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. Cao studied the structual origin of proteins of high mechanical stability and developed methods to rationally tune the mechanical stability of proteins. His research can help to develop protein-based materials with high elasticity and strength. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Scott examined the cellular and molecular consequences of trauma to the spinal cord. Her thesis work aimed to improve recovery following spinal cord injury and to shed light on new therapeutic strategies that promote the repair of nerves and enhance the plasticity of the central nervous system. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2009 Most computer algorithms have parameters that can be modified to improve performance. Dr. Hutter developed the first general automated approaches for optimizing algorithms with many discrete parameters. His methods have been shown to improve complex algorithms for a very broad range of applications, far beyond manual optimizations by human experts. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2009 Dr Gross investigated atmospherically relevant reactions of NO3 radicals and other important oxidants with organic substrates. She determined how fast these reactions occur and identified reaction products. Her work is important for understanding the chemistry of atmospheric aerosol properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Halverson's work, based on a unique 5-year dataset obtained from specialized instrumentation installed on ferries in the Strait of Georgia, has made an important contribution to our understanding of the processes governing mixing in estuaries and buoyant river plumes, and of the way in which river plumes affect phytoplankton biomass. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2009 Dr. Lin studied the role of the Rap GTPases in the function of B cells, the cells that produce antibodies. He showed that these proteins control multiple processes involved in B cell trafficking and activation, and also in the spread of B cell lymphomas, which are common cancers. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2009 X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the sulfur K-edge coupled with in situ photo-irradiation was used as a novel methodology to investigate the photo-reactivity of biologically relevant low molecular weight sulfur species and to identify and characterize excited state hyperconjugation in organic sulfonyl compounds. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Regier examined how missing information and measurement error affects the statistical analysis of complex data sets and proposed an adjustment which reduces the bias associated with estimated model parameters. He applied his methodology to investigate the role of culture in the use of end-of-life health services. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Chantangsi used advanced microscopy and comparative genetic approaches to explore and characterize the biodiversity of a diverse group of marine microbial predators -- called cercozoan flagellates -- that thrive within the spaces between grains of sand. This research demonstrated the novel features and evolutionary interrelationships of several new species and significantly improved our understanding of microbial biodiversity in marine ecosystems. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Kliem researched stochastic equations that arise in biological models of interacting multi-type populations. She answered questions on weak uniqueness of solutions as well as survival, extinction and coexistence of types. She also obtained scaling limits of ecological models for two types of populations competing for resources. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)