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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

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
2012 Dr. Mills participated in the ATLAS particle physics experiment on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He made record-setting new measurements of a class of subatomic particles. The techniques he developed will benefit the particle physics community by allowing them to make high-precision measurements, using cheaper and more compact detectors than previously thought possible. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Rozada conducted his research in the field of Mathematics. He studied the mathematical theory behind pattern formation in biological organisms. His work focused on the instabilities that give rise to variation in the patterns. It is expected his findings will contribute to this area of study. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Zhong developed an improved capillary electrophoresis-electrospray-ionization-mass spectrometry interface. This technology was proved to be useful for analysis of a variety of chemical compounds, such as small drug molecules, metabolites, peptides, proteins, and carbohydrates. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Wang studied computational statistics and how they can be used in analyzing genetic data. She specifically developed more efficient statistical methods for inferring how species evolve through time, and how closely species are related to each other. This research can improve the efficiency of large-scale genetic data analysis. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Turner investigated methods to make complex drug molecules in the laboratory. This work involved the consecutive "cooking" of chemical mixtures, with unpredictable results. It is conceivable that his research might, some day, lead to new compounds that could be used to develop potent new anti-cancer drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Meimetis's research was devoted to medicinal chemistry. He focussed on the synthesis of biologically-active, natural marine products taken from sponges. The findings from his work will contribute towards curing diseases of the blood and prostate cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Holtham developed geophysical methods to image the sub-surface of the earth. Measurements due to electomagnetic sources from lightning and solar events, were modelled to understand the physical properties of the earth. The research results can be used for resource exploration and environmental applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Xu developed novel and efficient statistical methods for extracting important features from massive amounts of data. His methods are widely applicable in contemporary scientific fields such as computational biology, internet applications, and finance. His fundamental research assists us to discover new knowledge hidden from the noisy world Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Xiaojun Xie examined the roles of integrins in different types of glial cells in the fruitfly nervous system development. His studies expanded our knowledge on how glial development is regulated by enviornmental information and cooperates with neuronal development. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Wicks developed a method to prepare new magnetic materials. Using this method, he prepared two different magnetic semiconducting systems. This work is important because it furthers our understanding of magnetic interactions. The technique and materials studied may be used in future electronic devices to overcome the current physical limits in computing speed. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)