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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. Maxwell developed novel tools and strategies for analyzing the composition of complex mixtures by combining electrophoretic separations with mass spectrometry detection. These improved techniques were used to solve to a variety of challenging analytical problems relevant to medical and pharmaceutical research. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Hadizadeh developed a theory that describes the statistics of the protein folding and polymer collapse processes. Her theory was used to study the effect of dense cellular environment on the folding of proteins whose proper function is essential for life. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Lindsay developed novel techniques for the analysis of a class of partial differential equations known as eigenvalue problems. The application of these new methods facilitated the resolution of several problems in the fields of Micro Engineering and Mathematical Ecology, one of which had been outstanding for over 20 years. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Grigg defined molecular mechanisms by which the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus acquires growth-limiting iron from its host. This work defined molecular mechanisms that provide potential avenues for the development of new therapeutics. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2010 Dr. Luk contributed to our understanding of the biosynthetic pathways of natural products, such as morphine and lysergic acid, by characterizing the enzymes that participate in those pathways. These studies have provided fundamental insights into natural product biosynthesis and generated a wide spectrum of compounds that are potential drug analogs. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2010 Dr. McLaren examined the importance of plant species identity in determining the functioning of grassland ecosystems, in both northern Canada and the Negev Desert in Israel. Because species extinction rates are at unprecedented levels, this research is essential as it allows us to predict the effects of species loss. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2010 Dr. Zhang has revealed the functional mechanisms of several medically important enzymes, including the protein hydrolyzing starch in human bodies. His research has potential impact on the design and optimization of future drugs for treating diabetes and obesity. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2010 Dr. Bobowski developed and used custom microwave techniques to study the low-temperature electrodynamics of complex superconductors. The high-precision measurements made using these techniques furthered our understanding of the microscopic behaviour of these materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Soo studied equivariant factors of point processes. A Poisson process is a random scattering of points that can be used to model many diverse phenomenon. Dr. Soo provided a rule for thinning a Poisson process, where given a Poisson process one can generate another of lower intensity without any additional randomization. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2010 Dr. Chow examined the immunoregulatory potential of a specific subset of immune system T-cells that exhibit characteristics of both non-specific and specific defense mechanisms. By harnessing the unique properties of these T cells, Dr. Chow's work uncovered a novel vaccine design strategy that can strengthen the immune response against microbial infections and cancer cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)