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

Research Supervisors in Faculty

or browse the list of faculty members in various academic units. You may click each unit to view faculty members appointed in that unit. View the full faculty member directory for more search and filter options.
Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Zamar, Ruben Department of Statistics Data mining and text mining, Modeling data quality, Development of new robust procedures, Statistical computing, Bioinformatics
Zhang, Yuelin Department of Botany Plant biology; Plant immunity; Salicylic acid signaling; Systemic acquired resistance; ROS signaling; MAPK signaling; plant immune receptors
Zhao, Jiaying Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Psychology Natural environment sciences; Psychology and cognitive sciences
Zhitnitsky, Ariel Department of Physics & Astronomy Particle theory, cosmology, quantum chromodymics, hadrons, axion physics, physcs of neutron stars, inflation models, dark matter problem
Zhou, Fei Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter and theoretical physics, Ultra Cold Atoms Near Resonances
Zou, Ke Department of Physics & Astronomy 2D crystals, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) synthesis, heterostructures, gated field effect transistors (FETs)


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
2021 Dr. Gomez studied the structure and dynamics of localized patterns in cellular biology using several new mathematical models, some patterns of which have applications to bulk-membrane processes. The analysis of such patterns provides insights on the phenomena being modeled and contributes to our general understanding of pattern formation. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Salehi developed a statistical framework that characterises and predicts how cancerous tumours evolve over time, with or without treatment at a single-cell level. His research provides insight into therapeutic strategies promoting early intervention, drug combinations and evolution-aware approaches to clinical management of human cancers. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2021 Silicon PhotoMultiplier technology is a new attempt to create ideal solid-state photon detectors. Dr. Gallina studied different characteristics of Silicon PhotoMultipliers and optimized them for the next generation of double beta decay and dark matter experiments. This research helps probe the boundaries of the standard model of particle physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Stuart investigated the nanoscale electronic properties of a number of novel quantum materials. He completed the first ever scanning tunneling microscopy measurements of the drumhead surface state in a topological semi-metal. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Khoda searched for new heavy particles that decay into pairs of electrons or top quarks and their respective antiparticles by analyzing proton-proton collisions using the ATLAS detector and placed strong constraints on new physics scenarios. He also developed part of a new algorithm to efficiently reconstruct close-by charged particle tracks. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kabernik developed a framework for utilizing the mathematical structures of operator algebras in quantum mechanics. This framework simplifies the analysis of dynamics in quantum systems and has been applied to problems in quantum computing. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Tran developed a simple, rapid, and inexpensive method for visualizing cancer cells that were labeled with various ultrabright fluorescent particles on a 3-D printed, smartphone-based imaging platform. His research demonstrates potential for applications in point-of-care diagnostic testing and personalized medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Yang developed recommender systems to unveil binding preferences of experimentally unexplored RNA-binding proteins. He utilized cutting-edge deep learning techniques in the systems to improve the understanding of such proteins and to provide new opportunities to investigate the complex post-transcriptional regulations. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Big data requires algorithms to be efficient in time and working memory. Dr. Melnykova's research provides performance guarantees of such algorithms for sparse recovery. Her analysis on the impact of mapping linear measurements onto reconstruction error using a process called quantization bridges a gap in the literature between theory and practice. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Liu developed an advanced magnetic resonance imaging technique called myelin water imaging to quantify the content of myelin, an insulating layer around nerves of the human brain and spinal cord. His work largely improved the clinical feasibility of using myelin water imaging to assess myelin damage in various neurological diseases and injuries. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)