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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 Ojeda showed in a group of legumes how bird pollination evolved from plant ancestors which had a bee-pollinated flower. He showed how flower color and petal texture was modified during this transition. His findings provide a framework to further understand the evolution of bird pollination in other plant groups Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2011 Dr Liu researched the development of architecturally complex photosensitive pigments. He investigated the optical properties of these photosensitizers and discussed the structure-optical relation of these pigments. This work may lead to the development of new anti-cancer drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Shoai studied the mechanism of carbon-sulfur bond formation using a rhodium-based catalyst system. The products formed by this catalyst are biologically relevant as potential drug targets for pharmaceutical applications. Dr. Shoai's research lays the foundation for future studies and applications of this catalytic system. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Shoemaker developed a new body-centered approach to human computer interaction for use with very large wall displays. Novel interaction techniques make use of virtual body shadows, the sense of proprioception, and social conventions. Experiments produced theoretical models of pointing performance applicable to these devices. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Cannon examined resource management and access disparities between desktop applications and web applications.He developed new approaches that minimize technical differences between desktop and web applications, allowing developers to base their choice of application on personal preference rather than technical restrictions. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr Rakamaric developed software analysis techniques and tools aimed to improve software reliability. His contributions are automated, scalable, and precise methods for finding bugs in complex software, such as the Windows or Linux operating systems. His prototype implementation found critical bugs in Windows code. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr Osborne's thesis work showed that blocking a single pathway induced by interleukin-7, a critical T cell growth factor, allowed T cells to develop, mature, and clear a bacterial infection, but prevented T cell tumor growth. This work will impact the design of IL-7-related cancer therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Pfrommer studied dynamics in the sodium layer, located in the mesosphere, to improve next-generation astronomical telescope designs, in particular adaptive optics instrumentation. Additionally, he examined turbulence in the ground layer of the atmosphere at various existing and potential astronomical sites, including the Canadian High Arctic. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chan examined the molecular mechanisms by which the human pathogens Campylobacter jejuni and uropathogenic E. coli acquire iron, an essential nutrient. This research reveals how these organisms persist within an iron-limited host environment and provide potential avenues for therapeutic development. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr Cohen studied the nuclear entry of a poorly characterized group of viruses called parvoviruses. Many viruses must enter the nucleus of the host cell in order to replicate. Dr Cohen discovered that parvoviruses use a unique mechanism involving disruption of the nuclear membranes. Her work may lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)