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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. Machtaler studied connexin 43, a protein which normally moves material from one cell to another. He was able to establish for the first time that connexin 43 affects the shape and movement of cells of the immune system known as B lymphocytes. His findings contribute to the understanding of immune system function and tumour biology. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Rempel developed new algorithms to improve the display of legacy content on emerging LED-based, high dynamic range display devices. He also studied humans' colour sensitivity and perception of high-contrast imagery. The results of his work can be used in the design of new generations of displays including televisions, computer monitors, and medical displays. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Mottershead performed measurements on the electronic structure of two high-temperature superconductors through angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and constructed a new measurement system. Both the measurements themselves and the technological innovations of the new system significantly advance the field. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Mee studied the distribution and ecology of an asexually reproducing fish species, and examined processes influencing coexistence of this asexual species with sexually reproducing fish species. His work on this unique component of Canada's biodiversity contributes to a general understanding of the evolution of sexual reproduction. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Morrison studied in the field of pure mathematics, specifically Algebraic Geometry. A new technique known as dimensional reduction was developed to compute the virtual motives of certain moduli spaces. It was applied to give new calculations in agreement with the predictions of string theorists. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Lau developed a method for enhancing contrast in images. It is used for converting color images to gray, creating images for different displays, creating images for colorblind people, and combining images. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Hoffman investigated the compositional and mechanical properties of the extremely dense matter found in the outer layers of neutron stars. Her studies indicate a different composition than expected and that the mechanical properties depend on the structure of the outer layers. This research has implications for the interpretation of observations of neutron stars. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (PhD)
2012 Dr. Lu developed an accurate and efficient system to automatically track and identify players in broadcast sports videos. This system will greatly reduce the effort of collecting game statistics and enhance a user's viewing experience. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Cassis studied the causes of cadmium levels, stress levels, and mortalities in cultured oysters. He worked closely with BC oyster farmers to improve their culture methods based on a better understanding of the marine environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2012 Much of our macroscopic and quantum level understanding of matter comes from spectroscopy, the measurement of the absorption and emission of radiation. Dr. Hammond's research developed a novel, coherent, high-power radiation source operating in the extreme ultra-violet regime that has enabled an entirely new set of spectroscopic studies. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)