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

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
2009 Dr. Bowen worked on the chemical synthesis of sugar-based compounds with radioactive atoms attached. Some of these compounds were investigated as potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease. A second set of compounds were investigated for use in tumour imaging, with the aim of making new agents for diagnosing diseases like cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Grguric studied smooth geometric objects in high-dimensional spaces. In his dissertation, he showed that some of these shapes can be taken apart into pieces with discrete symmetry and into pieces with circle symmetry. This geometric idea helped him to analyze the structure of purely mathematical objects called equivariant bordism groups. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2009 Dr Wainwright examined the geology of an important copper district in Mongolia. The results suggest that the copper deposits formed in a dynamic volcanic arc, linked to magmas that were emplaced in the Late Devonian. The research contributes to our understanding of Central Asian metallogeny and tectonics. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2009 Dr. Chen studied the role of RasGRP1, a T cell receptor-signaling factor, in T cell development and function. This research highlights the crucial role for the RasGRP1 signaling pathway in various important aspects of the immune system, and suggests a potential strategy of targeting RasGRP1 for therapeutics against autoimmune diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Dushek used mathematical modeling to understand the processes underlying the recognition of antigens by T cells. This research advances our basic knowledege of how immune cells recognize foreign material, like viruses. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Shah developed accurate and efficient statistical models to detect genetic alterations in cancer.  This work provided an important set of bioinformatics tools to cancer researchers in order to identify and characterize chromosomal alterations in various types of cancer, and a statistical framework upon which to develop more accurate methods. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Rai investigated phylogenetic relationships of the major living vascular plant groups. He used DNA sequence data collected from the chloroplast genomes of a broad sampling of plant species. His work has provided insight into past events that have given rise to the diversity of plants we see today. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2009 Dr. Li identified new plant-gene regulatory mechanisms that control cell-wall formation. Plant fiber and wood cell-walls provide the world¹s most abundant source of biomass for forestry and bioenergy. Results from this study can be used to generate or select plants with improved bioenergy and wood properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2009 Dr. Fulsom studied decays of a recently discovered subatomic particle called the X(3872). This research provides insight into the internal structure of this new particle, and deepens our understanding of the fundamental force in nature that binds quarks together to form matter. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2009 Dr Kolind implemented and developed a method of measuring the content of myelin, the material which insulates nerve fibers, on an MRI scanner. This was used to study myelin in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis. His technique was shown to complement other imaging techniques, and provided insight into changes to myelin in multiple sclerosis. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)