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.

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

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
Parfrey, Laura Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Microbial ecology, microbial diversity, microbiome, protists
Park, Mi Jung Department of Computer Science Privacy-preserving machine learning algorithms, Compressing neural network models using Bayesian methods, Relationships between differential privacy and other emerging notions in machine learning
Pasquier, Thomas Department of Computer Science Development of more transparent computer systems, Whole-system provenance, Computational experiments reproducibility, Intrusion detection, privacy and compliance
Patey, Grenfell Department of Chemistry Liquid dynamics, chemical physics
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 Natural sciences; metamorphic petrology; Tectonics; earthquakes
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 Condensed matter theory, Atomic, molecular, and optical theory, Quantum information science and quantum computing, Topological phases of matter, Strongly correlated quantum materials, Quantum dynamics, thermalization, and localization, Quantum criticality
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, Jolene Department of Chemistry


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.


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
2021 Dr. Maryam Shirmohammad conducted research on development of novel methods of Raman spectroscopy. She made a discovery in enhancement of intensity of the acquired Raman signals. This can revolutionize the practice of cancer screening/diagnosis through analysis of VOC biomarkers of breath. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Cleveland studied the natural diversity of the structure and function of fungal enzymes called copper radical oxidases. This research was motivated by the potential applications of these enzymes in biocatalysis for bio-product manufacturing. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Sheikh studied lung viral infections caused by influenza and how the cytokine IL-7 contributes to immunity against it. His work identified new roles for IL-7 in enhancing the function of immune cells in response to lung influenza infection. His findings provide insights into development of clinical interventions in lung inflammation. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Mo developed a novel radical cyclization for the synthesis of nitrogen heterocycles and new synthetic methods using sulfuryl fluoride and thionyl fluoride. These new processes are more efficient and milder than the existing protocols for the synthesis of organic molecules. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Tyrvainen examined stability and robustness in Machine learning. They collected a novel image dataset that includes new information about the images, and trained neural networks that were more immune to errors and malicious attacks. The findings yield insights for developing more secure Machine Learning applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Iyaniwura developed novel mathematical techniques for calculating the time it takes for a Brownian particle to reach a target location and he analyzed mathematical models of intracellular communication between biological cells owing to a diffusion field. The models and analysis are relevant to studying microbial communication. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. May studied quantum gravity, which is the theory describing black holes and the big bang. He made contributions in understanding the role of quantum entanglement in the emergence of space and time from a quantum mechanical description. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Griffin studied the inner workings of metal-catalyzed chemical reactions. While traditional methods utilize precious metals, his work focused on using abundant and inexpensive metals to make industrially relevant compounds. His results inform the chemical community on design strategies for improved catalysts towards newly discovered reactions. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Vaidyanathan examined whether bans on capture and trade of threatened species helped with their conservation, using the case of India's seahorses. Her work illuminates the failures of bans in managing catch and trade of incidentally caught marine fishes and have implications for other countries considering bans as measures to manage wildlife. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Ben Hasan showed that complex fisheries problems can be addressed with simple management interventions and that the public benefits from fishery resources are limited. These studies contribute toward alleviating overfishing and highlight the need for policies that consider redistributing a share of the fishing industry gains to the public purse. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceans and Fisheries (PhD)