Diedrich Vahrenkamp

Visiting Student


Diedrich Vahrenkamp is currently a Visiting Student of the SSB group at KAUST supervised by Professor Dr. Kyle Lauersen. Having lived and studied in multiple continents, Diedrich completed his undergraduate in Canada at the University of British Columbia. After spending some time working for Red Sea Farms (KSA), a KAUST based startup, he decided to pursue his Masters in Aquaculture at Wageningen University and Research in The Netherlands. Here Diedrich quickly took a strong interest in low trophic aquaculture. He decided to focus during his MS thesis at the Wageningen Marine Research Institute studying the effects of heatwaves on the physiology of the European flat oyster. He then completed an internship at Hortimare, a Dutch Seaweed breeding company where he researched optimizing the physiological parameters of Kelp production. This further fuelled his interest in micro algae, leading him to his current project involving the scaling-up of the poly-extremophile algae, C. merolae at the KAUST micro-algae plant. 

Research Interests

His current research aims to scale up and monitor various strains of the micro algae Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Specifically, he will investigate how the factors salinity and media amount will impact culture growth, carbon consumption, nutrient removal efficiency, and eventually the algae composition profile. This work will be carried out together with the Development of Algal Biotechnology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (DABKSA) team run by Dr. Claudio Fuentes-Grünewald. 


  • MSc. Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management - Wageningen, The Netherlands (2020 - 2023)
  • BSc. Natural Resource Conservation - University of British Columbia, Canada (2014 - 2019)

KAUST Affiliations

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

Research Interests Keywords

Algae cultivation Microbiology Low trophic Aquaculture Sustainability