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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.

Mission
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

Physics

Sustainability

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

Research Supervisors in Faculty

or browse the list of faculty members in various academic units. You may click each unit to view faculty members appointed in that unit. View the full faculty member directory for more search and filter options.
Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Chau, Albert Department of Mathematics Differential Geometry and Partial Differential Equations
Chen, David Department of Chemistry Instrumentation
Chen, Jiahua Department of Statistics Statistical theory and modeling; empirical likelihood; finite mixture model; sample survey; asymptotic theory; imputation
Chen, Jingyi Department of Mathematics Algebraic and differential geometry; Differential Geometry, Partial Differential Equations
Cheung, Wai Lung Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Global change biology; Ecological impacts of climate change; climate change; Marine Ecosystems; sustainability; biodiversity; Interdisciplinary
Choptuik, Matthew Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, Relativity/Computational Physics
Chou, Keng Chang Department of Chemistry Chemical physics
Christensen, Villy Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Fisheries management; Global change biology; Ecosystem function
Chritz, Kendra Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Anthropocene, Onset, tempo, and trajectory of human impacts on biological processes and environmental change
Clune, Jeff Department of Computer Science
Cohen Freue, Gabriela Department of Statistics statistical genomics (focus in proteomics), robust estimation and inference, linear models with endogeneity
Colliander, James Department of Mathematics hamiltonian dynamical systems; partial differential equations; harmonic analysis
Conati, Cristina Department of Computer Science artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, affective computing, personalized interfaces, intelligent user interfaces, intelligent interface agents, virtual agent, user-adapted interaction, computer-assisted education, educational computer games, computers in education, user-adaptive interaction, Artificial intelligence, adaptive interfaces, cognitive systems, user modelling
Condon, Anne Department of Computer Science Algorithms; Molecular Programming
Cooke, Ilsa Department of Chemistry Role of icy dust grains in interstellar chemistry; Constraining aromatic and carbon chemistry during star formation; Observational Astronomy
Coombs, Daniel Department of Mathematics Mathematical biology; Cellular immunology; Complex physical systems; Epidemiology (except nutritional and veterinary epidemiology); Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases; Cell biophysics; Disease models; Epidemiology; Immune cell signalling; Mathematics
Correia, Miguel Marine ecology (including marine ichthyology); marine conservation; Syngnathid biology; marine ecology
Cronk, Quentin Charles Department of Botany Comparative genomics, molecular developmental biology and evolutionary biology to study plant form
Crowe, Sean Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geobiology, biogeochemistry, microbial evolution
Cytrynbaum, Eric Department of Mathematics Bacterial cell division, Microtubule and cellular organization, Wave propagation in excitable media
d'Arcy, Mitch Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Earth and related environmental sciences; Geomorphology; Climate/palaeoclimate; Sedimentology; Geochronology; remote sensing
Dake, Gregory Department of Chemistry Organic, bioactive, metal as catalyist
Damascelli, Andrea Department of Physics & Astronomy Electronic structure of solids, strongly correlated electron systems, low dimensional spin systems, thin films and nanostructures, transition metal oxides, high-Tc superconductors, linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopies, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron based spectroscopies., Electronic structure of novel complex systems in nanostructured materials
Dao Duc, Khanh Department of Mathematics Genomics; Mathematical biology; Neurocognitive patterns and neural networks; Agricultural spatial analysis and modelling; combine mathematical,computational and statistical tools to study fundamental biological processes; regulation and determinants of gene expression and translation; Machine Learning for Biological Imaging and Microscopy; Database development and management; Biological and Artificial Neural Networks for geometric representation
Davies, Jonathan Department of Botany Phylogenetics & Biodiversity. Development and application of phylogenetic methods in ecology and conservation biology

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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.

 

