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
Berciu, Mona Department of Physics & Astronomy condensed matter theory, strongly correlated systems, polarons, bipolarons
Berlinguette, Curtis Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Combinatorial Chemistry, CO2 conversion and utilization, clean energy, advanced solar cells, electrochromic windows, dynamic windows, hydrogen fuels production, catalysis, robotics and automation, machine learning / artificial intelligence
Bertram, Allan Department of Chemistry Atmosphere (Including Chemical Aspects), Physical and analytical chemistry of atmospheric aerosols
Beschastnikh, Ivan Department of Computer Science cloud computing, distributed systems, software engineering, software analysis
Bizzotto, Dan Department of Chemistry Electrochemical Systems, Surface Characterization, Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Layers, Sensors and Devices, Electrochemical and Fuel Cells, Electrochemistry, interfacial analysis, biosensors, spectroelectrochemistry, electrocatalysis, self assembled monolayers, fluorescence microscopy
Bloem-Reddy, Benjamin Department of Statistics developing methods for evolving networks whose history is unobserved, distributional limits of preferential attachment networks, uses of symmetry in statistics, computation, and machine learning
Bohlmann, Joerg Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany, Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions
Boley, Aaron Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomy and Astrophysics; Planet formation, protoplanetary disk evolution, formation of meteorite parent bodies
Bonn, Douglas Andrew Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter, high temperature superconductors, microwave measurements, crystal growth
Bostock, Michael Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences structure of the Canadian upper mantle, Geophysics, formation and evolution of the first continental landmasses, the structure and dynamics of subduction zones
Bouchard-Cote, Alexandre Department of Statistics machine/statistical learning; mathematical side of the subject as well as in applications in linguistics and biology
Bowman, William Department of Computer Science programming languages
Boyd, David Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Sustainable Development, Environmental Law and Policy, Human Rights and Environment, Rights of Nature, Environmental justice, Plastic Pollution
Brauner, Colin Department of Zoology Gas exchange, ion regulation and acid-base balance in fish, Evolution and comparative physiology
Brumer, Harry Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemistry Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis, Enzymes, polysaccharides, carbohydrates, biomass, cellulose, plant cell walls, microbiota
Bryan, Jim Department of Mathematics Quantum invariants
Bryman, Douglas Department of Physics & Astronomy Science and Knowledge, Experimental Particle Physics, Applied physics, physics
Burke, Sarah Department of Physics & Astronomy Scanning probe microscopy, organic materials, nanoscale materials, surface physics, photovoltaics
Bustin, Robert Marc Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Unconventional Petroleum Reservoirs
Campbell, Trevor Department of Statistics automated, scalable Bayesian inference algorithms, Bayesian nonparametrics, streaming data, Bayesian theory, Probabilistic Inference, computational statistics, large-scale data
Carenini, Giuseppe Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, user modeling, decision theory, machine learning, social issues in computing, computational linguistics, information visualization
Cautis, Sabin Department of Mathematics Geometry
Chan, Kai Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Human Ecology, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Applied Ethics, Values and Lifestyles, Sustainable Development, Ecosystem services, sustainability science, Conservation science, cultural ecosystem services, environmental values, conservation finance, environmental assessment, social-ecological systems, resilience, payments for ecosystem services, incentive programs
Chau, Albert Department of Mathematics Differential Geometry and Partial Differential Equations
Chen, Jiahua Department of Statistics finite mixture model, empirical likelihood, asymptotic theory, sample survey


