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. Amundrud combined machine learning, observational surveys along environmental gradients and controlled experiments to demonstrate that the processes that shape species distributions and ecological communities depend on spatial scale and environmental context. This research sheds new light on how ecosystems will respond to climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Gonzalez Anaya's research is concerned with the complexity of geometric spaces arising as solutions to polynomial equations. His work contributes to our understanding of how the process of deforming their shape can sometimes result in new geometric objects having significantly more intricate geometric properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hughes studied mathematical models for random spatial populations which arise in a variety of settings, including ecology. His work focused on fractal properties of the population densities. This research sheds light on how these populations, and other important stochastic models, are locally distributed in space. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Risley developed methods that can both detect lower levels of key protein components and use those components to separate similar proteins. Such improvements in therapeutic protein testing reduce the potential for adverse reactions in patients who are using these specialized proteins to treat illnesses. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lin studied the evolution of rare cases when the roles are reversed, and plants consume animals or parasitize fungi. He discovered a new carnivorous plant lineage, and addressed species boundaries in it. He also resolved relationships of monocot which parasitize fungi, and uncovered an unusual gene transfer from soil fungi to plants. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Best created a synthesis of techniques from disparate areas of Systems and Programming Languages research, augmented with new highly efficient coordination algorithms, to better leverage the multiple processors available in modern computing devices. This work will open new avenues for programmers to write faster programs with fewer errors. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ryan used analyses of rocks from dome-building volcanoes in tandem with high-temperature, high-pressure experimentation to show that crystalline granular materials in volcanic environments heal on short timescales. This research demonstrates that the healing of crystalline granular materials can trigger cyclical explosive eruptions. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Kepplinger devised reliable statistical methods to identify proteins for predicting severity of heart diseases in the presence of anomalous protein levels, an issue as technology affords measuring numerous proteins. Beyond proteomics, these statistical methods boost generalizability of results from studies with few subjects but many variables. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zhou studied nonlinear partial differential equations with an emphasis on phenomena where solutions become unbounded. By developing new gluing methods, he rigorously constructed solutions to equations arising from different contexts such as geometry and mathematical physics. This research gives a deeper understanding of singularity formation. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Maharaj found evidence for the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, showed that coral habitats are important for protecting resident fishes from these impacts, and demonstrated that multi-scale comparisons of ecosystem models help reconcile the differences in climate impacts expected at global and regional scales. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)