At UBC Science, outstanding scientists and students strive to unravel the principles that underlie our universe - from the subatomic to the macroscopic, from pure mathematics to biotechnology, from ecosystems to galactic systems. Through the breadth and depth of our academic endeavours and the calibre of the people who make up our community, we take pride in discovering new scientific knowledge and preparing Canada’s and the world’s next generation of scientists.

A diverse range of highly ranked programs

With access to master’s and doctoral degrees through nine departments and 350 research groups, our graduate students work with world-class faculty to explore the basic sciences, and to pursue interdisciplinary and applied research across departments and units. UBC’s research excellence in environmental science, math, physics, plant and animal science, computer science, geology and biology is consistently rated best in Canada by international and national ranking agencies.

Committed to outstanding graduate training

UBC Science houses a wide range of prestigious NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience and related industry programs: from atmospheric aerosols to high-throughput biology, from biodiversity research and ecosystems services to plant cell wall biosynthesis, from quantum science and new materials to applied geochemistry. The options for enriched graduate training in industry related fields are almost endless.

World-class research infrastructure

Our affiliated institutes and centres include UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories, Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute, Biodiversity Research Centre, Life Sciences Institute, Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences, Mineral Deposit Research Unit, and TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics.

Top research talent

UBC Science boasts more than 50 Canada Research Chairs, 12 fellows of the Royal Society of London, and has been home to two Nobel Laureates. Our graduate students have won 15 prestigious Vanier Scholarships.

A diverse, supportive community of scholars

UBC Science is committed to excellence, collaboration and inclusion. Women account for 40 per cent of the Faculty's graduate enrollments, and the percentage of international students has increased to 48 per cent over the past decade.

Mission
To nurture an exceptional scientific learning and research environment for the people of British Columbia, Canada, and the world.
 

Research Centres

Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology

Computational Sciences and Mathematics

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Genomics and Biological Sciences

Human-Computer Interaction

Life Sciences

Chemistry and Materials Science

Physics

Sustainability

Research Facilities

Designed to inspire collaboration and creativity across disciplines, the new Earth Sciences Building (ESB) lies at the heart of the science precinct on UBC’s Vancouver Campus. The $75 million facility is home to Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Statistics, the Pacific Institute of the Mathematical Sciences, and the dean’s office of the Faculty of Science. ESB’s updated teaching facilities will help Canada meet the challenges of a transforming and growing resource sector. Just as importantly, the researchers and students working and learning in the new facility will offer a valuable flow of well-trained talent, new ideas, and fresh professional perspectives to industry.

Research Highlights

UBC Science faculty members conduct top-tier research in the life, physical, earth and computational sciences. Their discoveries help build our understanding of natural laws—driving insights into sustainability, biodiversity, human health, nanoscience and new materials, probability, artificial intelligence, exoplanets and a wide range of other areas.

UBC Science boasts 50 Canada Research Chairs and 10 fellows of the Royal Society of London, and has been home to two Nobel Laureates. 

