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
2020 Dr. Dai developed nanostructured catalysts for methane combustion. The main component of natural gas, methane, is a potent greenhouse gas, and the removal of unburned methane from natural gas exhaust requires catalysts that operate at low temperatures. The developed catalysts may help to decrease methane emissions from natural gas vehicles. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Moosvi did his research at the intersection of physics and medicine. He developed new techniques to probe the tumour microenvironments in mice. The most promising technique is oxygen-enhanced MRI, which supports the delivery of cancer therapies targeted at tumours whose lack of oxygen makes them particularly difficult to treat. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. McDowell examined how people living in the Nepal Himalayas and Peruvian Andes are adapting to changes in glacial hydrology. His work makes substantive contributions to how adaptation is studied in mountain areas, as well as what we know about and can do to address adaptation needs in mountain communities at the frontlines of climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
2020 Dr. Forde investigated the behaviour of fugitive gas, which occurs when damaged oil and gas wells leak natural gas into the surrounding environment. Fugitive gas poses environmental risks for groundwater contamination and greenhouse gas emissions. Her findings will improve oil and gas well site monitoring to identify and assess gas migration. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lorzadeh developed a sensitive method to study how the composition of chromatin in normal blood cell precursors changes during blood cell production and how it is altered in certain types of leukemia. His research advances our understanding of the molecular processes that regulate the production of normal and malignant blood cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2019 Using numerical simulations, Dr. Chen demonstrated the emergence of high-energy physics phenomena in topological quantum matter. She proposed the creation of Majorana particles, chiral anomalies, and black hole holograms in mesoscopic quantum systems. Her proposals allow us to probe these elusive physics concepts in cost-effective table-top experiments. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Zimmerman designed and synthesized a new ligand scaffold for nickel and palladium complexes. The resulting metal complexes and and their reactivity patterns were studied and what emerged was that the ligand can participate in chemistry at the metal center. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Liu studied a special type of quantum materials called Dirac materials. He proved that the response of Dirac materials to elastic deformation highly mimics that to electromagnetic fields. This unique feature makes Dirac materials stand out from other quantum materials and renders them useful for the future application in quantum technologies. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cox studied models of the loss of information in quantum systems. He developed a way of understanding how the information stored in a quantum system can be divided into its constituent parts and how this information can be transferred to the environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Ben Bouchta developed a method of measuring how much radiation healthy tissues receive during radiotherapy. He subsequently applied this method to compare different radiotherapy techniques and found that it is possible to reduce the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer by up to 10% in patients who receive whole-lung irradiation. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)