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.

Mission
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

Physics

Sustainability

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
Rieseberg, Loren Department of Botany Bioinformatics; Genomics; Plant biology; adaptation; crops; invasive plants; plant evolutionary biology; speciation; weeds
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
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.
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 Evolution of ecological diversity in groups of organisms that are multiplying rapidly
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 Stewart 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 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
Shadwick, Robert Edward Department of Zoology Comparative Physiology Fish and whale swimming, Whale feeding and diving, Whale arteries and lungs

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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.

 

Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: 7 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Microbiology
UBC Author(s): William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: 6 July 2021

View Publication

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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. Ramos Musalem studied how submarine canyons that incise the continental shelf enhance the exchange of tracers, such as nutrients and dissolved gases, between the deep ocean and the shallow shelf. Her research provided a link between biological productivity and biodiversity around the canyons and the dynamics within the canyons. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ye used the nematode worm to study how living organisms faithfully maintain and pass down genetic information encoded in their DNA. His study characterized genes and therapeutics that affect this process and provided insights that can shed light on future development of anticancer therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Su developed two radiation therapy modalities, known as trajectory-based treatments, where the couch moves continuously. This work introduces a novel algorithm for treatment planning, which can accurately model proposed treatment modalities. This method can achieve plans superior to those generated by standard planning systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Farahbod studied gene expression in human tissues and showed that observed patterns of expression can be attributed to the diverse cellular composition of the samples. By characterizing this feature of expression data, her study assists us in furthering our knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms behind the regulation of gene expression. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
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)

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