Raquel Peixoto is a Associate Professor of Marine Science. She is affiliated with the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE) and the Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC). She is the Principal Investigator of the Marine Microbiomes Lab (M&Ms).

Education Profile

  • Ph.D. Microbiolgy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2005
  • M.S. Biotechnology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2001
  • B.S. Biological Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1998

Research Interests

Prof. Peixoto's research has outlined the protocols and proved the concept that the manipulation of coral-associated microorganisms, using Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMCs), is possible and can increase the host's resilience and resistance against environmental threats. This pioneering work has contributed to pave the way for new approaches to reveal and explore mechanisms of marine microbiology and symbiotic interactions. As a Beneficial Microbes for Marine Organisms network (BMMO) founder and chair, her goal is to keep promoting a powerful international platform where basic knowledge can be strengthened and transformed into products to be used for marine ecosystems and sustainable development, as part of her projects on coral reef protection, restoration and rehabilitation.

At KAUST, her research addresses the diversity, ecological role and biotechnological potential of microorganisms associated with marine organisms from the Red Sea. She also seeks to investigate how these microbiomes can be used as models and sources to explore and understand key symbiotic mechanisms promoting the host's resistance and resilience against different impacts, as part of her projects on coral reef protection, restoration and rehabilitation.

Selected Publications

  • Extending the natural adaptive capacity of coral holobionts. Voolstra, C.R., Suggett, D.J., Peixoto, R.S. et al.  Nature Reviews Earth Environ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-021-00214-3
  • Coral microbiome manipulation elicits metabolic and genetic restructuring to mitigate heat stress and evade mortality. Santoro, E.P., Borges, R., Espinoza, J.L….Voolstra, C.R., Peixoto, R.S. Science Advances 7, 2021.
  • Marine Probiotics: Increasing coral resilience to bleaching through microbiome manipulation. Magalhães-Rosado, P.; Leite, D.; Duarte, G.A.; Jospin, G.; Eisen, J.; Chaloub, R.M., Bourne, D., Peixoto, R.S. The ISME Journal doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0323-6. 2019. 
  • Beneficial Microorganisms for corals (BMC): proposed mechanisms for coral health and resilience. Peixoto, R.S.; Rosado, P.M.; Leite, D.C.A.; Rosado, A.S.; Bourne, D.G. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:341. doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00341., 2017. Frontiers in Microbiology.
  • Climate Change Affects Key Nitrogen Fixing Bacterial Populations on Coral Reefs. Santos, H. F.; Carmo, F. L.; Duarte, G; Dini Andreote, F.; Castro, C; Rosado, A. S.; Elsas, J. D. V.; Peixoto, R. S. The ISME Journal, 8: 2272-2279, 2014.