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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 Li studied efficient numerical solvers for the time-harmonic Maxwell equations and incompressible magnetohydrodynamic problems. She developed parallel solvers for the Maxwell equations in complex 3D domains. She also proposed a new finite element method for magnetohydrodynamics problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Hipolito explored the use of chemically functionalized nucleotides in DNA enzymes. The linker length of the chemical augmentations was studied in the context of DNA enzyme activity. Contributions include an improved synthetic route to modified nucleotides and identification of natural enzymes' decreased ability to use modified nucleotides. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Arena was the first to fully characterize a bacterial infection of the gallbladder. Her work led to the development of an in vivo epithelial cell infection model, used to identify novel phenotypes for Salmonella virulence factors. This discovery provides a new tool for investigations into the cell biology of Salmonella infection within. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr Jackson examined how the near-surface waters in the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean, changed from 1993-2009. This was a period of rapid warming and Dr Jackson showed that heat from the sun became trapped year-round in the Canada Basin. This heat could then be used to melt ice through winter and can partially explain why sea ice has melted so rapidly. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2011 Dr. Biron examined how the blood vessels that feed the brain become damaged during Alzheimer's disease. Understanding how this damage occurs will allow for the development of future treatments for this disease. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Buschhaus examined the outer waxy surfaces of plants: He discovered several novel wax components and further resolved the spatial arrangement of waxes. He also piloted the manipulation of wax composition to learn how waxes block undesired water loss from plants. Put concisely, Dr. Buschhaus waxed eloquent over bald, incontinent plants Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2011 Dr. Fritz tackled problems associated with information overload in software development. He introduced techniques for enabling developers to answer questions from integrated information and to identify relevant information. He demonstrated the efficacy of these approaches through studies with professional developers. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Coros developed algorithms that couple motion planning with motor control models. Together with physics-based simulation, this approach emulates the processes that give rise to motions in real-life. Applications of this work extend to the fields of character animation, robotics and biomechanics. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. De Stefano studied processes of diamond formation in different geodynamic contexts. By analyzing diamonds from Jericho, Nunavut and from Wawa, Ontario in their morphology, nitrogen content, mineral inclusions content and stable isotopes, she contributed to the understanding of the role of subduction and metasomatism in the formation of diamond in the earth's interior. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2011 Dr. Brochu showed how statistical optimization techniques can be used to help artists and animators set parameters for complex tools and simulations. The technique uses data from previous users and Machine Learning to anticipate the user's requirements, generating examples for the user to rate according to their own aesthetic criteria. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)