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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
Rottler, Joerg Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Condensed Matter and Materials Physics; Nanomaterials; Polymers; Soft Matter; Solids
Rozali, Moshe Department of Physics & Astronomy String theory, high energy physics, quantum field theory, cosmology and classical gravitational physics
Russell, Kelly Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Physical sciences; volcanology; petrology; magma rheology; geochemical thermodynamics
Ryan, Katherine Department of Chemistry drug molecules in use today are organic compounds isolated from organisms such as bacteria, plants, and fungi; understand how natural products are made.
Sagan, Selena Department of Microbiology & Immunology role of RNA at the host-virus interface
Salibian-Barrera, Matias Department of Statistics S-regression estimationg, robust statistics, functional principal component analysis, bootstrap estimators, rgam, clustering algorithm
Sammis, Glenn Department of Chemistry Methods development, natural product synthesis, organic free radicals, radical fluorination
Samuels, Anne Lacey Department of Botany Plant biology; plant cell biology; plant cell walls
Satterfield, Theresa Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Sustainable development, environmental health, First Nation & land management, social and cultural consequences of contamination
Saylor, Joel Edward Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Paleoaltimetry; Paleoclimatology; Tectonic Basin analysis; Quantitative sediment provenance analysis; Rivers; Tectonics; Sedimentary Basins; Structural Geology; Field Geology; Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Sequence Stratigraphy; Sediments; Geology
Schafer, Laurel Department of Chemistry catalysis, chemical synthesis, heterocycles, titanium, zirconium, yttrium, tantalum, hydroamination, hydroaminoalkyltion, biodegraable polymers, sustainable synthesis, Green Chemistry, Organometallic and organic chemistry
Schiebinger, Geoffrey Department of Mathematics Genomics; Mathematics and statistics; Applied & Theoretical Statistics; Computational Genomics; data science; Genetics; Genome Sciences; Machine Learning; Measurement technologies; Models Inference and Algorithms; Single-cell RNA sequencing; Theory of Statistics
Schleich, Kristin Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, general relativity
Schluter, Dolph Department of Zoology Biological adaptation; Speciation (evolutionary processes); Natural selection and sexual selection; evolution; Origin of species; evolutionary genetics; Adaptive radiation
Schmidt, Mark Department of Computer Science Machine learning; Numerical Optimizaiton; Probabilistic Graphical Models; Causality
Schoof, Christian Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geophysics; Ice and Snow; Transformation and Evolution of the Earth Surface; Fluid mechanics; Hydraulic; Asymptotic and Classical Applied Analysis; Differential Equation; applied mathematics; glacier hydrology; Glaciology; ice sheet dynamics
Schulte, Patricia Department of Zoology Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, genomics, population genetics, and evolutionary biology to address the question, what are the physiological adaptations that allow animals to live in particular environments?
Scoates, James Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Origin and evolution of silicate magmas and mineralization potential; Applications of geochemistry and isotopic geochemistry to problems in petrology and mineral deposit geology; Physical volcanology and geochemical evolution of Large Igneous Provinces; Origin of igneous layering and the development of layered igneous intrusions; Petrologic, geochemical, isotopic, and geochronological aspects of Proterozoic anorthosite plutonic suites; Origin of magmatic Fe-Ti oxide, Cr, Ni, and PGE deposits
Scott, Douglas Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomical and space sciences; Physical sciences; Cosmology; Science and Knowledge
Seltzer, Margo Department of Computer Science Computer Systems; Data Quality; Storage; Machine Learning & Systems; Systems for capturing and accessing data provenance; File Systems; databases; Transaction processing systems; Storage and analysis of graph-structured data; New architectures for parallelizing execution; Systems that apply technology to problems in healthcare.; Artificial Intelligence; Decision-making & Action; Software Practices; Networks, Systems and Security
Semenoff, Gordon Walter Department of Physics & Astronomy Particle physics theory (including aspects of field theory and string theory); Physical sciences; Moedal experiment, Large Hadron Collider, CERN; String theory, quantum field theory, statistical mechanics; Theoretical and mathematical physics, the physics of elementary particles, condensed matter physics
Sheffer, Alla Department of Computer Science Computer graphics, shape modeling and geometry processing
Shepherd, Bruce Department of Computer Science algorithms, optimization, convex geometry, and graph theory
Sherman, John Department of Chemistry Molecular structure of protein
Shmerkin, Pablo Department of Mathematics


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
2023 Dr. Luo developed several theories for understanding the behaviours of fluids described by a set of collective variables. His equations laid a foundation for rigorously performing coarse-grained simulations of complex fluids. These findings also enhance our understanding of fluctuations in small, open systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Fatemi's doctoral studies focused on graph representation learning. She designed and developed machine learning models for graph-type data, such as social networks, and the internet. Her research helps to make predictions about the world by identifying patterns and relationships in data that would otherwise be difficult to see. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2023 Dr. Newhouse used data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider to search for signs of yet-undiscovered "sterile neutrinos." He helped develop new algorithms and analyses to extend the reach of this search to new parts of the ATLAS detector. If found, these particles may answer several open questions about the fundamental nature of our universe. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Jiang showed how can we improve the accuracy of camera pose using deep learning based methods, specifically on estimating the homography and image correspondences. He subsequently designed a pipeline to reconstruct the scene and animatable human from a single video. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2023 Dr. Ritch developed ways to use the DNA in blood samples from cancer patients to personalize their treatments. He used this technology to identify and study DNA defects that sensitize prostate cancers to specific therapies and integrated his methods into screening programs for Canadian prostate cancer patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2023 Dr. MacDonald solved several problems related to symbolic dynamics, a mathematical field that explores deep, technical analogies between the thermodynamics of gases and magnets and the grammars of formal languages. She introduced definitions and methods that put earlier work in a systematic framework, emphasizing structural and combinatorial ideas. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Morris studied advanced MRI scans which can measure white matter health in the brain and spinal cord. She used these scans to quantify myelin across the brain in healthy children and adults and to track myelin loss after a spinal cord injury. Her research validated the specificity of the scan contrast by comparison with histological staining. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Garg studied how proteins involved in ALS and COVID-19 work at the molecular scale in causing disease. A potential vaccination strategy against coronaviruses has emerged from this. Dr. Garg also established culturing protocols and genome sequence for a comb jelly which will be used to understand animal evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Jarnikova used a submesoscale ocean model of the Salish Sea to study anthropogenic ocean acidification in this valuable ecosystem, showing that significant changes have occurred since the preindustrial era. She developed a carbonate chemistry module for the model, as well as applying machine-learning methods to model interpretation. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2023 Dr. Todorovic developed new methods for constraining cyclic peptides. These peptides showed preliminary utility in killing cancer cells or medical imaging of tumors. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)