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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
Todesco, Marco Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany Plant biology; Quantitative genetics (including disease and trait mapping genetics); Biological adaptation; Developmental genetics (including sex determination); Genomics; Population, ecological and evolutionary genetics; Paleogenomics; Genetics engineering; Plant-animal interactions; Genetic and molecular basis of adaptation; Plant genomics; Chromosomal structural variation; Crop improvement and bioengineering; Wild sunflowers ecology and evolution; Cannabis diversity and domestication
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, School of Biomedical Engineering 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 Population ecology; Community ecology (except invasive species ecology); Evolutionary impacts of climate change; Biological adaptation; Ecological impacts of climate change; Insect & plankton ecology; Community and evolutionary ecology; Community responses to warming; Urban biodiversity
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 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 Ecological applications, n.e.c.; Marine ecology (including marine ichthyology); Biodiversity; Natural environment sustainability studies; Natural resource management; Wildlife and habitat management; marine conservation; threatened marine species, especially seahorses and their relatives; bottom trawling and other nonselective fisheries; wildlife trade; marine protected areas; Small-scale fisheries; community-based conservation; citizen/community science; multilateral environmental agreements; .
Wabnitz, Colette Ecosystem (Aquatic and Terrestrial); Protected Areas; Vulnerable and Threatened Species; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Resources Management; Marine Environment; Telemetry (Remote Sensing, Radar); Biogeography; Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes; Socio-Economic Conditions; Fishery Resources; Sustainable Development; Marine Aquarium Trade; Marine Spatial Planning; Sustainable Natural Resource Use; marine conservation; Food Security and Well-Being; Ecotourism; Vulnerability; Climate change and anthropogenic stressors; Governance; Small-scale fisheries; Developing countries; Small Island States; Nutrition; Seagrass; fish ecology; population dynamics; life history; Ecosystem services; social-ecological systems
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
Walji, Nahid
Waltham, Christopher Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Musical Acoustics
Wang, Daochen Department of Computer Science Quantum Computation, structures beneath quantum speed-ups, quantum cryptography
Wang, Yan Department of Chemistry Quantum chemistry, Chemical physics
Ward, Michael Jeffrey Department of Mathematics Applied analysis, singular perturbations, reaction-diffusion theory, mathematical modeling and scientific compution, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Wasteneys, Geoff Department of Botany Plant biology; Cell signaling; Hormones and Growth Factors; Molecular Genetics; Cellulose Biosynthesis; Microtubule Dynamics and Organization; Plant Cell Walls in Cell Shape and Tissue Function; Plant Growth and Development; Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress; Trafficking of Membrane Receptors and Transporters
Waterman, Stephanie Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric sciences; Oceanography; Arctic oceanography; geophysical fluid dynamics; Jets, eddies & scale interactions; Ocean dynamics; Oceanic processes; Scale interactions; Southern ocean dynamics; Western boundary current jets


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
2023 Dr. Morse worked on how a common intestinal virus infection influences the immune system and the gut microbiome to trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. His research shows how environmental stressors engage in cross-communication with the host to impact development of autoimmune diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Syed's work on non-reversible parallel tempering showed how parallel computing could improve the scalability of Monte Carlo methods and solve challenging statistic inference problems. He was awarded the Pierre Robillard award for the best PhD thesis in statistics and probability in Canada. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Guo developed six bioinformatic programs improving the sensitivity and selectivity in metabolomics data processing. The programs increased the number of biomarkers identified for biological and clinical applications. The discoveries will lead to a more in-depth understanding of many disease mechanisms, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Dvorak developed a method for performing magnetic resonance imaging about 25 times faster than conventional techniques, while simultaneously improving the image quality. This method is implemented for scanners from 3 different manufacturers, including a small, portable, inexpensive scanner that could revolutionize access to MRI medical imaging. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Niemietz defined mechanisms by which hyaluronan influences human neutrophil functionality and how this potentially contributes to childhood-onset rheumatic diseases. Her research significantly expands our understanding of neutrophils in the human inflammatory response. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2023 Counting sums and differences between sets is a central part of many questions in additive combinatorics. Dr. White developed a new technique combining harmonic analysis and optimization to nearly resolve a longstanding question in this field. He expects that his new method can be extended to other problems in additive combinatorics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Kim's research focused on mechanisms that reduce metabolic rate in small hibernating rodents. These comparative studies take us one step closer to understanding and utilizing naturally occurring biological phenomena for biomedical advancement. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Fink developed methods to convert CO2 or water into useful products using renewable energy. He showed that carbon capture can be directly coupled with CO2 electro-conversion to lower energy demands. He also demonstrated that hydrogen peroxide can be produced through electrochemistry to replace the current methods which consume fossil fuels. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Anderson's research revealed ways in which the glacier runoff impacts water resources in Western Canada under climate change. He identified the communities in Alberta whose water supplies are most vulnerable to the loss of glaciers, and quantified how heat waves alter the timing and availability of water resources across BC and Alberta. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2023 Earthquakes represent the release of stress on faults, which occur in abundance in western British Columbia and Washington state due to convergence between North America and offshore oceanic plates.Dr. Merrill investigates several earthquake-dense regions in BC and Washington where fluids are interpreted to promote brittle failure. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)