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 Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric sciences; Oceanography; coastal oceanography; coupled bio-physics and chem-physics and all three models; forecast models; Oceans and Inland Waters; physical oceanography; Prediction and Climatic Modeling
Altshuler, Doug Department of Zoology Zoology; flight control; visual guidance; visual neuroscience; neuroethology; avian biomechanics; aerodynamics; wing morphing; motor control
Ameli, Ali Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geology; Applied Hydro-geochemistry; Climate Changes and Impacts; Environmental Tracer; Green Infrastructure; Ground Water and Water Tables; Groundwater Ecohydrology; Groundwater-Surfacewater & land Interaction; Hydro-geological Engineering; Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs; Numerical analysis; Watershed Management
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 Plant biology; Zoology; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; biogeography; biological responses to climate change; Conservation Biology; Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes; evolutionary ecology; population 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 Fisheries sciences; Statistics; Zoology; Animal movement; Polar ecology; Statistical Ecology
Auld, Vanessa Department of Zoology Neurosciences, biological and chemical aspects; Neurosciences, medical and physiological and health aspects; Zoology; Cell; Cell Biology; Development; Developmental Genetics; epithelia; Genetics; glia; in vivo imaging; Molecular Genetics; nervous system; Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis; permeability barriers
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 Mathematics and statistics; Mathematical Analysis; quantum phenomena; Mathematical physics; Quantum statistical physics; Topological states of matter
Balmforth, Neil Department of Mathematics Fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Barker, Shaun Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences
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 Plant biology; Evolution and Phylogenesis; Microorganisms; Taxonomy and Systematics; fungi; molecular phylogenetics; mycology; systematics

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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: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
UBC Author(s): Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01697722
Volume: 240
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Lithos
UBC Author(s): Maya Kopylova (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00244937
Volume: 390-391
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Science and Policy
UBC Author(s): Leila Harris (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14629011
Volume: 120
Page Range: 187-194
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection
UBC Author(s): Margo Seltzer (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18745482
Volume: 33
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Machine Learning: Science and Technology
UBC Author(s): Christoph Ortner (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 2
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Icarus
UBC Author(s): Brett Gladman (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00191035
Volume: 361
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Brian Leander (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10557903
Volume: 159
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Bone Reports
UBC Author(s): Christopher E Orvig (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Finite Fields and their Applications
UBC Author(s): Jozsef Solymosi (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10715797
Volume: 72
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Current Opinion in Structural Biology
UBC Author(s): Harry Brumer (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0959440X
Volume: 68
Page Range: 26-40
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 128
Publication Date: June 2021

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Geology
UBC Author(s): James Kelly Russell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00092541
Volume: 569
Publication Date: 20 May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Science of the Total Environment
UBC Author(s): Roger Beckie (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00489697
Volume: 769
Publication Date: 15 May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Linear Algebra and Its Applications
UBC Author(s): Zinovy Reichstein (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00243795
Volume: 617
Page Range: 39-48
Publication Date: 15 May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Energy Research and Social Science
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 22146296
Volume: 75
Publication Date: May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Metabolic Engineering
UBC Author(s): Lindsay Eltis (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10967176
Volume: 65
Page Range: 111-122
Publication Date: May 2021

View Publication
Publication: ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
UBC Author(s): Valentina Radic (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09242716
Volume: 175
Page Range: 144-157
Publication Date: May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Lithos
UBC Author(s): Maya Kopylova (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00244937
Volume: 388-389
Publication Date: May 2021

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
UBC Author(s): Leila Harris (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14384639
Volume: 234
Publication Date: May 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Hazardous Materials
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03043894
Volume: 408
Publication Date: 15 April 2021

View Publication
Publication: Vaccine
UBC Author(s): Daniel Coombs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0264410X
Volume: 39
Page Range: 2020-2023
Publication Date: 8 April 2021

View Publication
Publication: Chemistry - A European Journal
UBC Author(s): Laurel Schafer (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09476539
Volume: 27
Page Range: 6334-6339
Publication Date: 7 April 2021

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Philip Hieter (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 118
Publication Date: 6 April 2021

View Publication
Publication: ISME Journal
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17517362
Volume: 15
Page Range: 981-998
Publication Date: April 2021

View Publication
Publication: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Sarah Otto (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Dolph Schluter (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Rachel Germain (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Amy Angert (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01695347
Volume: 36
Page Range: 284-293
Publication Date: April 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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