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
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.
Pleiss, Geoffrey Department of Statistics Statistical theory and modeling; Machine learning; Computational methods in statistics; Spatial statistics; Numerical analysis; Machine Learning; neural networks; Gaussian processes; Bayesian optimization; reliable deep learning
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
Rechnitzer, Andrew Department of Mathematics Enumerative combinatorics, Simulation of combinatorial objects, Lattice statistical mechanics
Reichstein, Zinovy Department of Mathematics Group theory and generalisations; Algebra; Algebraic groups; algebraic geometry
Reid, Jolene Department of Chemistry
Reid, Andrea Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Fisheries sciences; Culturally significant fish and fisheries
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
Rieseberg, Loren Department of Botany Bioinformatics; Genomics; Plant biology; adaptation; crops; invasive plants; plant evolutionary biology; speciation; weeds
Ritschel, Nico
Robeva, Elina Department of Mathematics Statistical theory and modeling; Machine learning; Algebra; Algebraic statistics; Graphical Models; Tensor decomposition; Causality; Applied algebraic geometry; Shape-constrained density estimation; Tensor networks
Rosado Rey, Abel Department of Botany Plasma membrane repair mechanisms in plants
Rosen, David Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Animal physiology; Physiology, behaviour, and ecology of marine mammals;; Bioenergetics; Nutrition; Conservation physiology


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
2022 Dr. Liang studied the so-called axion quark nugget model, one of the best-studied macroscopic dark matter candidates to date. He developed the nuggets' formation mechanism, proposed new strategies for direct detection, and examined potential indirect evidence observed from current experiments. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Duan engineered a series of dynamic protein-based hydrogels which can change their physical,chemical,or mechanical properties in response to external stimuli. Such stimuli-responsive properties will allow people to regulate the mechanical performance of, or store information in, these protein-based hydrogels for desired biomedical applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Pleizier studied the effects of air supersaturation in water on gas bubble trauma in fish. She quantified the effects of depth and locomotion on gas bubble trauma and showed that fish may be unable to detect and avoid these conditions. Her findings have implications for fish conservation and understanding the impacts of hydroelectric dams. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Marques studied the properties of the text with information that is helpful to a developer's tasks. This study led to the design of a proof-of-concept tool able to identify task-relevant text automatically, thus assisting developers in completing a software task correctly and completely. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Rubin studied the theoretical basis of the evolution and maintenance of diversity in ecological communities. Using mathematical models and numerical methods, he showed how competition between individuals can explain the diversity of the number of species found in ecosystems in the natural world. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Cormier developed a novel adversarial machine learning algorithm in order to detect particles with challenging signatures in the ATLAS detector. This research both furthered the combination of machine learning and particle physics, as well as led to world-leading limits on the possible existence of some theories beyond the standard model. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Littlejohn developed a murine model to study the impact of early-life exposure to multiple micronutrient deficiencies on host, gut microbiome and resistome. Her most significant finding was that early-life micronutrient deficiencies induced clinically relevant antibiotic resistance which has major policy implications for malnourished children. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2022 Dr. D'Acunha compared carbon and water fluxes from natural and managed ecosystems in Brazil. She found that the magnitude, seasonality and drivers of these fluxes change with biome, land use and management. Her research increases our understanding of tropical ecosystems, and helps inform policies for land management and climate change mitigation. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2022 Dr. George studied bacterial symbionts of microbial eukaryotes and viruses of symbionts. Her work highlights the complex interactions between viruses and microbes from diverse environments and provides valuable insights into their evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. MacLeod helped lead a team of scientists and engineers that built the world's first self-driving laboratory for optimizing thin-film materials. This autonomous robotic laboratory accelerates the development of new and improved materials for clean energy applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)