Indian Ocean.

    Giorgi A., Monti M., Galli P., Montano S.

    Coral Reefs. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-016-1418-z (2016)

  • Spatial variability in distribution and prevalence of Skeletal Eroding Band and Brown Band Disease in Faafu Atoll, Maldives.  Montano S., Giorgi A., Monti M., Seveso D., Galli P.

          Biodiversity and Conservation. DOI: 10.1007/s10531-016-1145-3 (2016).


  • Ph.D., Biology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA, 2022
  • M. Phil., Marine Sciences, MaRHE Center University of Milano-Bicocca, Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Maldives, 2015
  • M.Sc., Marine Biology, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy, 2014
  • B.Sc., Biological Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy, 2011

Professional Profile

  • 2023 – present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2023: Marine microbiology and bioinformatics consultant, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2022: Smithsonian Link Fellow, Smithsonian Marine Station, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA.
  • 2017 – 2022: Graduate Teaching Assistant, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA.
  • 2016: Scuba diving instructor and divemaster, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic.
  • 2015: Marine biologist, Kunfunadhoo Island, Baa Atoll, Maldives.

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS)
  • International Coral Reef Society (ICRS)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • PADI pros
  • Divers Alert Network (DAN)


  • The University of Alabama BioFest top three presentations. 2022                          
  • Carolyn Lawless and Janice E. Innes Research Award in Marine Sciences. 2022                  
  • Bishop-Stackman Marine Science Endowed Scholarship. 2022                                              
  • Smithonian Link Fellowship. Summer 2022                                                                           
  • The University of Alabama Graduate Student Research funding. Fall 2021                                    
  • Bishop-Stackman Marine Science Endowed Scholarship. 2021                                                
  • Best Graduate Student presentation, Marine Sciences GSS 2021     
  • Award for Graduate Student performing research in Marine Sciences. 2021                         
  • American Museum of Natural-History Lerner-Gray Grant for Marine Research. 2020         
  • E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Fellowship Award. 2020                                                                
  • The University of Alabama Graduate Student Research funding. Fall 2020                                     
  • The University of Alabama Graduate Student Travel Grant. Spring 2019                                                    
  • The University of Alabama Outstanding teaching by a Graduate Student. Fall 2019                     
  • Bishop Award in recognition of exemplary dedication and commitment to academic achievements and research. 2018    

Research Interests Keywords

Microbial Ecology Coral Microbiology Marine Probiotics Symbiosis