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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. Morin used new tools for reading the genome of human cancer cells, to find mutations previously unknown to be relevant to disease. Some mutations may offer new options for developing lymphoma drugs. Others should allow us to treat about 5% more children with leukemia who would not previously have been considered candidates for drug treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Kang used mass spectrometry to study the structures and stabilities of gas-phase, noncovalent protein complexes. This research provides a better understanding of the properties of gas-phase protein ions and also illustrates the relation of these properties to solution properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. French provided new perspectives on brain structure and function by employing computational methods to analyze large-scale genomic and anatomical data. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Preston studied the optical properties of conducting and non-conducting particles. He explored the relationship between particle shape and spectra using both modelling and experiments. This work is important for understanding how solar radiation interacts with planetary atmospheres and the fabrication of novel nanostructures. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Crowley developed a method for automated planning under uncertainty in spatial domains such as forestry and other environmental planning fields. He showed that systems of simple, local policies can be used to build complex, landscape policies. Furthermore, these systems can be used to evaluate ways of making these landscape policies most effective. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Guo studied the physiological role of copper in marine phytoplankton, and elucidated, for the first time, the presence of two copper transport systems (a high and a low affinity). Her research highlights the importance of copper for phytoplankton growth and the complex interaction between iron and copper nutrition. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2012 Dr. Ramer studied abnormalities in cardiovascular function that occur after spinal cord injury. She identified changes in the nervous system and in the blood vessels that may contribute to cardiovascular problems and premature death in these individuals. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Olmstead discovered new therapeutic targets and agents for inhibiting the hepatitis c virus, one of the leading causes of liver cancer and liver transplantation worldwide. The identified targets control human lipid metabolism pathways essential for the virus life cycle. Her findings may lead to the development of new antiviral drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Li studied dynamic analysis approaches for traditional Graphical User Interface editors.He first identified two major defects of traditional GUI editors. Then he augmented static analysis with dynamic analysis approaches to solve the two major defects. Finally, Dr. Li evaluated the dynamic analysis approaches and proved improvements for traditional GUI editors. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Jiang investigated structures and functions of the gelsolin superfamily of actin-regulatory proteins. Using X-ray crystallography, he determined the structures of domains C2-C3 of CapG and of domain V6 of villin. His biochemical studies uncovered novel calcium-sensitive behaviours of CapG and gelsolin fragment G2-G3. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)