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. Wu studied the natural resistance mechanisms of plants against microbial pathogens. He found that pathogen recognition and defense activation are fine-tuned and regulated to ensure effective and timely immune responses. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. Perkins studied lignin, a material that makes plants stand strong. He showed how plants move the building blocks of this material from inside cells, to the outside of cells where it is assembled. Instead of using active pumps, cells use passive flow to move vast quantities of lignin. This may help the development of biofuels and bioproducts. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2022 Dr. Yazdani developed three sets of new infection-resistant coatings with outstanding performance for medical devices such as urinary catheters that combat infections associated with device implantation/surgery over the long-term. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Ice nucleating substances can initiate ice formations in clouds and affect the properties of clouds and climate. Dr. Xi studied ice nucleating substances sourced from high latitude regions, including biological materials and mineral dust. Her work contributes to our understanding of climate and climate feedback in high latitude regions. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Can the harvest of soft shell crab be prevented? The fact that they moult at all the same time suggests that they can. Nonetheless, Dr. Greenberg developed a set of mathematical models fit to weekly catch and effort data that allowed for the simulation of different rules to avoid harvesting soft-shell Dungeness crab in Area A of the Hecate Strait. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceans and Fisheries (PhD)
2022 Dr. Soni explored the mechanism of heterogeneous ice nucleation by molecular simulations and machine learning. To analyze surface water structure, he introduced a two-dimensional lattice perspective of ice. He found that the microscopic surface features and local water properties near the surface are important factors influencing ice nucleation. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Chudnow examined the effectiveness of prospective management regulations to conserve bull trout in central British Columbia. Her work involved clarifying unknowns surrounding bull trout biology and ecology, specifically bull trout movement and migratory behaviour to determine where and when they may be vulnerable to fishing. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2022 Severe cases of thrombosis can lead to stroke or heart attack. Dr. La developed a new strategy for creating positively charged therapeutic polymers. Their charge increases when binding to their target polyanion, resulting in a class of molecules able to inhibit blood clotting with reduced bleeding risk. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Kuanr has developed efficient catalytic routes for the feasible synthesis of nitrogen-containing small molecules and polymers. He further explored their applications in energy-storage systems and as corrosion-resistant materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Dr. Zhang studied the effect of insulin and insulin receptors on pancreatic cancer. She showed that low insulin levels and loss of insulin receptors reduce the number of precancerous lesions, and identified some mechanisms in the process. Her findings add to our understanding on how obesity and diabetes increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)