Rehab Elshehawy

Associate professor
Room: V513
Mobile: 0704165685

About me

I am a Docent in Environmental Science and a microbiologist/molecular biologist by studies and work experience.

Research interests

  • Host -microbiome interaction in crustaceans
  • Bacterial diversity associated with biofilms
  • Cyanobacteria; bloom formation, toxin production, and biodegradation
  • Bacterial biodegradation of cyanotoxins; diversity, pathways, and genetics

Current projects

  • Ecological significance of hepatotoxin biodegradation: towards understanding adaptations to harmful blooms- VR-funded project
  • Towards microbiome research standards in ecotoxicology- FORMAS funded project
  • Ecotoxicological assessment for small-scale wastewater treatment in rural communities- VR funded Network project
  • Marine snow as a vector in microplastic transport and degradation- FORMAS funded project


h-index 14, 700 citations.

  1. Gorokhova E, El-Shehawy R, Lehtiniemi M, Garbaras A (2021). How Copepods Can Eat Toxins Without Getting Sick: Gut Bacteria Help Zooplankton to Feed in Cyanobacteria Blooms. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.589816.
  2. Gorokhova E, Motiei A, El-Shehawy R (2021). Understanding Biofilm Formation In Ecotoxicological Assays With Natural And Anthropogenic Particulates. Frontiers in Microbiology. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.632947.
  3. Motiei A, Brindefalk B, Ogonowski M, El-Shehawy R, Pastuszek P, Ek K, Liewenborg B, Udekwu K, Gorokhova E (2020) Disparate effects of antibiotic-induced microbiome change and enhanced fitness in Daphnia magna. PLoS ONE 15(1). DOI: e0214833.
  4. Morón-Lópe J, Nieto-Reyes L, Senán-Salinas J, Molina S, El-Shehawy (2019) Recycled desalination membranes as a support material for biofilm development: a new approach for microcystin removal during water treatment. Science of the Total Environment 10 (647):785-793. DOI:1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.435.
  5. Abu-Serie M, Nasser M, Abd El-Wahab A, El-Shehawy R, Pienaar H, Baddour N, Amer R (2018) In vivo assessment of the hepatotoxicity of a new Nostoc isolate from the Nile River: Nostoc strain NRI. Toxicon 143: 81-89.
  6. Lezcano M-A, Velazquez D, Quesada A, El-Shehawy R (2017) Diversity and temporal shifts of the bacterial community associated with a toxic cyanobacterial bloom: An interplay between microcystin producers and degraders. Water Research 125: 52-61.
  7. Morón-López J, Nieto-Reyes L, El-Shehawy R (2017) Assessment of the influence of key abiotic factors on the alternative microcystin degradation pathway(s) (mlr−): A detailed comparison with the mlr route (mlr+). Science of the Total Environment 599-600: 1945-1953.
  8. Lezcano M-A, Quesada A, El-Shehawy R (2017) Seasonal dynamics of microcystin degrading bacteria and toxic cyanobacterial blooms: interaction and influence of abiotic factors. Harmful Algae 71: 19-28.
  9. El-Shehawy R, Quesada A (2017) Quantification of Potentially Cylindrospermopsin-Producing Chrysosporum ovalisporum. SOP 7. pp: 229-231. In: Molecular tools for the detection of toxigenic cyanobacteria. Kurmayer R, Sivonen K, Wilmotte A, Salmaso N (Eds). Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-33210-7.
  10. Lezcano M-A, Morón-López J, Agha R, López-Heras I, Nozal L, Quesada A, El-Shehawy R (2016) Presence or absence of mlr genes and nutrient concentrations co-determine the microcystin biodegradation efficiency of a natural bacterial community. Toxins 8: 318-335. DOI: 10.3390/toxins8110318.
  11. Hogfors H, Motwani N, Hajdu S, El-Shehawy R, Holmborn T, Vehmaa A, Engström-Öst J, Brutemark A, Gorokhova E (2014) Bloom-forming cyanobacteria support copepod reproduction and development in the Baltic Sea.  PLoS ONE  (9). DOI: 1371/journal.pone.0112692.
  12. Voß B, Bolhuis H, Fewer DP, Kopf M, Möke F, Haas F, El-Shehawy R, Hayes P, Bergman B, Sivonen K, Dittmann E, Scanlan D, Hagemann M, Stal L, Hess WR (2013) Insights into the Physiology and Ecology of the Brackish-Water-Adapted Cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena CCY9414 based on a Genome-Transcriptome Analysis. PLoS ONE (8). DOI: 1371/journal.pone.0060224: e60224.
  13. Campo E, Lezcano M-A, Agha R, Cirés S, Quesada A, El-Shehawy R (2013) First TaqMan Assay to Identify and Quantify the Cylindrospermopsin-Producing Cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon ovalisporum in Water. Advances in Microbiology 3: 430-437.
