Pascal Saikaly

Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering

Research Interests

Professor Saikaly's research focuses on integrating cutting-edge -omic tools (genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic) with bioprocess engineering to optimize and create sustainable biotechnologies for wastewater reclamation and reuse that are robust, scalable, and capable of providing tailored water quality with minimization of energy, resources, and carbon footprint. He is guided by the vision that gaining a better insight of the microbial ecology of microorganisms and the variables that affect their ecophysiology will allow us to fully harness their potential in environmental biotechnology. His specific research interests include: Integrating membrane-based microbial electrochemical technologies for domestic wastewater treatment with resource recovery (water and energy) Aerobic granular sludge system for industrial wastewater treatment Integrating anammox processes for mainstream wastewater treatment.

Selected Publications

  • Microbial electrosynthesis from CO2: Challenges, opportunities and perspectives in the context of circular bioeconomy. Bian, B., Bajracharya, S., Xu, J., Pant, D., & Saikaly, P. Bioresource technology, 122863, (2020)
  • Electroactive microorganisms in bioelectrochemical systems. Logan, B. E., Rossi, R., Ragab, A. I., & Saikaly, P. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 17(5), 307-319 (2019) 
  • Importance of Species Sorting and Immigration on the Bacterial Assembly of Different-Sized Aggregates in a Full-Scale Aerobic Granular Sludge Plant. Ali, M., Wang, Z., Salam, K. W., Rao, H. A., Pronk, M., van Loosdrecht, M. C. M., & Saikaly, P.Environmental Science & Technology53(14), 8291-8301, (2019)
  • Dual-Function Electrocatalytic and Macroporous Hollow-Fiber Cathode for Converting Waste Streams to Valuable Resources Using Microbial Electrochemical Systems. Katuri, K., Kalathil, S., Ragab, A. I., Bian, B., AlQahtani, M. F., Pant, D., & Saikaly, P. Advanced Materials, 30(26), 1707072, (2018)
  • The impact of new cathode materials relative to baseline performance of microbial fuel cells all with the same architecture and solution chemistry. Yang, W., Kim, K-Y., Saikaly, P., & Logan, B. E., Energy Environ. Sci., 10(5), 1025-1033 (2017)
  • A Microfiltration Polymer-Based Hollow-Fiber Cathode as a Promising Advanced Material for Simultaneous Recovery of Energy and Water. Katuri,  K.P., Bettahalli, N.M.S., Wang, X., Matar, G., Chisca, S., Nunes, S.P., Saikaly, P.E. Advanced Materials 28, pp. 9504-9511, (2016)
  • Metatranscriptomics reveals the molecular mechanism of large granule formation in granular anammox reactor.  Bagchi, S., Lamendella, R., Strutt, S., van Loosdrecht, M.C.M., Saikaly, P.E. Scientific Reports, Volume 6, Article number 28327, (2016)


  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA, 2005
  • M.S., Environmental Technology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001
  • B.S., Biology, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 1997

Professional Profile

  • 2015-Present: Associate Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2010-2015: Assistant Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2008-2010: Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lebanon
  • 2005-2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate, North Carolina State University, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, USA
  • 2005: Visiting Scholar, Microbial Diversity Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
  • 2001-2005: Graduate Research Assistant, University of Cincinnati, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA
  • 1997-2001: Graduate Research Assistant, American University of Beirut, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering​

KAUST Affiliations

  • Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC)
  • Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE)
  • Environmental Science and Engineering Program