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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

Graduate Student Stories

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. Rubin studied the theoretical basis of the evolution and maintenance of diversity in ecological communities. Using mathematical models and numerical methods, he showed how competition between individuals can explain the diversity of the number of species found in ecosystems in the natural world. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Cormier developed a novel adversarial machine learning algorithm in order to detect particles with challenging signatures in the ATLAS detector. This research both furthered the combination of machine learning and particle physics, as well as led to world-leading limits on the possible existence of some theories beyond the standard model. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Littlejohn developed a murine model to study the impact of early-life exposure to multiple micronutrient deficiencies on host, gut microbiome and resistome. Her most significant finding was that early-life micronutrient deficiencies induced clinically relevant antibiotic resistance which has major policy implications for malnourished children. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2022 Dr. D'Acunha compared carbon and water fluxes from natural and managed ecosystems in Brazil. She found that the magnitude, seasonality and drivers of these fluxes change with biome, land use and management. Her research increases our understanding of tropical ecosystems, and helps inform policies for land management and climate change mitigation. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2022 Dr. George studied bacterial symbionts of microbial eukaryotes and viruses of symbionts. Her work highlights the complex interactions between viruses and microbes from diverse environments and provides valuable insights into their evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. MacLeod helped lead a team of scientists and engineers that built the world's first self-driving laboratory for optimizing thin-film materials. This autonomous robotic laboratory accelerates the development of new and improved materials for clean energy applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Shalev developed genomic resources for western redcedar and found low genetic diversity despite remarkable responsiveness to natural and artificial selection in this important tree species. These resources were used to find genomic areas associated with multiple traits of interest for the application of genomics to operational forestry. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2022 One of the biggest puzzles in modern physics is dark energy, which is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up. Dr. Höfer helped build the largest radio telescope in Canada named CHIME. To exploit the complex CHIME data, she developed advanced simulation and analysis techniques. Her results will have an impact on future radio surveys. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Kaur used a variety of computational approaches to assess a key question of why certain groups of species are more diverse than others. She found species interactions do not shape diversity uniformly, but they can drive diversity differences across the tree of life. Her work demonstrates the importance of methodology when studying interactions. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Tong studied the nature of weak interactions using computational and spectroscopic methods. The research showed a better picture of weak interactions and their significance in petroleum-coke modification and pharmaceutical drug synthesis. This allows for a more appropriate utilization of such interactions in chemistry and biology. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)