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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 Dr Thompson explored the long standing problem of deriving the effective dynamics of a quantum vortex, establishing the equation of motion that describes an isolated 2d vortex at low temperatures in superfluid helium. Her work consolidated the results of several approaches to such a derivation and considered in depth the limitations of various results. She suggested adaptions of her work to magnetic systems in which the controversial results of her thesis can be experimentally verified. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Fischer studied the genome of the giant virus CroV, which infects marine zooplankton. He also discovered a virus of this virus, a so-called virophage, and showed that its genome is related to mobile genetic elements that are found in many organisms. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr Kolosova studied conifer defense responses to weevil attack and pathogenic blue stain fungi. Her research on the genome level revealed massive responses in conifer trees to these forest health threats and resulted in identifying molecular traits potentially important for conifer disease resistance. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chiang developed learning algorithms for constructing statistical models about sets of interrelated individuals or objects. This work generalizes many existing approaches, producing accurate predictors for many domains, such as the analysis of document corpora and link prediction in social networks. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Baker examined the physiology of white sturgeon, a primitive fish with ancient origins. Using whole animal, in vivo and in situ approaches, he found that sturgeon exhibit a novel pattern of pH regulation that may be common in primitive fishes and has implications for tolerance to carbon dioxide and vertebrate evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Sueda developed a novel framework for the computer simulation of highly-constrained cable-driven systems, with applications in diverse areas such as hand surgery, industrial cranes, and computer animation. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Kozak contributed to the development of environmentally friendly carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions catalytic in platinum, gold or silver salts. These reactions produced nitrogen-containing molecules of significant interest in drug discovery and the pharmaceutical industry. She successfully applied an example of her inventions in the construction of the biological molecule named fawcettidine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Mendelsohn researched and developed new types of synthetic organic chemical oxidation reactions. He applied these reactions in a novel synthesis of the core of the potent marine natural product tetrodotoxin. These new technologies are aiding scientists in the chemical synthesis of natural products and potential new human drug entities. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Thompson developed a novel method for extracting low abundance sequences of DNA from samples contaminated by a large amount of background DNA. This method provides a solution to the 'needle in a haystack' problem of detecting low abundance DNA in applications ranging from forensics, to early cancer detection. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Wilcox showed that the presence of a functional protein is required for survival past the blastocyst stage of development and that this protein is important in regulating immune responses. These studies provide further insight into how immune responses are controlled and may provide a target for autoimmune disease drug therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)