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
Pauly, Daniel Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Department of Zoology World fisheries; Marine life; Global catch; Management of fisheries; Fish growth and ecophysiology
Pawlowicz, Richard Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Oceans and Inland Waters; ocean physics; properties of seawater; geophysical fluid dynamics; Nonlinear waves
Peacock, Simon Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences understanding the thermal, petrologic, and seismological structure of subduction zones
Peirce, Anthony Department of Mathematics Scientific computing, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Pennell, Matthew Department of Zoology evolution; Bioinformatics; Computational Biology; Biodiversity Theory and Informatics; Evolutionary change across different time scales; Ecological and evolutionary processes operating in "deep time"; Ecological models for adaptive radiation; Long-term dynamics of evolutionary change; Phylogenetics; Macroevolution; evolutionary genetics
Perrin, David Department of Chemistry Bioorganic Chemistry, Combinatorial Chemistry Enzyme Mimics Antisense Therapies, Radiopharmaceuticals
Picard, Sebastien Department of Mathematics Differential geometry
Piret, James Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Biomedical engineering, regenerative medicine Cell-based therapies have the potential to provide improved treatments for major diseases such as cancer and diabetes
Plan, Yaniv Department of Mathematics applied probability, high-dimensional inference, random matrix theory, compressive sensing, and matrix completion.
Plotkin, Steven Department of Physics & Astronomy Biophysics theory and computation
Poole, David Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Artificial Intelligence; Decision Analysis; Knowledge Representation; Machine Learning; Preference Elicitation; Probabilistic Graphical Models; Reasoning under Uncertainty; Relational Learning
Potter, Andrew Department of Physics & Astronomy
Pottinger, Rachel Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Computer Science and Statistics; data integration; data management; databases; metadata management
Pramanik, Malabika Department of Mathematics Harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, several complex variables
Radic, Valentina Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric sciences; Geophysics; Climate Changes and Impacts; Climate Science; Glaciology; Meteorology
Ramdorai, Sujatha Department of Mathematics Algebraic theory of quadratic forms, non-cummutative Iwasawa theory, motives
Ramer, Matthew Department of Zoology Pain, Plasticity, Regeneration, Sensory neurons, Sympathetic neurons
Raussendorf, Robert Department of Physics & Astronomy Measurement-based models for quantum computation, fault-tolerant quantum computation under geometric constraints, quantum cellular automata
Rechnitzer, Andrew Department of Mathematics Enumerative combinatorics, Simulation of combinatorial objects, Lattice statistical mechanics
Reichstein, Zinovy Department of Mathematics Algebra, algebraic geometry, algebraic groups
Reid, Andrea Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Fisheries sciences; Culturally significant fish and fisheries
Reid, Jolene Department of Chemistry
Reinsberg, Stefan Department of Physics & Astronomy Medical physics, MRIs
Rhodin, Helge Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Shape Recognition and Computer Graphics; Virtual Reality; Neuronal Systems; computer graphics; Computer Vision; Machine Learning
Richards, Jeffrey Department of Zoology Adaptive significance of the mechanisms coordinating cellular responses to stress


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.


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. Grewal developed machine learning tools for cancer diagnosis and analysis. She found that when given large-scale genomic data, these methods can diagnose rare cancers and learn individual cancer biology. Her research shows that automated machine learning methods can enhance diagnostic and treatment decisions in precision oncology. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Jain's work in carbohydrate chemistry involved the development of several molecular tools that facilitate the discovery of industrially applicable enzymes that can break down carbohydrates. Such enzymes have applications in biofuel production from renewable sources and in understanding mechanisms of carbohydrate digestion in humans. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Raheem investigated the antibacterial and antibiofilm functions of antimicrobial peptides, with activity against both free-swimming and biofilm bacteria. Her research provides better understanding of the multifaceted nature of these peptides and helps towards the future development of therapeutic alternatives to combat antimicrobial resistance. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Li's research focused on nuclear medicine in cancer treatments, particularly metal-based radiopharmaceuticals. She developed several metal-binding agents which demonstrated promising chemical and biological properties upon binding with important medical radiometal ions. Her discoveries impact medicinal inorganic chemistry and nuclear medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
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)