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
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
Shwartz, Vered Department of Computer Science Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Natural Language Processing
Sigal, Leonid Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Artificial Intelligence; Computer Science and Statistics; Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference; Computer Vision; Machine Learning; Semantic Recognition; Vision + Natural Language Processing; Visual Recognition and Understanding
Sigurdson, Kris Department of Physics & Astronomy The Universe, Cosmology, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Particle Physics, Astrophysics, Cosmic Microwave Background, Cosmic 21-cm Fluctuations, Radio Astronomy, CHIME
Silberman, Lior Department of Mathematics Mathematics and statistics; Mathematics; Analysis on manifolds; Automorphic forms; Group Theory; Homogenous dynamics; Metric geometry; Number theory; Representation Theory; Topology
Slade, Gordon Department of Mathematics Renormalisation, Lace explansion, self-avoiding walk, scaling limits
Smit, Matthijs Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences 1) timing and duration of
Snutch, Terrance Preston Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Psychiatry Molecular and genetic analysis of the nervous system
Solymosi, Jozsef Department of Mathematics Additive Combinatorics, Discrete and Computational Geometry, Graph theory, and Combinatorial Number Theory
Song, Liang Department of Botany Plant genomics; Environmental stresses; Seed development; Gene Expression
Song, Dongjoon ,
Sossi, Vesna Department of Physics & Astronomy Medical Imaging, Brain imaging
Srivastava, Diane Department of Zoology biodiversity, tropics, Costa Rica, insects, mites, food webs, habitat loss, Community ecology, conservation, how species loss from food webs can affect the way ecosystems function
Stairs, Ingrid Department of Physics & Astronomy pulsars, gravity, general relativity, radio astronomy, radio pulsars, pulsar searches and long-term timing, Radio astronomy
Stamp, Philip C Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, strongly-correlated condensed matter systems, quantum magnetism, decoherence, quantum information, gravity
Straus, Suzana Department of Chemistry Chemical sciences; Proteins; Antimicrobial peptides; Protein-protein interactions; Structure-function; Viral membrane proteins
Stull, Roland Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Meteorology and weather; weather; Meteorology; atmospheric science; numerical weather prediction; clean energy meteorology; storms; transportation weather; forest fire weather; weather disasters; atmospheric boundary layers; aviation meteorology
Sugioka, Kenji Department of Zoology Basic medicine and life sciences; Cell division; Animal morphogenesis; Cytoskeletal dynamics
Sumaila, Ussif Rashid Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries
Summers, Alexander Department of Computer Science Programming languages and software engineering; programming languages; software engineering
Sun, Chin ,
Sutherland, Danica Department of Computer Science


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 There are many who believe that genes commonly code for more than one functional product, through a process called alternative splicing. Dr. Bhuiyan studied the evidence for this claim, and showed that - despite what we learn in our textbooks - alternative splicing is not as common as we thought. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Sauvé prepared organic semiconductors with novel optical properties and morphologies for potential application in electronic devices and in encryption. He also developed new luminescent dyes for efficient displays and biological imaging. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Yaghmaiean uncovered a novel group of proteins called receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases, which function downstream of other proteins and have redundant functions of transducing immune signals in the model plant Arabidopsis. These results provide new insights on such proteins as common transducers in different plant immune signalling events. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Yang researched fractals and decoupling in Euclidean harmonic analysis. Dr. Yang studied the size and geometric figures contained in fractals, or geometric objects possessing some self-similarity but highly rugged and oscillatory in nature. The decomposition of waves and their size properties in the physical space were studied using decoupling. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Choudhary investigated the coordination chemistry of radiometal ions, which are crucial for developing new metal-based radiopharmaceuticals. She synthesized diverse chelators for small to medium-sized ions and studied the effect of donor groups on ion chelation to deepen the understanding of their potential uses for clinical imaging and therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Moisseeva's work focused on improving our understanding of how wildfire smoke spreads in the atmosphere. She developed a method for estimating how high above the Earth's surface smoke from wildfires will rise. Her findings help improve the accuracy of air quality models and reduce negative smoke impacts for downwind communities. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Janzen systematically studied the establishment of a replicative niche by Salmonella bacteria within host cells. Her findings set a new paradigm for future Salmonella research and demonstrated the necessity of a wholistic view of Salmonella-host interactions to illuminate the poorly understood Salmonella replicative niche. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kostelnik studied new radioactive drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. He found a number of compounds that form highly stable bonds with radioactive metals. These studies assist in the development of optimal radiopharmaceuticals for a wide range of diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Zhan studied the impact of genome doubling on the evolution of organisms. He found that genome doubling frequently coincides with the formation of new species but does not necessarily improve the evolutionary success of eukaryotic organisms. His work has helped to understand the role of genome doubling in shaping the biodiversity on Earth. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Livingston studied the cell biology of cannabis glandular trichomes, which are tiny structures that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. His work revealed how the trichomes develop, and how the plant cells can produce and store cannabinoids. His work provides a molecular roadmap for cannabis production in a growing Canadian industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)