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
2009 Dr. Tom-Yew characterized two new classes of iron-binding proteins from human pathogens that cause food-borne illness and whooping cough. A growth-essential iron-uptake role was shown and X-ray diffraction methods were used to elucidate the unique iron-binding mechanisms of these proteins, which have important implications for iron transport. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2009 Dr Good developed new techniques for the acquisition and analysis of computational representations of biological knowledge. He investigated systems that allow thousands of independent researchers to contribute to scientific knowledge bases. This research helps to define new modes of scientific collaboration that operate on the scale of the Web. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2009 Dr. Kaneda studied how trees produce wood in order to understand mechanisms of cell- wall precursor flows at the sub-cellular level. Her work made a significant contribution to our understanding of how trees export lignin, one of the most abundant biopolymers on earth. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2009 Dr. Esson described the development of cytoskeleton-associated surface patterns in single-celled algae and showed how changes in highly coordinated developmental processes may have influenced their evolution and biodiversity. This research contributes to our understanding of how complex cellular structures evolve. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2008 Dr. Hon studied the interfaces between calcium metal and various semiconducting plastics that are used in electronic devices in place of common inorganic semiconductors like silicon. These studies yielded information about the chemistry involved, which is important for making efficient devices. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2008 Dr. Archambault explored graph visualization techniques in which a user can decide which parts of a graph are drawn. Graphs are diagrams which help communicate the relationships between concepts or things. The techniques developed in this work may help researchers find higher-level patterns in graphs. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2008 Dr. Bishop showed that susceptibility to Salmonella infections, which kill over 500,000 people each year, is controlled partly by SHIP, an immune cell regulatory enzyme. Her work highlights the potential for immune cell regulators to be targeted by therapies designed to combat infectious diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2008 Dr. Eisenberg formulated a new class of computer program editors that give programs control over their own presentation. He showed how these kinds of editors can lead to more expressive programs. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2008 Dr. Martin studied the activation mechanism of the hepatitis C virus enzyme, non-structural 3 protease. Her work identified crucial parts of the protease that can now be targeted for anti-hepatitis C drug development. During this work, she invented a new cell-based technique for studying proteases that can be applied to other fields of research. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2008 Dr. Gilbert explored mechanisms that allow species to coexist, or conversely, that drive some species extinct. Understanding these mechanisms is important for preserving biodiversity. He tested these theories using mathematical and computer models, and field-tested them in ecosystems in northern Canada and Costa Rica. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)