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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
2023 Dr. Yan's research focuses on a quantum computer architecture built upon photonic and spin qubits in silicon. Dr. Yan has developed a universal fault-tolerant architecture with practical implementation, as well as specific operational procedures that increase the quantum information fault-tolerant threshold. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Christensen developed autonomous, self-optimizing robotic systems to guide chemical process optimization in high experimental throughput. These robotic systems were applied to the human intervention-free optimization of processes for the chemical syntheses of two pharmaceutically relevant compounds. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Ren investigated heterogeneous ice nucleation by computational simulations and laboratory experiments. Her work demonstrated how atmospherically relevant ice nucleating particles can be influenced by ions and pH conditions. These results improve our understanding of how environmental conditions affect ice formation in the atmosphere. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Zhang investigated fundamental steps in Platinum catalyzed reactions. He focused on mechanism understandings and new reaction discoveries. A better understanding of fundamental steps in catalytic cycles helps scientists develop efficient and inexpensive industrial processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 The simulation of frictional contact is a challenging problem in computer graphics. Dr. Larionov developed methods to accurately simulate friction between objects with smooth surfaces and showed where current methods fail. This work pushed the boundaries of acceptable friction behaviour in graphics, and opened promising avenues for future research. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2023 Dr. Somo investigated the adaptation of aerobic capacity in fish in the intertidal environment. Focusing on the effects of oxygen, temperature, and body size, these studies illuminate how marine organisms in this environment have evolved to thrive under harsh, variable conditions, with lessons for how species might fare under climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Poisson has investigated various uses of surface-initated polymerization techniques to solve current challenges in organic optoelectronics. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Ao studied plant immune receptors - molecular tools that plants use to recognize and defend against pathogens. He characterized two genes that enable fine-tuned immune responses. These findings not only deepen our understanding of how plants activate defense in the face of threats, but also contribute to the engineering of crop protection. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2023 Dr. Gatz-Miller investigated the biogeochemical and physical relationship between soil, water, and plants using reactive transport numerical modelling. Dr. Gatz-Miller's work highlights the benefit of strategic complexity in numerical modelling to explore these nonlinear, interrelated, and diverse processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2023 Dr. Xu studied how plant fungal pathogens cause diseases. She innovatively established a fast gene discovery pipeline and identified many genes required for the full virulence of the fungal pathogen. In the future, these genes can be targeted to develop new fungicides and provide efficient and long-lasting plant protection. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)