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.

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



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
Adamson, Martin Department of Zoology Evolution, parasites
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
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 Evolution of sociality, evolution of sex ratios
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


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. Shukla's research explored the complicated nature of algebraic structures, focusing on two measures of complexity: essential dimension and the number of generators of an algebra. This research contributes to our understanding of objects with highly complex symmetries that frequently arise in mathematics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Le Renard studied the evolution of fly-speck fungi, microfungi growing on the surfaces of plants and abundant as fossils. He analyzed the evolutionary relationships of living fungi using DNA, compared their anatomy to fossils, and described three new fossils. This comparative work sheds light on the evolution of a very diverse group of fungi. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Heieis investigated how cellular metabolism allows immune cells to respond in various scenarios of disease. He found that T cells have different requirements for glucose when fighting parasites versus bacterial infections. This research will have future implications in the development of immune-based therapies for infection and autoimmunity. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Gherga investigated an infinite family of equations whose solutions admit deep mathematical applications in elliptic curves and elliptic curve cryptography. In her work, she helped to develop the theory and implementation of an efficient algorithm to fully resolve these equations. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lesage studied geological controls on the district-scale footprints of porphyry deposits. He found that the formation of copper deposits affects the surrounding rock to distances up to several kilometers away. This research improves mineral deposit genetic models and will help to increase the success rate of future mineral exploration efforts. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Caiazzo studied the X-ray emission of neutron stars and black holes. She modelled the polarization of light from pulsars and black holes that accumulate material from companion stars, and from highly magnetized neutron stars called magnetars. She has shown that X-ray polarization can answer many of our questions about these fascinating objects. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ramos Musalem studied how submarine canyons that incise the continental shelf enhance the exchange of tracers, such as nutrients and dissolved gases, between the deep ocean and the shallow shelf. Her research provided a link between biological productivity and biodiversity around the canyons and the dynamics within the canyons. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ye used the nematode worm to study how living organisms faithfully maintain and pass down genetic information encoded in their DNA. His study characterized genes and therapeutics that affect this process and provided insights that can shed light on future development of anticancer therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Su developed two radiation therapy modalities, known as trajectory-based treatments, where the couch moves continuously. This work introduces a novel algorithm for treatment planning, which can accurately model proposed treatment modalities. This method can achieve plans superior to those generated by standard planning systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Farahbod studied gene expression in human tissues and showed that observed patterns of expression can be attributed to the diverse cellular composition of the samples. By characterizing this feature of expression data, her study assists us in furthering our knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms behind the regulation of gene expression. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)