Publication: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00220981
Volume: 575
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Jeremy Heyl (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 686
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research
UBC Author(s): Dominique Weis (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 16394488
Volume: 48
Page Range: 309-330
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Computational Brain and Behavior
UBC Author(s): Harry Sue Wah Joe (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Page Range: 255-267
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
UBC Author(s): Zachary Hudson (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 15
Page Range: 5600-5606
Publication Date: 30 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: mSphere
UBC Author(s): James Kronstad (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Page Range: e0025024
Publication Date: 29 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of chemical physics
UBC Author(s): Ilsa Cooke (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 160
Publication Date: 28 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00948276
Volume: 51
Publication Date: 28 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: eLife
UBC Author(s): Tao Huan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: 28 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Janis McKenna (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 132
Publication Date: 24 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Science (New York, N.Y.)
UBC Author(s): Jeffrey Clune (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 384
Page Range: 842-845
Publication Date: 24 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Sean Graham (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 629
Page Range: 843-850
Publication Date: 23 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Analytical Chemistry
UBC Author(s): David Chen (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00032700
Volume: 96
Page Range: 7799-7816
Publication Date: 21 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Compositio Mathematica
UBC Author(s): Liam Watson (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0010437X
Volume: 160
Page Range: 1467-1524
Publication Date: 20 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: ACS Applied Bio Materials
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Page Range: 2982-2992
Publication Date: 20 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical review letters
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 132
Page Range: 202301
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Science (New York, N.Y.)
UBC Author(s): Jason Hein (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 384
Page Range: eadk9227
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Organic Letters
UBC Author(s): Raymond Andersen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), Katherine Ryan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15237060
Volume: 26
Page Range: 4127-4131
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of Science
UBC Author(s): Douglas Bryman (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 455
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
UBC Author(s): Neil Balmforth (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00221120
Volume: 987
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Colin Gay (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 132
Publication Date: 17 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: PLoS Genetics
UBC Author(s): Sarah Otto (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15537390
Volume: 20
Publication Date: 16 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
UBC Author(s): Laks Lakshmanan (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 32
Page Range: 439-446
Publication Date: 15 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review B
UBC Author(s): Ke Zou (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24699950
Volume: 109
Publication Date: 15 May 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Manufacturing Processes
UBC Author(s): Kwang Moo Yi (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15266125
Volume: 117
Page Range: 315-328
Publication Date: 15 May 2024

View Publication

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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
2024 Deep in our coastal seas, ocean water moves, mixes, and transports heat and matter. The eventual fate of these properties supports, or sometimes impairs, the health of coastal ecosystems. Dr. Stevens investigated deep water pathways in Canada's seas, with implications for wastewater management and climate change mitigation strategies. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2024 Dr. Can's research showed that stacking two thin sheets of superconducting materials with a twist leads to a novel quantum phase of matter, called a topological superconductor. This discovery also led to an original design of a superconducting qubit, a device that can be used for quantum information processing. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2024 Dr. Carpentier developed a novel treatment planning technique for liver cancer patients receiving radiation therapy with real time tumour tracking. She created planning strategies and dose calculations that use the patient's anatomical information over their breathing cycle to ensure the organs near the tumour do not receive too much radiation. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2024 Dr. Vining studied how computers operate on geometry and shapes, and how geometric problems can be solved with discrete optimization algorithms. By combining numerical optimization techniques with combinatorial search frameworks, he devised new algorithms that solve challenging problems in simulation, computer graphics, and video games. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2024 Dr. Chignell combined human and physical geography to analyze the relationships among biodiversity conservation, water, and the politics of environmental science in Ethiopia. His work demonstrates how disparate methods across the sciences and humanities can be brought together to produce new ways of understanding and responding to complex eco-social questions. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
2024 Guided by members of the Nuxalk Nation, Dr. Gavenus studied the ways fisheries governance can affect food justice. She found that the governance of First Nations fisheries imposed by the Canadian State contributes to multiple food injustices. These findings emphasize the importance of reassertions of Indigenous fisheries governance to food justice. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
2024 Dr. Wei used biochemical and biophysical approaches to investigate the biosynthetic enzymes employed in the assembly of nitrogen-containing natural product molecules, including ±-amino acids Piperazic Acid and Azaserine, and nitroimidazole antibiotic Azomycin. The elucidated novel pathways and key steps lead to strategies for medicinal treatment. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2024 Dr. Ritschel studied the design of programming tools for end-users without previous coding experience. He investigated block-based programming languages and enriched them with visual features that help end-users write larger, more complex programs. His findings can guide the future development of more expressive end-user friendly programming tools. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2024 Dr. Hardman studied immunity to intestinal viruses. By contrasting related viral strains, subtle factors could be characterized which balance immunity between controlling infection and limiting inflammation. This work contributes to future vaccine efforts, and treatments for inflammatory disorders. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2024 Dr. Mirza explored connections between gut bacteria and multiple sclerosis (MS) in children and youth. He identified differences in gut microbes and genes between those with and without MS, noting a potential link between MS and high-fiber diets. His findings offer insights for future MS research and possible treatment or prevention strategies. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)

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