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
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, Department of Zoology 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
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
Sutherland, Danica Department of Computer Science
Suttle, Curtis Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Botany, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Bioinformatics; Fisheries sciences; Immunology; Microbiology; Oceanography; Plant biology; Biological Oceanography; Environmental Virology; Marine Environment; Marine Microbiology; Microbial Diversity; Phage; Viral Discovery; Viruses
Tanner, Martin Department of Chemistry Enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of the sialic acids in mammals

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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.

 

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. Chu improved the process of using computers to extract meaningful information from biological sequences such as DNA. He designed computer programs to store data in probabilistic data structures, which purposely store data as approximate signatures in order to surpass the computational memory and speed limits of representing the data perfectly. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Robinson identified new chemical leads that he developed as therapeutics for the tropical parasitic disease, Chagas. These drug-candidates aim to block the parasite's ability to camouflage inside the body, thereby enabling the host immune system to effectively fight the disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Chiu studied the reactivity of nickel complexes towards breaking and forming chemical bonds. This fundamental work will help researchers to understand how nickel can be used to make complex molecules from simple starting materials, and will lead to the development of catalytic transformations that are more efficient and sustainable. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Sedivy-Haley studied responses to Salmonella infection in macrophage activation states, including the "tolerant" state seen in sepsis. She identified differences in gene expression that may account for different levels of resistance to Salmonella. This could help us to improve the ability of macrophages to resist infection and treat sepsis. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Coleman studied the regulation of swarming motility in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes lung and hospital-acquired infections. Her findings show that swarming, a multicellular movement that enables pathogens to spread over surfaces, is a complex behaviour that increases antibiotic resistance and influences disease virulence. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 The entry of calcium ions into immune cells stimulates cellular replication. Calcium channels participate in mediating calcium entry. Dr. Stanwood characterized antibodies against voltage-dependent calcium channels and discovered growth inhibitory effects against cells of lymphoma. The findings contribute to the field of cancer research. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 How natural is the link between topology and properties of materials? The first part of Dr. Sheinbaum Frank's thesis fills a gap in the classification of materials using a method that studies shapes using algebra, known as K-theory. What makes quantum mechanics weird? A new connection between K-theory and contextuality is presented in part 2. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Shim found that the protein CD45 regulates red blood cell progenitors in the spleen, which protect mice from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by interacting with cells in the spleen. This work shows the importance of CD45 as a modulator of immune response and suggests a novel approach to treating the systemic inflammation associated with IBD. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Scholer showed how avian traits, such as body size, number of eggs laid, and metabolic rate, along with a less seasonal climate, are all linked to the long lifespan of tropical birds. His work brings together some of the first empirical support for several key concepts in life history theory. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Rettie studied the performance of muon reconstruction and identification within the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He contributed to a search for new phenomena in events with two muons by analyzing proton-proton collisions. This search resulted in world-leading constraints placed on new physics scenarios. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

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