  14. El-Shehawy R, Gorokhova E (2013) The Baltic Sea bloom- forming Nodularia spumigena: a peculiar nitrogen-fixer. In: Cyanobacteria: Toxicity, Ecology and Management. Filho A (Ed). Nova publisher. ISBN: 978-1-62618-115-1.
  15. El-Shehawy R, Gorokhova E, Piñas F, Del Campo F (2012) Global warming and hepatotoxic cyanobacteria: what can we learn from experiments? Water Research 46: 1420-1429.
  16. Vintila S, Selao T, Norén A, Bergman B, El-Shehawy R (2011) Characterization of nifH gene expression, modification and rearrangement in Nodularia spumigena strain AV1. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 77: 449–459.
  17. Engström-Öst J, Hogfors H, El-Shehawy R, De Stasio B, Vehmaa A, Gorokhova E (2011) Toxin-producing cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena, potential competitors and grazers: testing mechanisms of reciprocal interactions. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 62: 39-48.
  18. Vintila S, Wadensten H, Nilsson A, Andrén PE, El-Shehawy R (2010) Proteomic profiling of the Baltic Sea cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena strain AV1 during ammonium supplementation. Journal of Proteomics 73: 1670-1679.
  19. Vintila S, El-Shehawy R (2010) Variability in the response of the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena to nitrogen supplementation. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 12: 1885-1890.
  20. Amer R, Díez B, El-Shehawy R (2009) Diversity of hepatotoxic cyanobacteria in the Nile Delta, Egypt. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11: 126-133.
  21. Sandh G, El-Shehawy R, Díez B, Bergman B (2009) Temporal separation of cell division and diazotrophy in the marine diazotrophic cyanobacterium Trichodesmium erythraeum FEMS Microbiology Letters 295: 281-288.
  22. Mårtensson L, Díez B, Wartiainen I, Zheng W, El-Shehawy R, Rasmussen U (2009) Diazotrophic diversity, nifH gene expression and nitrogenase activity in rice paddy fields in Fujian, China. Plant Soil 325: 207-218.
  23. Jonasson S, Vintila S, Sivonen K, El-Shehawy R (2008) Expression analysis of the nodularin synthetase genes in the Baltic Sea bloom-former cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena strain AV1in response to nitrogen and phosphate stress. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 65: 31-39.
  24. Díez B, Bergman B, El-Shehawy R (2008) Marine cyanobacteria: out of the blue. Plant Biotechnology 25: 221-225.
  25. Vintila S, El-Shehawy R (2007) Ammonium ions inhibit nitrogen fixation but do not affect heterocyst frequency in the bloom-forming cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena strain AV1. Microbiology 153: 3704-3712.
  26. El-Shehawy R, Lugomela C, Ernst A, Bergman B (2003) Diurnal expression of hetR and diazocyte development in the filamentous non- heterocystous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium. Microbiology 149: 1139-1146.
  27. El-Shehawy R, Bergman B (2003) Inhibition of cell division blocks the synthesis of the second nitrogenase (nif2) in the cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis. FEMS Microbiology Letters 14: 23-25.
  28. El-Shehawy R, Kleiner K (2003) The mystique of irreversibility in cyanobacterial heterocyst formation: Parallels to differentiation and senescence in Eukaryotic cells. Physiologia Plantarum 119: 49-55.
  29. El-Shehawy R, Kleiner K (2003) Effect of controlled expression of hetR gene on heterocyst formation in the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120. Physiologia Plantarum 119: 44-49.
  30.  El-Shehawy R, Kleiner K (2001) Nitrogen Limitation. In: Algal Adaptation to Environmental Stresses. Physiological, Biochemical and Molecular Mechanisms. PP: 45-64. Rai L, Gauer J (Eds). Springer. ISBN: 978-3-642-59491-5.
  31. El-Shehawy R, Kleiner K (1999) Ammonium (methylammonium) transport by heterocysts and vegetative cells of Anabaena variabilis. FEMS Microbiology Letters 181: 303-306.
  32. El Helow E, Sabry S, Shehawy R (2000). Cadmium biosorption by a cadmium resistant strain of Bacillus thuringiensis: regulation and optimization of cell surface affinity for metal cations. Biometals, 13: 273-280.

Exposure & Effects

Exposure and effects of chemical contaminants on living organisms.