Graduate Degree Programs

Research Supervisors in Faculty

or browse the list of faculty members in various academic units. You may click each unit to view faculty members appointed in that unit. View the full faculty member directory for more search and filter options.
Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Abraham, Ninan Department of Zoology Mammals, pathogens, genetic analysis, proper cell funtion, development, maintenance and proper functioning of T- and B-cells
Adams, Keith Department of Botany Molecular evolution, genome evolution, and gene expression
Adem, Alejandro Department of Mathematics Cohomology of finite groups, orbifolds, stringy topology, algebra, sporadic simple group, group actions, arithmetic groups, K-theory, homotopy theory, spaces of homomorphisms
Affleck, Ian Keith Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter theory, quantum magnetism, quantum impurities, high-Tc superconductivity, low dimensional magnetism, quantum wires and dots, high energy theory, impurities in metals
Algar, Russ Department of Chemistry Luminescent Materials; Bio/Chemical Sensing; Materials synthesis and biofunctionalization; Understanding the nanoparticle interface; New energy transfer configurations for sensing and imaging; Point-of-care diagnostic devices; Intracellular sensing
Allen, Susan Elizabeth Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Oceans and Inland Waters; Prediction and Climatic Modeling; physical oceanography; coastal oceanography; forecast models; coupled bio-physics and chem-physics and all three models
Altshuler, Douglas Department of Zoology flight control; visual guidance; visual neuroscience; neuroethology; avian biomechanics; aerodynamics; wing morphing; motor control
Ameli, Ali Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Numerical Analysis; Climate Changes and Impacts; Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs; Ground Water and Water Tables; Groundwater Ecohydrology; Hydro-geological Engineering; Watershed Management; Applied Hydro-geochemistry; Environmental Tracer; Groundwater-Surfacewater & land Interaction; Green Infrastructure
Andersen, Raymond Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Chemistry Chemicals produced by marine organisms
Angel, Omer Department of Mathematics Probability theory, percolation, random graphs, random walks, particle processes, scaling limits
Angert, Amy Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Biogeography; Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes; evolutionary ecology; population biology; biological responses to climate change; Conservation Biology
Anstee, Richard Department of Mathematics Discrete Mathematics, Extremal Set Theory, Graph Theory, Matching Theory
Aronson, Meigan Department of Physics & Astronomy heavy-ferromagnetic compounds; charge density waves; magnetic nanoparticles
Auger-Methe, Marie Department of Statistics, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Statistical Ecology; Polar ecology; Animal movement
Auld, Vanessa Department of Zoology Cell; Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis; Developmental Genetics; Molecular Genetics; Development; nervous system; permeability barriers; glia; Cell Biology; Genetics; in vivo imaging; epithelia
Austin, Philip Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences global climate; climate change; greenhouse effect; global warming; clouds; lightning; storms, Cloud physics, radiative properties of layer clouds, status cirrus formation, global climate, cloug aerosol feedbacks and climate
Aviles, Leticia Department of Zoology Community ecology (except invasive species ecology); Animal behaviour
Bachmann, Sven Department of Mathematics Mathematical Analysis; Quantum Phenomena; Mathematical physics; Quantum statistical physics; Topological states of matter
Bagger, Jonathan Department of Physics & Astronomy High energy physics; String theory; Bagger-Lambert-Gustavsson action; Supersymmetry; Superspace; Supergravity
Balmforth, Neil Department of Mathematics Fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Beatty, John Department of Microbiology & Immunology Bacteria; Molecular Genetics; Regulation; Molecular Structure and Sizing; Gene transfer mediated by virus-like particles; Light-driven reactions in photosynthesis proteins; Applications of photosynthesis proteins to solar energy
Beckie, Roger Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Ground hydrology, geotechnical engineering
Behrend, Kai Department of Mathematics Moduli spaces, Gromov-Witten invariants, string theory, Donaldson-Thomas invariants, Euler characteristics, categorification
Bennett, Michael Department of Mathematics Number Theory, Diophantine Approximation and Classical Analysis
Berbee, Mary Department of Botany Evolution and Phylogenesis; Microorganisms; Taxonomy and Systematics; systematics; molecular phylogenetics; fungi; mycology

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Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Science.

 

Publication: Icarus
UBC Author(s): Catherine Johnson (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00191035
Volume: 357
Publication Date: 15 March 2021

View Publication
Publication: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10956433
Volume: 253
Publication Date: March 2021

View Publication
Publication: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
UBC Author(s): Philip Matthews (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10956433
Volume: 253
Publication Date: March 2021

View Publication
Publication: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02727714
Volume: 249
Publication Date: 5 February 2021

View Publication
Publication: Postharvest Biology and Technology
UBC Author(s): Yuelin Zhang (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09255214
Volume: 172
Publication Date: February 2021

View Publication
Publication: Icarus
UBC Author(s): Catherine Johnson (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00191035
Volume: 355
Publication Date: February 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Marine Systems
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09247963
Volume: 214
Publication Date: February 2021

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Human Computer Studies
UBC Author(s): Gail Murphy (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10715819
Volume: 146
Publication Date: February 2021

