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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. Ayinla developed early transition metal complexes such as zirconium complexes that serve as efficient catalysts for the preparation of molecules that contain nitrogen. She prepared molecules that contain nitrogen including amines which are common structural part of naturally occurring and biologically relevant compounds using methods that do not produce unwanted products. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Levin developed computer methods for observing the structure of a person's muscles and making computer animations using this information. These algorithms reveal the architecture of muscle using magnetic resonance imaging, and allow its simulation. His research has applications in areas ranging from medical science to computer graphics. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. M'Gonigle used theoretical models, namely mathematical analyses and computer simulations, to investigate the complexities of evolution among interacting species. His models cover diverse topics such as host-parasite co-evolution, sexual selection, and species formation. Findings will contribute to our understanding of genetics and how species evolve. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Nyssa Temmel investigated the genomics of gender regulation and the genes involved in unisexual flower development in Populus trichocarpa. She discovered novel, gender biased gene expression for nine genes involved in flower development, and investigated gender biased gene expression in the Poplar genome. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2012 Dr. Cook studied problems in number theory. He showed the existence of certain types of algebraic regularity in prime numbers. The results add a deeper understanding of the structure of prime numbers, particularly the additive structure. This work builds on recent major advances and has wide application in the field of mathematics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Li identified and developed new PET imaging agents based on aryltrifluoroborates. Her work provides new understanding for the preparation and labelling of these compounds. The expansion and further elaboration of this new imaging technique is significant to the development of fluorine-18 labelling methods for use in PET imaging. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Jiang developed techniques for modeling large systems with multiple self-interested parties and designed efficient algorithms for predicting the likely outcomes of such models. He implemented software packages that have allowed researchers to do computational analysis of real-world systems such as auctions for search-engine keywords. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Li applied and developed bioinformatic methods to find new therapeutic uses for existing drugs. By modeling interactions between known drug targets and approved drugs, she identified novel potential for existing drugs in breast cancer and inflammatory diseases. This research helps find drug candidates that could be fast-tracked for clinical use and approval. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Weihmann is a geneticist who discovered two genes contributing to the natural defence of plants towards disease. She intends to use this knowledge for the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices over current approaches with pesticide intense methods. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2012 Dr. Clarke Murray investigated recreational boats as a source of marine invasive species and found significant potential for initial introduction and regional spread of these species by the recreational fleet. This research will assist in the development of monitoring and management measures to prevent future invasions and protect biodiversity. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)