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. Thomas developed new methods to study the chemistry of catalytic nucleic acids. These and other methods were used to study the mechanisms of natural and man-made catalytic nucleic acids. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Xu developed two novel spectroscopic methods to study the vibrational motion of molecules. The first method provides an elegant method for performing coherent Raman spectroscopy with a single broadband ultrafast pulse, while the second method is capable of recovering both vibrational phase and amplitude, providing additional structural information. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Durand studied how the immune system contributes to host defence and autoimmunity. He showed that by manipulating immune cell function it might be possible to control autoimmunity and inflammation. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Wang crystallized and solved the structures of two protein complexes and two proteins by using X-ray crystallography methods. All these structures contribute to our understanding of actin's physiological roles and regulation by the gelsolin protein superfamily as well as new insight into the mechanism of gelsolin activation. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Using theoretical methods, Dr. Wanasundara studied the dissociation mechanism of protein complexes in the gas phase. Findings from his work will aid in the interpretation and development of methods to study protein structure and function. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2009 Dr. Carbonetto discovered that we can obtain good approximate solutions to inference has dramatically increased the scope of probabilistic models in science, from physics to genetics. Dr. Carbonetto developed algorithms that improve upon existing mathematical techniques for solving a broad range of intractable inference problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Korman showed that fluctuations in river flow caused by hydroelectric dams can reduce the growth and survival rates of early life stages of rainbow trout, and can alter their patterns of habitat use. His work provides important information for managing fish populations in large regulated rivers. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2009 Dr Huitema investigated related proteases necessary for replication of the hepatitis A and SARS viruses. She characterized some of the most potent inhibitors of these proteases identified to date and described mechanisms of inhibition. She also developed a method to screen specificity for further inhibitor development and protease characterization. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2009 Dr. Enriquez investigated the problem of effective tactile communication. He developed methods to aid in the creation of meaningful tactile signals. These methods provide a novel means for designing human computer interfaces and may help to improve user experience and reduce sensory overload in modern user interfaces. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Fujita's research has established a new understanding of how plant cells establish and maintain their direction of growth. Combining microscopical and biochemical strategies, she showed that polymer scaffolds known as microtubules modulate the crystalline property of cellulose, which is the principal load bearing component of plant cell walls. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)