Recent Publications

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

Publication: Journal of Urban Health
UBC Author(s): Daniel Coombs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10993460
Volume: 97
Page Range: 439-447
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature Genetics
UBC Author(s): Keegan Korthauer (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10614036
Volume: 52
Page Range: 790-799
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Ecology
UBC Author(s): Christopher Harley (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00129658
Volume: 101
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Minerals
UBC Author(s): Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 10
Page Range: 1-25
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Protein Science
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09618368
Volume: 29
Page Range: 1724-1747
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Calculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations
UBC Author(s): Juncheng Wei (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09442669
Volume: 59
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
UBC Author(s): Maya Kopylova (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00107999
Volume: 175
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature Chemical Biology
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15524450
Volume: 16
Page Range: 930
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Global Ecology and Biogeography
UBC Author(s): Diane Srivastava (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1466822X
Volume: 29
Page Range: 1315-1327
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10557903
Volume: 149
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Antibiotics
UBC Author(s): Raymond Andersen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00218820
Volume: 73
Page Range: 568-573
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
UBC Author(s): William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01054538
Volume: 75
Page Range: 1975-1986
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science), Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 118
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Imaging and Biology
UBC Author(s): Vesna Sossi (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15361632
Volume: 22
Page Range: 931-939
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Metamorphic Geology
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02634929
Volume: 38
Page Range: 593-627
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

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Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Paul Hickson (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 583
Page Range: 771-774
Publication Date: 30 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Amy Angert (Botany / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 117
Page Range: 17482-17490
Publication Date: 28 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Cell Reports
UBC Author(s): Michael Gordon (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 32
Publication Date: 28 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Microbiome
UBC Author(s): B Brett Finlay (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Page Range: 113
Publication Date: 27 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: ChemistrySelect
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 5
Page Range: 8207-8217
Publication Date: 23 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Carolina Tropini (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 583
Page Range: 590-595
Publication Date: 23 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: ChemSusChem
UBC Author(s): Curtis Berlinguette (Chemistry / Faculty of Science), Glenn Sammis (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18645631
Volume: 13
Page Range: 3622-3626
Publication Date: 22 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of experimental biology
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 223
Publication Date: 21 July 2020

View Publication


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. Chung developed new automated technologies to solve difficult problems relevant to modern organic chemistry. By providing access to data-rich information, these technologies have the potential to alleviate bottlenecks in chemical process development in both academic and industrial settings, with an overall reduction in time and resources. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Dorri explored methods for detecting genetic mutations with a resolution down to one cell. The accumulation of genetic mutations disrupts regular cell activity and leads to tumour development. Her findings can be applied to the study of clonal dynamics in tumours, which can potentially lead to enhanced cancer diagnosis and treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wiggermann examined two MRI techniques in the context of myelin health in multiple sclerosis. Through simulations, studies of tissue samples, control and MS populations, she linked the MR measures to the biology of MS. By establishing their robustness for probing myelin at different field strength, she addressed a key issue of using MRI for MS. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 The Arctic Ocean is tightly linked to Earth's climate and one of the least understood oceans in the world. Dr. Chanona used large datasets to produce the first pan-Arctic map of ocean mixing rates and robustly describe their patterns in space and time. Her work is critical to improving our ability to forecast and understand the future Arctic Ocean. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wilson used volcanoes that erupt beneath glaciers to reveal the existence of ancient continental-scale ice sheets in Southern British Columbia. His work helps us to understand the nature of rapid climate fluctuation and suggests that melting glaciers may be an important trigger for global volcanic eruption rates. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. MacPherson examined the effect of disease epidemiology on coevolution between hosts and their infectious diseases, exploring how coevolution affects disease spread. She also developed a method for identifying genes underlying these coevolutionary interactions. This research will improve our ability to predict disease susceptibility. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Chu improved the process of using computers to extract meaningful information from biological sequences such as DNA. He designed computer programs to store data in probabilistic data structures, which purposely store data as approximate signatures in order to surpass the computational memory and speed limits of representing the data perfectly. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Robinson identified new chemical leads that he developed as therapeutics for the tropical parasitic disease, Chagas. These drug-candidates aim to block the parasite's ability to camouflage inside the body, thereby enabling the host immune system to effectively fight the disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Chiu studied the reactivity of nickel complexes towards breaking and forming chemical bonds. This fundamental work will help researchers to understand how nickel can be used to make complex molecules from simple starting materials, and will lead to the development of catalytic transformations that are more efficient and sustainable. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Sedivy-Haley studied responses to Salmonella infection in macrophage activation states, including the "tolerant" state seen in sepsis. She identified differences in gene expression that may account for different levels of resistance to Salmonella. This could help us to improve the ability of macrophages to resist infection and treat sepsis. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)