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Geology
UBC Author(s): James Kelly Russell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00092541
Volume: 560
Publication Date: 20 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Solar Energy
UBC Author(s): Mark Johnson (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0038092X
Volume: 214
Page Range: 457-470
Publication Date: 15 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
UBC Author(s): Susan Elizabeth Allen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0012821X
Volume: 554
Publication Date: 15 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Molecular Structure
UBC Author(s): Takamasa Momose (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00222860
Volume: 1224
Publication Date: 15 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Marine Mammal Science
UBC Author(s): David Rosen (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08240469
Volume: 37
Page Range: 162-172
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Sustainability Science
UBC Author(s): Kai Chan (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18624065
Volume: 16
Page Range: 345
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal fur die Reine und Angewandte Mathematik
UBC Author(s): Juncheng Wei (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00754102
Volume: 2021
Page Range: 113-133
Publication Date: 1 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Applied Spectroscopy
UBC Author(s): James Piret (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00037028
Publication Date: 2021

View Publication
Publication: Plastic and reconstructive surgery
UBC Author(s): William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 147
Page Range: 50S-61S
Publication Date: 1 January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Zoologischer Anzeiger
UBC Author(s): Brian Leander (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00445231
Volume: 290
Page Range: 113-116
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00670049
Volume: 252
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00670049
Volume: 252
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Loren Rieseberg (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 30
Page Range: 1-25
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Dragos Ghioca (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00029947
Volume: 374
Page Range: 733-752
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
UBC Author(s): Vesna Sossi (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0271678X
Volume: 41
Page Range: 116-131
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
UBC Author(s): Roger Beckie (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01697722
Volume: 236
Publication Date: January 2021

View Publication
Publication: Methods in Molecular Biology
UBC Author(s): Xin Li (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10643745
Volume: 2213
Page Range: 29-37
Publication Date: 2021

View Publication

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Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2020 Dr. Soto Gomez used genomics to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the three major plant groups Pandanales, Dioscoreales and the Dioscorea yams, shedding light on their relationships, genomes, biogeography and morphology. She also developed methods to uncover wild yam species of utility for improving crop yams, which feed millions globally. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Irwin studied the molecular biology and evolution of the cell nucleus by examining how nuclear processes function in diverse organisms. His work revealed the capacity for viruses to shape cellular evolution, identified novel nuclear mechanisms, and highlighted the utility of new model organisms for future research. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Jing developed high-throughput methods for the analysis of trace compounds in complex matrices. He coupled novel sample preparation methods to direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry, placing particular attention to the extraction and ionization processes. This work provides strategies for environment monitoring and quality control. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Evoy studied the physical properties of organic aerosols, which are known to be important for environmental and human health. She evaluated the accuracy of different equations used to describe the diffusion of molecules within aerosols. The results improve our ability to understand and quantify the effects of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Petel studied the transport of molecules and ions in innovative materials to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind their unique physical and electrical properties. Her research assists in the development of applications such as artificial muscles, electro-optical devices, and recyclable polymers. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hersh studied why asexual plants are often more widespread than their sexual relatives using Easter daisies, and found that asexuals are aided by particularly successful clones and seed traits that help promote colonization. This work challenges the assumption that asexuals' only advantage is the ability to reproduce without mates. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Astic coupled multi-physics simulations with data science to develop a new methodology to image the subsurface and map underground resources from geophysical data with an improved resolution. This new approach will help locate and estimate the resources available for a sustainable future, such as minerals, water, and CO2 storage capacity. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Amundrud combined machine learning, observational surveys along environmental gradients and controlled experiments to demonstrate that the processes that shape species distributions and ecological communities depend on spatial scale and environmental context. This research sheds new light on how ecosystems will respond to climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Gonzalez Anaya's research is concerned with the complexity of geometric spaces arising as solutions to polynomial equations. His work contributes to our understanding of how the process of deforming their shape can sometimes result in new geometric objects having significantly more intricate geometric properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hughes studied mathematical models for random spatial populations which arise in a variety of settings, including ecology. His work focused on fractal properties of the population densities. This research sheds light on how these populations, and other important stochastic models, are locally distributed in space. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)

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