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
2021 Tayler Clarke studied the impacts of ocean warming and deoxygenation on marine fish. Her findings particularly help understand how climate change will impact fisheries in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Nguyen investigated the characteristics of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells, which are believed to play a significant role in maintaining and regulating blood stem cells. Deletion of the Hic1 gene was found to expand these cells and further increase the number of blood stem cells, findings that offer great promise to stem cell therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Deng designed the wide-bandwidth, cloverleaf-shaped antenna array for the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME). She helped calibrate the experiment by simulating its beam response, and conducted a wide-band survey of the north celestial cap to better understand our galaxy and cosmic signals. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Soto Gomez used genomics to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the three major plant groups Pandanales, Dioscoreales and the Dioscorea yams, shedding light on their relationships, genomes, biogeography and morphology. She also developed methods to uncover wild yam species of utility for improving crop yams, which feed millions globally. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Irwin studied the molecular biology and evolution of the cell nucleus by examining how nuclear processes function in diverse organisms. His work revealed the capacity for viruses to shape cellular evolution, identified novel nuclear mechanisms, and highlighted the utility of new model organisms for future research. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Jing developed high-throughput methods for the analysis of trace compounds in complex matrices. He coupled novel sample preparation methods to direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry, placing particular attention to the extraction and ionization processes. This work provides strategies for environment monitoring and quality control. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Evoy studied the physical properties of organic aerosols, which are known to be important for environmental and human health. She evaluated the accuracy of different equations used to describe the diffusion of molecules within aerosols. The results improve our ability to understand and quantify the effects of organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Petel studied the transport of molecules and ions in innovative materials to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind their unique physical and electrical properties. Her research assists in the development of applications such as artificial muscles, electro-optical devices, and recyclable polymers. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hersh studied why asexual plants are often more widespread than their sexual relatives using Easter daisies, and found that asexuals are aided by particularly successful clones and seed traits that help promote colonization. This work challenges the assumption that asexuals' only advantage is the ability to reproduce without mates. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Astic coupled multi-physics simulations with data science to develop a new methodology to image the subsurface and map underground resources from geophysical data with an improved resolution. This new approach will help locate and estimate the resources available for a sustainable future, such as minerals, water, and CO2 storage capacity. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)