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
2021 Dr. Morgan's work focused on the discovery of bioactive bacterial natural products using chemical and genetic tools. She developed a methodology targeting discovery of piperazic acid-containing natural products utilizing a combination of genome mining and nitrogen-15 nuclear magnetic resonance. This work will be applied to future discovery efforts. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kodirov explored offering network bandwidth guarantees as a first class cloud service. He developed efficient algorithms to schedule datacenter network bandwidth, and proposed a methodology for their evaluation in a realistic environment. He also built a prototype, and demonstrated that it is feasible to price bandwidth in a competitive manner. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Barvalia has characterized the immune system using high dimensional single cell systems immunology techniques. He has discovered marked heterogeneity in myeloid cells and identified discrete immune perturbation states in Lyn kinase deficiency and colorectal cancer. His research can further guide the development of novel immunotherapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Scurll developed new computational methods to analyze clustering in spatial and high-dimensional data from experiments in cell biology. His methods can advance our understanding of protein clustering on/in cells and of biological heterogeneity among cancer cells. He also conducted experiments to investigate heterogeneity among lymphoma B cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Macdonald investigated practical uses for enzymes that carry out carbohydrate metabolism. This work lead to the discovery of 11 new enzymes and developed a suite of new tools that can be used for future enzyme discovery efforts, which can be applied toward making the next-generation of carbohydrate based materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2021 Information visualization helps us to explore, analyze and communicate data. Dr. Oppermann studied the use of real-world data in visualization prototyping. He contributed tools, techniques, and guidelines for visualizing indoor spatial data and time-oriented data. He improved recommendations and compact previews for Tableau visualization workbooks. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Jansonius showed that chemical manufacturing can safer and cleaner using electricity and water to produce chemicals that would otherwise come from fossil fuel sources. His thesis provides strategies to enhance the efficiency and versatility of electrochemical membrane reactors. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Thriving oceans require abundant and biodiverse marine invertebrate communities. Dr. Gillespie examined how marine conservation can be tuned to support data-limited invertebrate species. He found that well-designed marine reserves combined with size limits for fisheries can support invertebrate conservation and contribute to human protein needs. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Fang studied first-order optimization algorithms. His work has contributed to a better understanding of first-order methods for structured problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Certain phases of matter admit an intriguing connection to gravity, providing a fruitful way to study exotic objects such as black holes and wormholes. Dr. Lantagne-Hurtubise studied toy models of such holographic quantum matter, discovering new phenomena and developing connections to physical platforms where they may be experimentally probed. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)