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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
2011 Alkenes, such as ethylene or styrene, serve as chemical building blocks for everything from medicines to plastics. In studying phosphorus-containing analogues of alkenes, Dr Bates has discovered unexpected reactivity and developed several new classes of phosphorus compounds Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr Micko examined and defined the geological architecture of the Central Zone alkalic copper-gold porphyry deposit Galore Creek district in northwestern British Columbia. Based on in-depth mineralogical and geochemical studies, she was able to develop an evolutionary model for the deposit and subsequently provide new exploration tools for the mining industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2011 Dr. Dugal-Tessier designed and synthesized an unprecedented class of chiral ligands based on the phosphaalkene motif. He also showed the practical utility of these ligands by obtaining high selectivities in an organic transformation. His research could fill an important gap in ligand design with applications ranging from the polymer to the pharmaceutical industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr Slobodov investigated the consequences of dimensionally reducing space-times with rotational symmetry. This is a useful technique for simplifying a variety of problems in general relativity, including the numerical simulation of head-on black hole collisions. He found that reduced space-times tend to have singularities, negative energy and faster-than-light matter flows, complicating numerical simulations. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr Peng provided direct experimental evidence for the kinetic partitioning mechanism for mechanical folding and unfolding processes of proteins, and made the first direct experimental observation of the tug-of-war during the folding of a mutually exclusive protein. These studies will help to elucidate the protein folding mechanism. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Shelswell studied movement in bacterial cells on solid surfaces. He described the first evidence of motility without a flagellum in a large class of bacteria, and showed how bacteria respond as a coordinated group to signals in their surroundings. This research improves our understanding off bacterial cell activity in our environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Roy developed new synthetic techniques to fabricate and process nanomaterials composed of metal atoms bridged by organic linkers. By designing molecular building blocks that self-assemble in solution, Dr. Roy was able to prepare metal-organic coordination polymers with previously inaccessible nanostructures and compositions. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Kuchison investigated the optical and electronic properties of new metal complexes with conjugated ligands. The metal-conjugated material interactions in these complexes provide valuable knowledge of hybrid materials and insight towards their potential applications in chemical sensing and light-harvesting. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Malecki elucidated the mysterious way in which quantum interference influences the magnetic screening of semiconductor quantum dots at low temperatures. The insights provided by this work will prove invaluable in the development of new nanotechnological devices with possible applications in the burgeoning field of quantum healing. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Rehaume analyzed the genomic complexity and expression in mice of intestinal defensins, which are peptides involved in innate defences in the gut, and developed a murine model of intestinal inflammation. These studies strengthen our understanding of the murine defensin repertoire and enable studies of intestinal immunity. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)