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Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al Khoud 123, PO Box 34, Muscat, Oman sergey@squ.edu.om


Current projects

Biofouling and antifouling in Oman waters

Prevention of biofouling using nanocoatings 

Epizoic diatom communities on sea turtles 

Past projects

VINNOVA project 

Economical, social and environmental impacts of marine biofouling in the Sultanate of Oman

Bioremediation of oil polluted ecosystems

Bioactive compounds from marine organisms 


Biofouling in Oman waters and prevention of microbial and algal fouling using novel nanorod photocatalytic coatings

The main aim of this TRC project is to investigate the biofouling in Oman waters and prevent it using novel photocatalytic nano-coatings.

Research Team: 

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov - PI of the project

Dr. Mohammed Al-Abri - Co-PI of the project

Dr. Raeid Abed - Member

Dr. Abddulah Al-Saadi - Member

Hanaa Al-Shibli - MSc student 

Rahma Al-Mamari - Research Assistant 

Past students, research assistants and interns

Marwan Al-Fori -Reseach Assisstant

Sumaya Habib - PhD student

Stephina Wilson - MSc Intern VIT University, Vellore, India

Maitriyee Mahanta  - BSc Intern, Arizona State University, USA

VINNOVA project: Prevention of biofouling using photocatalytic nanocoatings 

The main aim of this VINNOVA Swedish- Oman project is to starting a fruitful collaboration between KTH and SQU, preparing a successful VINMER Marie Curie proposal and developing new green antifouling coatings using visible light photocatalysis of sea water. 


Economical, social and environmental impacts of marine biofouling in the Sultanate of Oman

The main aim of this project was to investigate the bifouling in Oman waters and find suitable and cost effective ways to prevent biofouling. Currently, the project is over. Summary of our finidings in English and Arabic.

Research Team: 

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov PI of the project

Dr. Raeid Abed Co-PI of the project (Project:"Analysis of microbial communities")

Dr. Hussein Al-Masroori (Project:"Ghost fishing and nets biodeterioration")

Dr. Slim Zekri (Project: "Economical aspects of biofouling")

Ms. Nashwa A. Al-Mazroui (Project: "Heavy metal pollution")

Mr. Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Qartoubi (Project: "Biofouling of fishing nets")

Research Assistants and Students:

Ms. Thirumahal Muthukrishnan, PhD student (Project: "Development of microbial biofilms on antifouling coatings") - graduated

Ms. Bardiya Al Gafri (general help within the project)

Ms. Jutta Richter, Intern, visiting German BSc student (Project: "Prevention of biofouling using ZnO photocatalytic coatings")

Mr. Marwan Al Fori, MSc student (Project: "Novel antifouling defences using nano- and fouling release coatings")

Ms. Nicole Schwartz, visiting PhD student supported by DAAD (Project:"Chemical defence of native and alien species"), Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg 

Ms. Reem Al Rashdi MSc student (Project: "Microbial biofouling on natural fibers")

Mr. Salim Al Jaafari (Project: "Biofouling on fishermen boats in the Sultanate of Oman")

Ms. Yousra Al Habsi MSc student (Project: "Antifouling protection of natural and artificial fibers")

Mrs. Agnete Krabbe Katholm, visiting PhD student (Project: "Novel non-toxic antifouling coatings"), Roskilde University 

Ms. Annika Vaksmaa, PhD student 

Mr. Abdullah Al Kindi, Reserach Assistant

Bioremediation of oil-polluted ecosystems in the Sultanate of Oman 

The main aim of this project is to find solutions for bioremediation of oil-polluted areas in Oman. This grant is supported by the Research Council of Oman. Currently, the project is over.

Research Team: 

Dr. Raeid Abed PI of the project 

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov Co-Investigator (Project:"Bioactive compounds that enhance oil bioremediation") 

Join PhD student Ms. Samiha Al-Kharusi "biodegradation of oil by soil microbes"  

Antifouling compounds from marine organisms  

In this project we were isolating antifouling compounds from marine bacteria as well as fungi and investigating their properties and mechanisms of action. This grant was supported by the Sultan Qaboos University. Currently, the project is over.

Research Team: 

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov PI of the project 

Anti-quorum sensing and anti-cancer compounds

Quorum sensing is a "chemical language" of bacteria by which they coordinate their behaviour, biofilm formation and production of chemical compounds. It has been proposed that quorum sensing inhibitors can provide a new way to treat bacterial diseases, especially of antibiotic resistant pathogens. In this project we were isolating quorum sensing inhibitors from marine organisms. In parallel, we were screening marine natural compounds for anti-cancer properties. This grant was supported by the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and we are working together with the SQU hospital. The results are published here. Currently, we are investigating the mechanism of action and trying to sythesis these compounds.

Research Team: 

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov co-PI of the project

Dr. Ikram Burney SQU hospital, PI of the project

Dr. Yahia Tamimi College of Medicine, SQU

Prevention of biofouling using nanocoatings

Nanotechnology is manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale. In this project together with the Chair in Nanotechnology we are testing antifouling properties of zinc oxide nanorod coatings. Under solar radiation these coatings produce reactive oxygen species that kill microorganisms and larvae of macrofoulers. This grant is supported by Sultan Qaboos University. 

Research Team:  

Prof. Joydeep Dutta TRC PI of the project, Chair in Nanotechnology,  

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov co-PI of the project

Mrs. Priyanka Sathe, PhD student (graduated)

Ms. Laila Al-Naamani, PhD student (graduated)

Ms. Hajar Al Kaabi, MSc student (graduated)

Epizoic diatom community on marine sea turtles from Oman  


In this project we investigate diatom communities developed on marine sea turtes. Main emphasis is given on ecology of marine diatoms and identification and isolation of novel species with potential biotechnological activities. This project is supported SQU and run together with the Second University of Naples, Italy.

Dr. Sergey Dobretsov PI of the project

Dr. Marie de Stephano co-PI

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