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
2008 Dr. Schiffrin investigated the self-assembly of biomolecules on metal surfaces with scanning tunneling microscopy. His research employed the inherent functionalities of amino acids to design low-dimensional nanostructures, demonstrating exquisite control on the morphological, chemical and electronic properties of matter at the atomic scale. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2008 Dr Winter investigated the geological setting of a series of large copper- and zinc-rich mineral deposits in 100 million year old rocks in Peru. This research helps in the understanding of the geological evolution of the Andes and also provides a better understanding of the genesis of such mineral deposits Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2008 Dr. Akhtar studied environmentally benign coatings applied on aluminum alloys to improve corrosion resistance. She found that alloy structure has a significant effect on the protective overlayers formed. This research will enable a more focused approach in designing new coating treatments. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2008 Dr. Buschhaus explored the reactivity of tungsten and molybdenum nitrosyl complexes with cyclic olefins, and developed a comprehensive explanation for the observed catalytic chemistry. This explanation contributes to the broader understanding of catalytic olefin polymerization and to the more effective utilization of our natural chemical resources. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2008 Dr. Beyers studied the distribution and abundance of elephants and other mammals in Central Africa and found that these are largely determined by human activity. The civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo caused major declines in populations of elephants, poached for ivory and forest antilopes, hunted for bushmeat. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2008 Dr. Leung's dissertation was on the synthesis and study of metal-containing polymers. His doctoral work examined methods to combine metals with organic plastics to make flexible materials that can conduct electricity and emit light. The results of his thesis could lead to improved materials for flat panel displays. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2008 Dr. Lam investigated how large datasets can be better displayed for exploratory analysis. Her work helps to improve visualization interface designs that provide dataset overviews and show data at multiple levels of detail. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2008 Dr. Woodford studied the asymptotic behavior of the number of ways numbers can be expressed as the sum of fixed powers of prime numbers. He also looked at the average orders and behavior under iteration of divisor functions evaluated by applying symmetric polynomials to the multi-set of prime factors of a number. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2008 Dr. McCollor examined how using an optimal combination of high resolution weather models produces the best temperature and rainfall forecasts. He then showed how using these forecasts benefits water managers operating hydro-electric reservoirs in mountainous regions like British Columbia. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)
2008 Dr Peets grew and characterized crystals of the high-temperature superconductor thallium-2201, then studied their electronic structure via X-ray spectroscopy. His crystals' behavior was uniquely comprehensible, offering a long-awaited foothold of understanding in a great unsolved problem in physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)