Enrichment Spotlight- Murtadha Al-Malallah and Brine Pool Research

Enrichment Spotlight- Murtadha Al-Malallah and Brine Pool Research

8/15/2017
KGSP student Murtadha Al-Mallalah is a rising junior studying geoscience at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Over the summer Murtadha participated in an exciting KAUST internship at the Red Sea Research Center, working alongside Juan-Carlos Santamarina, Professor and Associate Director of the Ali Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Center https://anperc.kaust.edu.sa/Pages/Home.aspx .
The Red Sea Rift represents one of the world’s most geologically-active regions, where hydrothermal brines were first discovered on the sea floor. These brines, or high concentration salt solutions, result from active volcanic processes and create a nutrient-rich environment that is perfect for supporting the Red Sea’s unique ecosystem.   Through analysis of sediment samples collected from these brine pools, researchers like Murtadha define and describe the physical properties, mineralogy, crystal structures, and other characteristics of the sediment.
Throughout his project, Murtadha had the opportunity to utilize the resources provided by KAUST’s Core Labs in analyzing collected sediment samples. His research provides insight and data that will help build an informative database to be used by future researchers.
 
 
 
 
Murtadha Al-Malallah, a junior at the University of Arizona, measures the properties of sediments collected from the brine pools of the Red Sea. 
 
 
Murtadha greatly enjoyed the experiences provided by his summer research at KAUST, and hopes to continue working on the project remotely in partnership with Dr. Santamarina when he returns to Tucson. This project has provided him with an in-depth look at the geology of the Red Sea and has allowed him to contribute to larger projects by helping researchers better understand the geological and ecological environment present in the Red Sea.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Using an optical microscope in a KAUST lab, Murtadha Al-Malallah analyzes sediment collected from inside the brine pools of the Red Sea.

 
 
 
KGSP’s commitment to providing meaningful enrichment opportunities tailored to individual student needs, talents and professional goals differentiates the Scholarship from other programs of its kind.  KGSP students benefit from participating in at least two such activities each year—one in the summer, and one during the regular academic term.  Summer enrichment activities include academic research at the home university, specialized research and enrichment programing at a visiting institution, industrial internships, and summer research placements with a KAUST faculty member on campus.  Additional opportunities available throughout the year include attendance at conferences, seminars, short courses, trainings, as well as additional engagement activities with KAUST faculty and leadership.   In AY 2016/17, over 90 percent of all undergraduates participated in such activities.