Ursula Keller was born in Zug, Switzerland, on June 21, 1959. She received the "Diplom" in Physics from ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 1984. From late 1984 to 1985 she worked on optical bistability at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland as a visiting scholar. She then moved to Stanford University in California where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics in 1987 and 1989, respectively.
In 1989, she became a Member of Technical Staff (MTS) at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, where she conducted research on photonic switching, ultrafast laser systems, and semiconductor spectroscopy. In March 1993 she was appointed an Associate Professor and in October 1997 she became a Full Professor in the Physics Department at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Her current research interests are in ultrafast lasers, high harmonic generation and attosecond science, ultrafast spectroscopy and novel devices for applications in optical information processing and communication.
She is currently a Visiting Miller Professor at UC Berkeley.