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 40 per cent of the Faculty's graduate enrollments, and the percentage of international students has increased to 48 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

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
Zhao, Jiaying Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Psychology Natural environment sciences; Psychology and cognitive sciences; Behavior Change; Cognitive Science; Environment and Society; Poverty; Psychology - Biological Aspects; Public Policy; Socio-Economic Conditions; sustainability
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
2020 Dr. Plourde studied how the distribution of earthquakes near tectonic plate boundaries is affected by the distribution of groundwater. To help unravel these tectonic systems, he presents new computational methods to illuminate detailed earthquake source processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hernandez used state-of-the-art nuclear models and statistics to study the imprints of the nucleus on light from exotic atoms in which the nucleus is orbited by a muon instead of an electron. This work sheds light on recent experimental discrepancies and helps illuminate our understanding of the interplay between the nucleus and light. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zolaktaf examined ways of improving user interaction with data that is stored in large structured data sources. She developed algorithms and models that help users to explore, query, and analyze data more efficiently. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bolger-Munro investigated the role of the actin cytoskeleton in B cells, which are the antibody-producing cell of the immune system. Using sophisticated microscopy, her findings show the importance of the actin-related protein complex in amplifying B cell responses. This study provides new insights into how B cell activation is controlled. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. McFadden studied the dynamics of lithium ions at ultra-dilute concentrations inside single crystalline materials. The results from these novel experiments will help to refine models of ion transport in solids, which can be applied in the operation of many practical devices, such as lithium-ion batteries. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Brown studied the bacterium that causes Tuberculosis (TB), called Mycobacterium tuberculosis (or Mtb). She investigated how Mtb uses host-produced cholesterol as a source of nutrients during infection. She demonstrated the importance of cholesterol for the survival of Mtb within the lung and identified novel targets for TB drug development. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Moroz developed a method to rapidly measure the concentration of a contrast agent in the vein of a mouse tail. The measurement requires only one sample per time point, allowing for it to be acquired concurrently with an MR scan of a tumor. This provides a more accurate assessment of the tumor. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Turbulence in the ocean controls its ability to support life and modulate Earth's climate. It works to distribute heat, oxygen, and nutrients across the world's oceans. Dr. Scheifele used a robotic submarine to study marine turbulence in the Arctic Ocean, and studied the effects of ocean turbulence on the natural environment in the Beaufort Sea. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Crowley investigated the role of the intestinal mucosal inflammasome in restricting the early infection of the pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Her research uncovers the dual role that epithelial cells play as both active defenders and coordinators of the immune response. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Chatzichristos developed a novel experimental technique that uses nuclear physics to study the diffusion of lithium ions in solid materials. Using this technique, he was able to resolve several questions about lithium diffusion in materials such as rutile titanium dioxide (a crystal), which may be used in a next generation lithium-ion battery. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)