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. Day studied the interaction between ultraviolet radiation and electrons in solids, developing new tools to understand the electronic structure and properties of materials. He demonstrated the presence of interactions which bind the electrons' trajectories to their magnetic moment in new superconducting materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Malig developed an automated device to monitor chemical transformations as they progress. He used this platform to perform kinetic studies of chemical reactions leading to increased mechanistic understanding and process efficiency. His research will allow chemical researchers to maximize chemical understanding while minimizing analyst workload. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Cashion examined the economic and environmental trade-offs of capture fisheries. His work evaluated how current fishing methods negatively affect threatened species and their contribution to wasteful practices such as discarding fish at sea. This research can inform conservation efforts by improving the spatial management of fisheries. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceans and Fisheries (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bowles investigated an axiomatic framework for problems concerning optimal ways to transport a distribution into another. In his work, he focused on an associated class of non-linear operators and developed their invariant properties. This research contributes to our understanding of common structures that persists across such problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Cheng introduced nonaqueous solvents into capillary electrophoresis (CE), which separates species based on charge and size. He modified the connection of CE to modern mass spectrometry and optimized its analysis of hydrophobic compounds. His work complements the state-of-art CE by achieving its analysis of hydrophobic analytes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Vitale studied how everyday technology users curate their personal data, such as photos, documents, or mobile apps, by deciding what to keep or discard. His work characterizes the strong individual differences that users display in their decisions and provides implications for designing personalized tools that can meet different user needs. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Qiu used computer simulations to explain the motion of drops made from a magnetic liquid, and developed a general computational method to study liquid crystals with a free surface. His research helps understand the physics of complex fluids under surface tension, and design new materials for many possible applications, such as medical care. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Martinez-Dibene laid the foundations for the uniform spanning forest model with uniform drift in one coordinate. He studied basic statistics such as the number of visits to a point as well as the geometry of the resulting forest. This helps understanding better the models of random forests in graphs which have applications in the design of networks. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zhang identified two protein kinases that are critical for plant defense against pathogens. She found that these two kinases are involved in a conserved signalling transduction process in plant immunity. This research contributes to our understanding of plant immunity and will potentially help with sustainable agriculture. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bauer explored the influence of gut microbes on early-life malnutrition. This work revealed key gut microbiota-brain interactions linked to cognitive function and glial biology. In addition, Dr. Bauer assessed how dietary intervention impacts the malnourished microbiome and improves fatty liver pathology. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)