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​​ 

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Morphology: the key to preventing biodiversity loss in data-poor environments

The marine environment will play a pivotal role in achieving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Vision 2030 goals. Marine biodiversity is vital in enhancing the health, food, and nutritional security of KSA, supporting economic diversification through tourism (particularly the giga-projects), fisheries, and aquaculture, and protecting KSA against the impacts of climate change. However, few marine species have adequate data to facilitate effective conservation and management. My vision is to utilise a century of evolution and ecology science to triage whole species assemblages, identifying species least resilient to human exploitation, and those vital to ecosystem health and the human communities dependent upon them. To achieve this, I will leverage widely available morphological traits and a suite of powerful machine learning techniques in a novel interdisciplinary approach that combines natural, social, and economic sciences. Fisheries are the greatest threat to marine biodiversity at the global level. This fellowship will address Red Sea fishes and facilitate the effective conservation, management, and policy actions needed to ensure KSA’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals are achieved.

Andrew is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in the fields of ecology, fisheries science, and socioeconomics. His long-term goal is to improve the impact of conservation science by transforming the discipline from a reactive science, responding to species declines, into a proactive one. His research work focuses on the interactions between large marine vertebrates (marine mammals, sharks, rays, turtles, and large finfish) and anthropogenic impacts. He is especially interested in the impacts of fisheries, which represent the greatest threat to marine biodiversity. His research ranges from European waters to the waters of the Indo-Pacific and South America, as well as taking a global perspective.


Dr. Andrew Temple