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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. Teke developed new techniques for complex radiation therapy treatments. He used those techniques on total body irradiation, in particular. His work provided information on patient-specific organ dosage, and he identified key factors to improve this type of treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Zhang studied in depth an extremely diverse group of jumping spiders, the subfamily Euophryinae. She inferred its evolutionary history, clarified its taxonomy, and explored its biogeography and evolution of genital organs. Her work provides the foundation for further understanding the biodiversity and evolutionary processes of this spider lineage. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Mejia's research concerns probability theory and combinatorics, the mathematics of counting. She studied mathematical models of polymer molecules. Her work adds to the understanding of the shapes that these molecules can adopt. Her solution solves a fascinating mathematical open problem and can be extended to related combinatorial models. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Wong studied various problems in the field of number theory. His work sheds light on statistical properties of random matrices, and provides an explanation for certain patterns that had been empirically observed in the integers represented by a quadratic form. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Martinuk investigated several strategies for promoting students' use of their everyday knowledge in university physics class. He also showed that rigidly structured problem solving strategies fail to activate students' conceptual knowledge in the intended way. This research will inform development of improved techniques for teaching university-level physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Kumaran searched for ways to improve laser technology by pursuing research in the field of crystal growth. He showed that promising new materials could be created by growing laser crystals as thin films. His sapphire-based films are ideal for making compact and efficient lasers which have broad application, including materials processing and surgery. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Helmer developed algorithms for object recognition that combines information from images from multiple viewpoints and stereo vision. His work improves not only object localization in 2D images but also can infer 3D position as well, which is useful for many robotic applications requiring visual navigation. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Hannes Dempewolf examined the process of domestication of several crops in the Compositae family. He explored why some crops appear semi-domesticated and focused much of his work on the East-African oil-seed crop Noug. He also studied the influence of mating systems on the domestication process more generally. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2012 Dr. Hall engineered a system of time-lapse photography and growth analysis of plant stems to examine their development with unrivalled precision. His cell wall studies have revealed dynamic patterns in plant cell wall formation that will guide future research relevant to the bioenergy sector. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2012 Dr. Webster studied the deposition of crystalline yttrium oxide films. By controlling the crystal growth process, he was able to create thin films with a very high degree of structural perfection. The techniques developed in his work will help in the development of new solid state laser technology. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)