Sebastian Overmans

Postdoctoral Fellow


Building 2 (Desert side), Level 4, 4288-WS16


Originally from Germany, Sebastian trained as a chemical lab technician at Bayer and studied chemical engineering in his hometown Krefeld before moving to the UK, where he graduated with a BSc in Biology from Bath University and an MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Essex. During his postgraduate studies in the UK, he investigated thermal stress responses of Indo-Pacific octocorals. From 2016 to 2020, Sebastian was a PhD candidate at the Red Sea Research Center’s Biological Oceanography Lab, where his research focused on the role of ultraviolet radiation in marine systems, and the impacts of UV-B radiation on Red Sea biota, in particular. Since 2020, Sebastian is a postdoctoral fellow in the Sustainable & Synthetic Biotechnology Group at KAUST under the supervision of Professor Kyle Lauersen.

Research Interests

His current research aims to develop optimized bio-processes to efficiently extract heterologous chemical products produced by microalgae using novel sustainable extraction methods.


Selected Publications

Gutierrez, S., Overmans, S., Wellman, G., Samaras, V., Oviedo, C., Gede, M., Szekely, G., Lauersen, K.J. (2024). A synthetic biology and green bioprocess approach to recreate agarwood sesquiterpenoid mixtures. Green Chemistry.

de Freitas, B. B., Overmans, S., Medina, J. S., Hong, P. Y., Lauersen, K. J. (2023). Biomass generation and heterologous isoprenoid milking from engineered microalgae grown in anaerobic membrane bioreactor effluent. Water Research, 229, 119486.

Overmans, S., Lauersen, K.J. (2022). Biocompatible fluorocarbon liquid underlays for in situ extraction of isoprenoids from microbial cultures. RSC Advances, 12(26), 16632-16639.

Overmans, S., Ignacz, G., Beke, A.K., Xu, J.J., Saikaly, P.E., Szekely, G., Lauersen, K.J. (2022). Continuous extraction and concentration of secreted metabolites from engineered microbes using membrane technology. Green Chemistry, 24(14), 5479–5489.


  • Ph.D. Marine Sciences, KAUST, 2016–2020
  • M.Sc. Marine Biology, University of Essex, 2012–2013
  • B.Sc. Biology, Bath Spa University, 2009–2012

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
  • International Coral Reef Society (ICRS)


  • Best Poster Presentation, Red Sea Research Center Open Science Conference, KAUST, 2019
  • Red Sea Research Center Travel Grant, KAUST, 2018
  • Red Sea Research Center Student Travel Grant, KAUST, 2017
  • Santander Master’s Scholarship, University of Essex (UK), 2012

KAUST Affiliations

  • Sustainable & Synthetic Biotechnology Group
  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering

Research Interests Keywords

Microalgae Biotechnology Bioprocess development Terpenoid extraction GC-MS