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. Ives's work is the culmination of a 40 year search for an extremely rare and important decay of a sub-atomic particle, the charged K-meson, into a Pi-meson and a neutrino-anti-neutrino pair. Three new instances of this decay were observed, bringing the total to seven, and confirmed detailed theoretical predictions while suggesting the possibility of new effects. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Zhang studied signal absorption phenomena in seismic data that are collected for oil and gas exploration. He developed new methods to estimate absorption properties based on the frequency variation with time of seismic signals. He then used these properties to compensate for the amplitude attenuation and phase distortion of the signals caused by absorption and thus to obtain more accurate images of the earth structure in seismic data processing. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Williams developed advanced modelling techniques for efficiently integrating geological and geophysical information to obtain 3D images of the earth?s subsurface. His novel interpretation methods predict the location and character of prospective geological structures, rocks and minerals, aiding the discovery of buried mineral deposits. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Mitchinson combined knowledge of relationships between geology and physical properties, with geophysics to generate 3D models for an Ontario gold deposit. Her work enhances knowledge of the geologic architecture of the hosting Archean rocks, and provides a basis for future 3D modeling-based exploration for gold deposits in similar settings. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2009 Dr. Cannon developed new statistical methods for the prediction and analysis of multivariate climate data sets. The resulting models offer improved seasonal forecasts of El Niño-Southern Oscillation events and better insight into the regional impacts of climate change simulated by global climate models. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)
2009 Dr Mercier provided important insight into the importance of subduction processes in the formation and stabilization of the continental lithosphere in the early stage of the formation of the Earth. He has also developed a seismic velocity model of western Canada and a technique for extracting important structural information from earthquake records. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
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)