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
2022 Dr. Kianzad studied the design and evaluation of a robotic stylus -called MagicPen. He investigated how force feedback can enable learners to fluidly express their ideas during hand sketching tasks, and explored the benefits of using the sense of touch in learning. His work highlights the role of haptics in future objects-to-think-with. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 Algebraic geometry studies the geometry of shapes obtained as solutions to polynomial equation systems. Dr. Annala has investigated how to understand intersections of such objects using methods of homotopy theory. The results might find applications in various areas of mathematics, ranging from number theory to mathematical physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Hean designed organic crystalline material systems that converted light energy into mechanical motion. This research further advances the field of material sciences with an emphasis on light driven actuators. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Chaudhry studied the interactions between small molecules and large ring-shaped structures for sensing applications. He also explored the liquid crystalline properties of a few of these complexes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Pryyma developed laboratory-based methods for the production of targeted cancer therapies derived from the death-cap mushroom toxin, alpha-amanitin. In contrast to chemotherapy, these therapeutics deliver cytotoxic compounds selectively to malignant cells, sparing healthy tissues and presenting a new approach to treating cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Bevilacqua developed efficient algorithms for estimating and optimizing reachability and coverage on probabilistic graphs. Many real networks such as protein-protein interaction networks, peer-to-peer computer networks and online social networks exhibit uncertainty which may be modelled as a probabilistic graph. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Mahon used genetic engineering to produce poplar trees that incorporate valuable phenolic compounds, called flavonoids, into poplar lignins. When flavonoids are produced in lignifying tissue, they are incorporated into lignin polymers making the lignin chains shorter and easier to deconstruct chemically Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. Ifill investigated how Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, adapts to different environmental stressors. He identified several overlapping systems which regulate genes associated with survival and evasion of the human immune system, indicating how this pathogen may be responding to stress within the host. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Roccor investigated how a bacterium can degrade the natural polymer lignin and the plastic polymer PET. His research helps us to engineer bacteria that can transform these waste streams into valuable products to replace petroleum-derived chemicals. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2022 In many real-world applications, data are collected as multiple samples from connected populations. Dr. Zhang developed statistical methodologies to jointly analyze the multiple samples. His research leads to more efficient and reliable data analysis procedures than some existing ones in the literature. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)