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
Taylor, Eric Department of Zoology Genomics; Evolutionary Genetics; biodiversity; speciation; fishes; conservation; biogeography
Tetzlaff, Wolfram Department of Zoology Neural development and regeneration
Thachuk, Mark Department of Chemistry Reaction dynamics, mathematical techniques, Chemical physics
Tocheva, Elitza Department of Microbiology & Immunology Microbiology; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Functional and Structural Proteomics; Microbial Ultrastructure; Cryo-electron tomography and Structural Biology; bacterial physiology; Microbial Diversity; Secretion systems and Mechanisms of pathogenesis; Novel bacterial phyla
Tokuriki, Nobuhiko Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Experimental evolution of proteins and molecular networks.
Tokuyama, Maria Department of Microbiology & Immunology Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), Chronic interaction between viruses and the immune system
Tortell, Philippe Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Botany Biological / Chemical Oceanography, Climate-active Trace Gases, Primary Productvity, Polar Marine Ecosystems
Trites, Andrew Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries marine mammals, seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, fisheries competition, population biology, ecology, Marine mamals research centre, biology of marine mammals, population dynamics, bioenergetics, fisheries
Tropini, Carolina Department of Microbiology & Immunology Immunology; Medical and biomedical engineering; Microbiology; Bacteria; Bacteriophages; Bioengineering; Bioinformatics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Biophysics; Gut microbiota; Inflammatory bowel disease
Tsai, Tai-Peng Department of Mathematics Differential equations and integral equations in pure mathematics; Partial Differential Equations; Mathematical physics
Tseng, Michelle Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Plant biology; Zoology; Ecology; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Evolutionary Biology
Turner, Robin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Biomedical Technologies
Unruh, William Department of Physics & Astronomy black holes; cosmology; quantum computers; theory of gravity
Van de Panne, Michiel Department of Computer Science Computer Science and Statistics; Computer Sciences and Mathematical Tools; Robotics and Automation; simulation of human movement; computer animation; Robotics; deep reinforcement learning; motor control; computer graphics
van der Burg, Karin ,
Van Raamsdonk, Mark Department of Physics & Astronomy elementary particle theory, high energy theory.  , String theory, quantum field theory, quantum gravity
Van Waerbeke, Ludovic Department of Physics & Astronomy astrophysics, cosmology, dark energy, universe, gravitational lensing, galaxy, galaxies, Cosmology, dark matter, galaxy formation, structure formation
van Willigenburg, Stephanie Department of Mathematics Combinatorics and discrete mathematics; algebraic combinatorics; Coxeter group; quasisymmetric function; Schur functions and generalizations; chromatic symmetric function
Vatsal, Vinayak Department of Mathematics Canonical periods, congruence formula, elliptic curve, Iwasawa invariants, Heegner points, L-functions
Vincent, Amanda Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Marine Environment; Fishery Resources; Sustainable Development; Protected Areas; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; ocean conservation; threatened marine species, especially seahorses and their relatives; marine protected areas; Small-scale fisheries; nonselective fisheries, especially trawling; wildlife trade; community-based conservation; citizen science; multilateral environmental agreements
Wabnitz, Colette
Wachs, Anthony Department of Mathematics, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Fluidization and fluid mechanics; Process control and simulation in chemical engineering; Numerical computation; Fluid mechanics; Particle-laden flows; Non Newtonian flows; Heat and mass transfer; Numerical simulation; High performance computing; Multi-scale modelling
Wagner, Alan Department of Computer Science Parallel computation, interconnection networks, parallel programming environments
Waltham, Christopher Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Musical Acoustics
Wang, Yan Department of Chemistry Quantum chemistry, Chemical physics


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. Gatev developed a new method for analyzing epigenetic data to characterize genomic regions of concordant DNA methylation, which is an important part of the epigenome. His approach was used to characterize sex differences in DNA methylation of blood tissue. This work will improve statistical discovery and validation in future applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Colombo describes some of the first distributions of lead, iron, and manganese in the Canadian Arctic Ocean, as well as trace metals in remote rivers in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. His findings shed light on important biogeochemical processes and water masses circulation taking place in this unique and sensitive environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Munz examined how plants and algae respond to a lack of nitrogen, a macronutrient that is essential for growth and development. Using the genetics model of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a single-cell green algae, Dr. Munz makes a critical first step toward uncovering the elusive signaling mechanism that responds to cellular nitrogen status. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zwartsenberg discovered a novel quantum mechanical approach to switching materials from electrically conductive, to electrically non-conductive. His results are not only of importance to the understanding of fundamental physics, but also open up new avenues to explore in the design of future electronics and sensing materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Oyinlola studied the effects of climate change on global seafood production. His findings show that increasing greenhouse gases will negatively affect mariculture production in many regions of the world, particularly the tropics and sub-tropical regions. This research supports continuous mariculture related research and industry applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lix studied and improved a new type of ultrabright fluorescent probe called polymer dots that are used in bioanalysis and imaging. She investigated how these materials interact with other fluorescent materials. Her research will be used to develop new technologies that will enable medical diagnosis at the point-of-care. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wu studied the signaling transduction pathways in plant immunity. His work revealed novel regulatory mechanisms governing the activation of plant immune receptors, which may contribute to the engineering of broad-spectrum resistance in crops. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Babanezhad's research explored optimizing parameters for machine learning algorithms, like those used in data processing, focusing specifically on computational cost. His proposed method, which he has tested on a new set of constraints and machine learning models, can train models in less time and achieve better results than previous methods. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Paudel studied two key aspects of plant-virus interaction: how viruses coerce plants to produce viral products and how the plant defends itself. He identified regions in the viral genome that help in hijacking the host resources. Also, his results showed a variety of host antiviral defenses and highlighted the complexity of the interaction. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Yeo examined the fundamental chemistry of early and late transition metal complexes. She studied the reactivity of early transition metal dinitrogen complexes and synthesized novel late transition metal complexes, exploring the capability of these chemical systems to provide insight for future advances in synthetic chemistry. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)