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
2019 Dr. Rahjoo investigated the mechanics of rock fracturing, strength and deformation, and developed models for the behaviour of fracturing rocks. With tunnels and mines heading towards greater depths, this knowledge is critical for safe and stable excavations. His findings contribute to the advancement of rock mechanics and rock engineering. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering (PhD)
2019 Dr. Neuenfeld applied quantum information theory to study gravitational physics. He investigated how information is transferred in processes involving gravity, and explored how quantum information restricts the spacetimes that can be realized in nature. His results contribute to a better understanding of a quantum theory of gravity. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Campbell examined how publication policy impacts the reliability of scientific research from a statistical perspective. He proposed novel policy prescriptions and modelled how adopting these could transform the incentives driving research. This work aims to address the reproducibility crisis and issues of publication bias. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Didier found evidence of a previously unreported membrane steroid receptor in a Basel vertebrate. This work has wide ranging implications for our understanding of steroid/receptor evolution in vertebrates. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Toker's research on user-adaptive information visualizations is at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction. His work leveraged eye tracking to show how adaptive interventions could be devised to support users according to their individual needs and differences. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2019 Dr. McGee studied the outer protective coat of the seed. He developed the tools and system to be able to modify specific components of the cell wall in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. This work increased our understanding of cell wall structure and function. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2019 Dr. Leistenschneider studied how neutrons form shell structures in the nucleus of titanium and vanadium atoms. The imprints that nuclear shells leave on the mass of the atom were investigated in several isotopes of these elements using high precision mass spectrometry techniques. The results served as stringent tests for modern nuclear theories. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cantin studied quantum systems. He showed that certain quasiparticles can be localized by disorder and modeled a tool to study material surfaces. His work improves our understanding of energy transport in materials and gives a foundation for machine learning to solve the inverse scattering problem for surface-sensitive molecular interferometers. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Altiere developed an ultraviolet laser system to probe the atomic energy levels in xenon gas. Her work also included precision optical measurements of atomic constants in xenon 129. These results are essential to neutron electric dipole moment experiments at TRIUMF and to the broader scientific community. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Zhao developed a practical and accurate dosimetry method to achieve optimized cancer therapy with radionuclides. His research demonstrated the feasibility of personalizing cancer treatment in routine clinics. His work contributes significantly to the safe and effective usage of radionuclides in cancer therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)