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
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
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
Schiestl, Florian
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?


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. Belanger studied antibiotic susceptibility of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She identified altered susceptibility and genetic requirements in conditions relevant to human infection. Her research advanced our understanding of antibiotic resistance and advocates for more appropriate antibiotic testing conditions. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Mathur examined the evolutionary history of apicomplexan parasites, which are a large group of important animal parasites that cause malaria and other diseases. Her research used new single-cell techniques and has altered our fundamental understanding of how these parasites evolved. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Wang studied mathematical solutions of nonlinear differential equations that model chiral magnetic skyrmions. She provided a rigorous mathematical proof of the existence of skyrmions within the co-rotational symmetric class, and also examined their spectral and dynamical stability. This research contributes to the mathematics of chiral magnetism. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Maclean studied the mixing times of organic molecules and water within atmospheric aerosols, and the phase state of these aerosols. This research highlighted that aerosols in Earth's lowest layer of atmosphere, the troposphere, may be solid with long mixing times of organic molecules and water, contrary to typical assumptions in global models. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Some advanced cancers can be treated with the radioactive isotope called actinium-225, yet current actinium supplies are limited and rely on decades-old material from nuclear weapons. Dr. Robertson used TRIUMF's particle accelerator to develop alternative actinium production methods that could support widespread use of actinium-based therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Matthey-Doret worked on methods to detect adaptation and showed that deleterious mutations are unlikely to produce signals that can be confounded with beneficial mutations. He also demonstrated that plasticity can evolve in a constant environment. Finally, he created a high performance and flexible software for population genetic simulations. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Huang's research focused on metabolite analysis using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry. He established reliable methods to identify and quantify small molecules from biological samples and developed a software tool to facilitate metabolomics data processing. His work contributed to the biomarker discovery for biomedical research. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Tran studied the microscopic assembly of cellulose nanocrystals derived from sustainable sources. He produced colourful materials ranging from thin films to stretchable elastomers for applications including optical sensors and filters. His findings contribute to the search for and development of sustainable and renewable alternative materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Wong studied the maximum possible number of certain mathematical objects when specific restrictions are imposed. Her investigation assists the community in understanding a number of important mathematical problems in extremal combinatorics, a field of study focused on the limits of finite objects. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Henriques used mathematical models to study the evolution of cooperative behaviour in nature. He explored how cooperation between organisms affected their ability to adapt to changing environments. His research showed that cooperation can be maintained by interactions between groups of organisms, and that it can promote species diversification. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)