BSc Biological Sciences
MSc Ecology & Biodiversity
Rana Abualhaija is a marine ecologist with a diverse background. She began her studies with a year of Biotechnological studies in the Arab American University of Jenin, Palestine and then continued her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus, Cyprus. Immediately after acquiring her degree she was offered a position at a local research institution. Simultaneously, she continued her studies with a Master’s degree in Ecology and Biodiversity.
Rana started her collaboration with ENALIA Physis Environmental Research Centre during her Bachelor’s thesis research, during which she examined a marine paleocommunity preserved in a terrace at a coastal site in Cyprus. Rana acknowledges that the study could not be concluded without the commitment of ENALIA to supporting young researchers, since most consumables equipment, study material and support for the study were not available at her university but where freely offered by ENALIA.
For her Master’s thesis research Rana worked on the application of innovative imaging technologies to the study of coral communities. Extant coral specimens from Cypriot waters, offered by or through ENALIA, were digitized and used to exert ecologically meaningful information such as surface area and morphometrics.
Since 2012, Rana is investigating plankton distribution in the Levantine region through the implementation of vertical sampling and an innovative, for the region, survey of offshore surface waters (the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey). She is currently furthering the plankton research project and expanding her knowledge through a PhD research project at The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus.
After the fulfilment of the Graduate Studies program, she aims to continue research in plankton ecology to create a time series for data in the Levantine Sea which may provide the baseline information needed for the detection of future changes and long-term trends. To do so she plans to pursuit a Post-Doctoral Degree in marine ecological research and develop her role in academia while educating others on the importance of monitoring the marine environment.