CV – Yaser Sahl

Personal information

  • Nationality: Saudi
  • Date of birth: 1981


  • 2005 – 2008: MSc, Biochemistry department, Faculty of Science, King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia
  • 1999 – 2003: BSc, Biochemistry department, Faculty of Science, King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia

Work experience

  • 2003 – Present: Chemist, Water & Environmental Laboratory, Saudi Geological Survey, Saudi Arabia
  • 2004 – Present: Assistant Manager of Water & Environmental Laboratory, Saudi Geological Survey, Saudi Arabia

Training courses

  • 2005: Laboratory techniques, British Geological Survey, UK
  • 2005: IT courses, British Geological Survey, UK
  • 2002: Clinical laboratory, King Fahad hospital, Saudi Arabia
  • 2002: Clinical laboratory, Saudi German hospital, Saudi Arabia
  • 2002: English language, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Arabia
  • 2001: IT courses, King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia

MSc thesis title and abstract

Assessment of Drinking Water in Jeddah City in Relation to Waterborne Diseases  


Water samples were collected from different places (desalination plant, pipes lines, water trucks and arbitrary chosen houses in north, south, east, west and central areas) of Jeddah city for the different proposed tests: physical, chemical, trace elements, hydrocarbons and pesticides, and microbiological tests. The obtained results showed that the desalination plant has the lowest concentrations for all the detected elements except for (NO2 and SO4) which may be due the additives used in or by-products obtained from the desalination process. Also some elements were detected with high concentrations in pipes lines and water trucks may be due to rust or shortage in cleaning process. In some houses in different areas of Jeddah city, the taken samples showed high concentrations of some elements especially for houses located in the north of the city. The detection of those high concentrations in samples taken from those houses may be due to the shortage in cleaning process for the storage tanks in those houses. Comparing the obtained results with the standard values published by different organizations, [Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO)], it may be concluded that drinking water in Jeddah city is safe.


Assessing the combinatorial toxicology of the anthropogenic challenges associated with the marine environment in the proximity of Jeddah city in the Red Sea


The interface between urban combinations and associated industry with fragile ecosystems delivering significant ecosystem services denotes one of the critical frontiers for ecological genomic investigation. The major issue when evaluating diffuse pollution generated at this interface revolves around the possible interactions between mixtures of contaminates that individually remain below trigger level but together may result in significant environmental impact.

To determine whether mixture effects need to be considered, it is essential to define the geochemical parameters involved by performing a survey for major classes of contaminates and to evaluate their penetrance into the food chain. The coastal marine environment of the Saudi Red Sea is subject to direct and indirect influences of major populations and industrial facilities found along the coast such as those found in proximity to Jeddah City (2nd largest city in SA). To monitor this interface, we performed a geochemical survey along this coastline. Sampling of both sediment and sea water was performed at contrasting sites representative of near-shore (20-30m) with off-shore (10km) locations. Possible food-chain transference of any contaminates was evaluated by sampling fish (Lethrinus nebulosus) and plankton at the off-shore sites. All samples were assessed for the presence of heavy metals (ICP-MS) and hydrocarbons (GC-MS).

Our findings revealed that shallow water contained elevated metal concentrations including Pb (av. 100 µg/L), As (av. 47 µg/L) and Ni (av. 32 µg/L). In contrast, metal values in deep water samples showed raised Cu (av. 60 µg/L), As (av. 43 µg/L) and Ni (av. 32µg/L). Analysis of the sediment pore water found unexpected levels of Al, Pb and As 30-40 µg/kg. Inorganic profiling of fish tissues (gills and liver) identified Zn and Al to be the most highly represented (~0.04 and ~0.025 µg/g respectively) with Ni at approaching 0.01 µg/g, whilst the balance of metals measured were less than 0.005 µg/g. No detectable metals were identified in Plankton and no hydrocarbon residues appeared in any of our analyses.

These results achieve our objective of defining the contaminate profiles within the water column and transference to the biota. The elevated metals in the off-shore samples were intriguing and may be related to the deep-water brines previously identified in Atlantis II at the axial depression of the Red Sea. Furthermore, uptake of Al from the sediment to the gills and livers of L. nebulosus indicated the role of sediment as a source for metal uptake into the food chain.  Having identified the major inorganics acting as toxicants within the interface between Jeddah City and the Red Sea and recognizing the geogenic input from the deep-water brines, we are in a position to test for mixture effects using C. elegans as a laboratory model organism.



  1. School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK CF10 3AX
  2. Saudi Geological Survey, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, P.O. Box 116723, Jeddah 21391 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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