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 Nuclear medicine is an important field of medicine, shining a light within the human body to facilitate diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Wang developed a new group of chelators based on "oxine" arms which showed a marked improvement from its previous counterpart. This work has significant potential for radiophamaceuticals in nuclear medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 There is much that we still do not understand about the world around us. Dr. Forestell focused on creating mathematical models of how new types of physics may interact with the known Universe throughout the course of our cosmological history. Her research contributes to the set of tools that are used to limit and probe new models of physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cuen-Rochin participated in precise measurements of rare pion decays. His analysis of an extensive data set recorded by the PIENU experiment at TRIUMF, and evaluation of experimental systematic effects allowed high precision measurements to be obtained. This work will lead to stringent tests of the Standard Model of particle physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kar studied how and why millions of rural poor in Asia and Africa continue to use polluting cooking fuels like firewood even after adopting clean fuels like gas. He mapped the fuel transition process and its underlying behavioural determinants. He recommends that policymakers focus on behaviour change interventions for clean fuel adopters. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
2019 Dr. Zhang developed new and efficient synthetic technologies using radical reactions for the production of pharmaceutically relevant molecules, which have either fluorine atoms or nitrogen rings. These technologies are able to address some of the long standing challenges that are present in chemical synthesis for drug discovery. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Held studied the interaction process between two fundamental particles, the Higgs boson and the top quark. He contributed to the observation of this rare process by analyzing proton-proton collisions recorded by the ATLAS detector. The measurement experimentally confirms an important prediction by the Standard Model of particle physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Leung used applied voltages to deposit chemically modified DNA molecules onto gold surfaces. Using electrochemical fluorescence microscopy, she investigated the effect of the gold surface morphology and other conditions on this process. Her research could be used to optimize DNA biosensors that are to be used as medical diagnostic devices. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Peters developed mathematical tools and software to merge measurements and prior knowledge to improve the quality of imaging methods. His work focussed on imaging applications in the earth sciences. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Nigge studied the design of novel quantum phenomena. He used the two-dimensional, atomically thin material of graphene as a platform. His research paves the way towards the on demand engineering of quantum materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kwon examined the existence and ill-posedness for partial differential equations describing the motion of fluid when the given data is rough. The construction of the various type of flows with desired properties gives a deeper understanding of the behavior of fluid flows. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)