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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. Vafaei studied the properties of Dark Matter distribution in the Universe. Dark matter does not emit light and cannot be observed directly. She developed efficient methods to infer the dark matter properties in the Universe by studying Dark Matter's effects on the shapes of millions of galaxies. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2012 Dr. Habil Zare discussed important challenges in data analysis that lead to improvements in medicine and biological research. In particular, he applied advanced mathematical theories to enhance lymphoma diagnosis by analyzing flow cytometry using his novel computational techniques. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Rose studied a particular type of counting problem that arises naturally at the intersection of physics, geometry, and number theory. His work helps to provide further clarification of a major unresolved problem in these fields. The findings are of significance for understanding the geometry of surfaces. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2012 Understanding the mechanism of neonates' immune system is crucial, as they are highly susceptible to death caused by infection. Dr. Shooshtari developed mathematical techniques and designed a computational pipeline to efficiently analyze neonatal immune responses to infection. She also derived a formula to measure immune cells functional responses. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Kasian used large radio telescopes to study the properties of two binary pulsar systems. She used timing models to measure the orbital parameters of these systems and constrain the pulsar and companion masses, allowing her to probe their evolutionary histories and to verify the self-consistency of general relativity. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (PhD)
2012 Dr. Dalziel found that non-migratory populations of threespine stickleback have evolved a reduced capacity for prolonged swimming, and has identified a number of physiological traits that contribute to these differences in performance. This research contributes to our understanding of how animals evolve in response to environmental challenges. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Breidenstein identified ciprofloxacin resistance mechanisms in the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She discovered that the Lon protease would be a good target for therapy as this protease influences ciprofloxacin resistance as well as virulence. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2012 Dr. Nipen developed a system for creating and improving probabilistic weather forecasts. His system provides risk information about adverse weather which is usefulfor guiding decision-making for enhanced efficiency and safety of hydroelectric and other industries. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Woo studied land subsidence from block cave mining using advanced numerical modeling. Analysis of the Palabora Mine in South Africa identified limitations in mine-site numerical databases. Design methodologies were improved through understanding of such influences as geology, and topography, contributing to advances for the mining industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering (PhD)
2011 Dr. Hentrich studied biological mechanisms in the cell that encode and process information beyond the DNA sequence. His work illuminates fundamental aspects of cellular functions and describes how certain processes could be used computationally for novel forms of diagnosis on a single-cell level. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)