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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. Shaw has examined a new type of organometallic complex to investigate their ability as catalysts to introduce further manipulations to otherwise unreactive molecules. During this research a number of new reactions were uncovered providing valuable groundwork for future developments in this important area of chemistry. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Integrated circuit technology has transformed nearly all aspects of our lives. Dr. Yan used theory from calculus and geometry to develop algorithms that verify that the analog parts of these chips work as intended. He demonstrated his verification methods work efficiently on several practical circuits from industry with promising results. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Andrew Penner has shown through numerical simulation that accretion of a magnetofluid onto a black hole allows for the development of a time independent accretion flow. This work extends existing accretion theories to include more astrophysically relevant scenarios. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Jordan used mathematical and experimental methods to study plant evolution. He found that taking into account genes that affect multiple functions can help explain why plants use a mixture of self-pollination and cross-pollination. Furthermore, he explored the conditions under which sex chromosomes are likely to harbour genetic variation. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Liu has studied the molecular evolution of duplicated genes in flowering plants. Duplicated genes are considered as the major raw materials for evolutionary innovations in organisms. These studies have assisted us in understanding how functional divergence of duplicated genes shapes the genome and phenotypic evolution of flowering plants. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2011 Dr. Hadi's studies focused on the biochemical characterization of enzymes involved in the modification and metabolism of the bacterial cell wall. His research helped to highlight the importance and novel nature of these enzymes, and the results of his work will aid the future design of new antimicrobial compounds. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. De Zeeuw studied applications of algebra and algebraic geometry to discrete geometry. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Omilusik studied the mechanism the body uses to detect invasion by foreign pathogens. Specifically, she demonstrated that HIV disrupts this mechanism in order to evade the immune system and eventually cause AIDS. These studies will assist in the development of therapeutics that boosts immune responses against viruses. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Ali has located a gene in a barley-infecting fungal pathogen that produces a small secreted protein and has furthermore proven that this gene causes the fungus to incite a resistance reaction. The outcome of this research will contribute to the isolation of resistance genes which can be used to generate disease-resistant barley plants. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2011 Dr. Xu's studies focused on integrating databases from different knowledge domains. He invented advanced techniques to organize databases and enable them to collaborate for queries with optimized complexity. His methods automatically resolve conflicts among query answers, thus reducing human effort and requiring minimal computer resources. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)