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 41 per cent of the Faculty's graduate enrollments, and the percentage of international students has increased to 50 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

Receiving more than $120 million in annual research funding, 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
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
Baliga, Vikram Zoology
Balmforth, Neil Department of Mathematics Fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Barker, Shaun Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences
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
Berciu, Mona Department of Physics & Astronomy Electronic and magnetic properties of condensed matter and supraconductivity; Physical sciences; condensed matter theory; polarons, bipolarons; strongly correlated systems

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Graduate Student Stories

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: Neurocomputing
UBC Author(s): William Welch (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09252312
Volume: 517
Page Range: 188-200
Publication Date: 14 January 2023

View Publication
Publication: Methods in Molecular Biology
UBC Author(s): Gabriela Cohen Freue (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10643745
Volume: 2426
Page Range: 315-331
Publication Date: 2023

View Publication
Publication: Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Michael Bennett (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00029947
Volume: 376
Page Range: 335-370
Publication Date: 1 January 2023

View Publication
Publication: Advances in Database Technology - EDBT
UBC Author(s): Rachel Pottinger (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 26
Page Range: 53-65
Publication Date: 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
UBC Author(s): Gregory Dipple (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0168583X
Volume: 534
Page Range: 35-38
Publication Date: 1 January 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nagoya Mathematical Journal
UBC Author(s): Sujatha Ramdorai (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00277630
Volume: 248
Page Range: 922-938
Publication Date: 30 December 2022

View Publication
Publication: STAR Protocols
UBC Author(s): Steven Plotkin (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 3
Publication Date: 16 December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Discrete Applied Mathematics
UBC Author(s): Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0166218X
Volume: 322
Page Range: 439-441
Publication Date: 15 December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Computational Physics
UBC Author(s): Anthony Wachs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00219991
Volume: 471
Publication Date: 15 December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems
UBC Author(s): David Poole (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01697439
Volume: 231
Publication Date: 15 December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Microbiome
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 10
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Data
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): David Jones (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science), Andrea Damascelli (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Geometric Analysis
UBC Author(s): Jingyi Chen (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10506926
Volume: 32
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Landslides
UBC Author(s): Natalia Nolde (Statistics / Faculty of Science), Scott McDougall (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1612510X
Volume: 19
Page Range: 2853-2869
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: British Journal of Pharmacology
UBC Author(s): Rachel Fernandez (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00071188
Volume: 179
Page Range: 5259-5272
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: New Phytologist
UBC Author(s): Sean Graham (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0028646X
Volume: 236
Page Range: 1908-1921
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
UBC Author(s): Michael Jeffrey Ward (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01672789
Volume: 441
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Quantum Machine Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Michael Friedlander (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 25244906
Volume: 4
Publication Date: December 2022

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: 274
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Neuroinflammation
UBC Author(s): Vesna Sossi (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 19
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Data
UBC Author(s): Daniel McDonald (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: npj Computational Materials
UBC Author(s): Christoph Ortner (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: December 2022

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: December 2022

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
2022 Dr. Wright explored novel reactions for modifying polymers using light and oxygen. Working alongside amazing collaborators across chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, and microbiology, his research culminated in the development of fabric coatings that can kill bacteria and the SARS-CoV-2 virus when exposed to light. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Davidson studied how chromium moves through the environment, and the chemical changes that occur in the process. She developed a method to measure chromium in seawater and connected changes in the form of chromium to changes in its isotopic composition, identifying new links to environmental processes through increased detection of chromium. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2022 Dr. Kianzad studied the design and evaluation of a robotic stylus -called MagicPen. He investigated how force feedback can enable learners to fluidly express their ideas during hand sketching tasks, and explored the benefits of using the sense of touch in learning. His work highlights the role of haptics in future objects-to-think-with. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 Algebraic geometry studies the geometry of shapes obtained as solutions to polynomial equation systems. Dr. Annala has investigated how to understand intersections of such objects using methods of homotopy theory. The results might find applications in various areas of mathematics, ranging from number theory to mathematical physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Hean designed organic crystalline material systems that converted light energy into mechanical motion. This research further advances the field of material sciences with an emphasis on light driven actuators. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Chaudhry studied the interactions between small molecules and large ring-shaped structures for sensing applications. He also explored the liquid crystalline properties of a few of these complexes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Pryyma developed laboratory-based methods for the production of targeted cancer therapies derived from the death-cap mushroom toxin, alpha-amanitin. In contrast to chemotherapy, these therapeutics deliver cytotoxic compounds selectively to malignant cells, sparing healthy tissues and presenting a new approach to treating cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Bevilacqua developed efficient algorithms for estimating and optimizing reachability and coverage on probabilistic graphs. Many real networks such as protein-protein interaction networks, peer-to-peer computer networks and online social networks exhibit uncertainty which may be modelled as a probabilistic graph. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Mahon used genetic engineering to produce poplar trees that incorporate valuable phenolic compounds, called flavonoids, into poplar lignins. When flavonoids are produced in lignifying tissue, they are incorporated into lignin polymers making the lignin chains shorter and easier to deconstruct chemically Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. Ifill investigated how Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, adapts to different environmental stressors. He identified several overlapping systems which regulate genes associated with survival and evasion of the human immune system, indicating how this pathogen may be responding to stress within the host. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)

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