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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. Kapoor investigated several problems in the field of number theory. He proved a theorem that allows for a better understanding of the behavior of a multiplicative function. His theorem applies to a broad class of functions in an area where few results are known. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Freeman designed synthetic proteins, which mimicked those in the human body, to explore how particular proteins fold strings of amino acids into distinct structures. This research contributes to our understanding of protein folding and diseases associated with misfolded proteins, and will hopefully advance the field of synthetic protein design. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Addison used lasers to measure the vibrations of biological molecules in order to learn more about their structure when they interact with other molecules. This research could help to engineer new enzymes for treating polluted ecosystems, or provide new insight into DNA structure. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Vaghri developed numerical models to investigate how surface deformation around active faults depends on properties of the Earth's crust. He also made important findings about the fault zone geometry at depth and crustal deformation north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2011 Through her research in the field of Chemistry, Dr. Covelli was the first to explore a new way oxygen is chemically bound to transition metals, such as rhodium. She found new compounds, which are potentially significant in industrial oxidation chemistry for fragrances and cosmetics, and to further advance fuel cell technologies. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Duncan studied essential dimension, an important invariant of algebraic objects. His work sheds light on classical problems in algebra including the Noether problem, inverse Galois theory and Hilbert's thirteenth problem. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Zhang developed statistical methods and Bioconductor software packages for analysing high-throughput sequencing data. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2011 Dr. Leung researched ways to help older adults learn to use smartphones and other mobile devices. Specifically, he investigated three novel user-interface-design approaches, showing how each approach can benefit older adults. This work helps researchers and developers design learnable mobile devices for older adults, increasing chances of technology adoption. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Eliason Parsons discovered that Fraser River sockeye salmon populations are adapted to cope with their specific upriver migration conditions. This research suggests that some sockeye salmon populations may be more susceptible to climate change, raising conservation concerns. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2011 Dr. Forysinski built a new spectrometer for the detailed studies of atmospherically relevant molecules and aerosol particles. He investigated the vibrational dynamics of acetic acid and difluoromethane cations, and obtained promising results toward the development of a novel particle sizer for the smallest and most weakly bound of aerosol particles. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)