How do I know who my advisor is? Can I change my advisor?

​For M.S. students, your advisor when you are admitted to KAUST is the Program Chair. For Ph.D. students, your advisor is your PI (supervisor) whose lab you have been accepted in to. 

Yes, you can change your advisor. M.S. students are advised to do so if/when they begin their thesis or directed research.  Ph.D. students do have the ability to change advisors, but the overall impact to the Ph.D. project, as well as the time left to finish the Ph.D., could be significant.  This will have to be taken into account before approval.

​M.S. students need 36 credits (combination of courses and research is specific to your program). 

Ph.D. students need 6 credits of 300-level coursework and will earn dissertation research credit each semester until they defend (no minimum credits established, although there is a minimum residency requirement of 2.5 years).

​During your final M.S. semester at KAUST, you will be eligible to submit a “rollover” application.  You will be contacted by the Admissions Office for this.  You must have a confirmed supervisor in order for the application to be approved.

​M.S. students get all university holidays (Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, Spring break).  

Ph.D. students get university holidays and three weeks of annual/vacation leave per calendar year to be taken in agreement with your PI.

​Mandatory, core and elective courses are listed in the program guide. The program guides for all BESE programs can be found here 
​“Time Extension to Complete M.S. Thesis” application request can be submitted by the 9th week of your final Fall semester.  See application for required approvals here .
​No.  Only once during your time here at KAUST.  If “WE Courses” appears on your KAUST transcript, that means you have met this requirement.​
​Yes, both M.S. and Ph.D. in all BESE programs must register, attend, and receive an S grade for the graduate seminar each semester (Spring and Fall, NOT summer).

​Yes. Drop and Add deadlines are on the academic calendar.

​Your GPC can help you request these from the Registrar’s Office, or you can contact them directly at  RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA​​ 

Latest Events

Modelling the physical connectivity and marine ecosystem of the Red Sea with application to seascape genetics

Connectivity, the exchange of individuals and genes among geographically separated marine populations, plays a key role in coral reef biodiversity and resilience. Using hydrodynamic and Lagrangian particle tracking models, a high-resolution circulation-driven physical connectivity atlas covering every Red Sea coral reef — including seasonality — is simulated, revealing important roles for northern reefs as sources/sinks and weak east-west connections between southern reefs. Additional backward simulations conducted in the southern Red Sea reveal dynamic linkages between the southern reefs and the Indian Ocean, explaining the genetic separation previously reported in the basin.
Understanding the Red Sea ecosystem variability at various spatiotemporal scales is crucial for the Red Sea ecology. Biogeochemical modeling presents a powerful tool for simulating the three-dimensional evolution of marine ecosystems. A coupled physical-biogeochemical model is developed, enabling the investigation of Red Sea biogeochemistry at diel, seasonal, and interannual timescales. We reveal a chlorophyll diel cycle with near-sunset maxima in the Red Sea, demonstrate the importance of incorporating a spatially varying diffuse attenuation coefficient to reproduce the summer bloom in the southern basin, and explain the impact of climate drivers (e.g., ENSO) on nutrient supply through the Bab-Al-Mandeb strait.
Seascape genetics investigate how seascape features (e.g., circulation, temperature, productivity) shape the spatial genetic structures of marine species. Three theories — Isolation-By-Distance, Isolation-By-Circulation, and Isolation-By-Environment — were previously developed. Using published genetic datasets for multiple coral reef species and outputs from the physical connectivity and physical-biogeochemical models, we develop the first seascape genetic model that provides a full description of all three theories in the Red Sea, revealing the important roles of circulation and environment in shaping genetic structures. The developed models provide a unique tool for predicting the genetic structures of multiple Red Sea reef species.

Yixin Wang holds a B.Sc. in Marine Science from the Ocean University of China and an M.Sc. in Marine Science from KAUST. Yixin’s research interests are interactions between physical oceanography and marine ecology, including simulating the evolution of the Red Sea ecosystem using a coupled physical-biogeochemical model at multiple spatiotemporal scales, simulating the Red Sea coral reef connectivity using a Lagrangian particle-tracking model, and investigating Red Sea seascape genetics


Yixin Wang