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
Dean, Gillian Plants; Genes; Cell wall; plant development; Genetics; mutants; Cell Biology
Dierker, Steve Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Collective dynamics of condensed matter systems; Dependence on reduced dimensionality, strong interactions, disorder, and mesoscale structure
Ding, Jiarui Department of Computer Science Bioinformatics; Basic medicine and life sciences; Computational Biology; Machine Learning; Probabilistic Deep Learning; single-cell genomics; visualization; Cancer biology; Computational Immunology; Food Allergy; neuroscience
Dipple, Gregory Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences carbon sequestration, geologic fluid flow, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
Doebeli, Michael Walter Department of Mathematics, Department of Zoology Mathematical ecology and evolution, evolution of diversity, adaptive speciation, evolution of cooperation, game theory, experimental evolution in microorganisms
Dowlatabadi, Hadi Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Natural environment sciences; Energy Production; Economic Planning of Energy; Climate Changes and Impacts; Public Policies; New Technology and Social Impacts; Health Policies; Transportation Systems; The systematic study of systems at the interface of humans, nature, technology and policy
Eberhardt, Erik Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences landslides, rockslides, tunnelling, mining, rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering, Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering
Edelstein-Keshet, Leah Department of Mathematics Bioinformatics; Mathematics and statistics; Medical and biomedical engineering; Cell signaling; Cell Signaling and Cancer; cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology; Differential Equation; Mathematics; Modelization and Simulation; Rho GTPases; swarming and aggregation
Eltis, Lindsay Department of Microbiology & Immunology Biochemistry; Genomics; Immunology; Microbiology; Bacterial catabolism of steroids and lignin; biocatalyst development; Enzymes and Proteins; Metabolism (Living Organisms); Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Evans, William Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Algorithms; theoretical computer science; Computer Sciences and Mathematical Tools; computational geometry; graph drawing; program compression
Fast, Naomi Department of Botany Genomics, single-celled organisms
Feeley, Michael Department of Computer Science Distributed systems, operating systems, workstation and pc clusters
Fernandez, Rachel Department of Microbiology & Immunology Bordetella pertusis, whooping cough, lipopolysaccharide
Fink, Jonathan ,
Finlay, B Brett Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Infectious agents, bacteria, microbial infections and how humans react to it
Folk, Joshua Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Fractional quantum Hall effect; Majorana fermions; Quantum devices; Strongly correlated electronics; Topological phenomena; Vanderwaals heterostructures
Francois, Roger Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Marine Geochemistry, Climate Change
Franz, Marcel Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter theory
Fraser, Ailana Department of Mathematics Differential Geometry, Geometric Analysis
Friedlander, Michael Department of Computer Science, Department of Mathematics numerical optimization, numerical linear algebra, scientific computing, Scientific computing
Friedman, Joel Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Algebraic Graph Theory; Combinatorics; Computer Science Theory
Froese, Richard Gerd Department of Mathematics Mathematics and statistics; Mathematics; Mathematical physics; quantum mechanics; scattering theory; spectral theory
Garcia, Ronald Department of Computer Science programming language semantics, design, and implementation, including language support for library-centric and modular software development, generic and generative programming, and domain specific languages and libraries.
Garcia Lorenzo, Iria ,
Gates, Derek Department of Chemistry Inorganic chemistry, materials science, polymer chemistry, catalysis

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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: Trends in Biochemical Sciences
UBC Author(s): Benjamin Matthews (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09680004
Volume: 47
Page Range: 284-286
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Hydrobiologia
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00188158
Volume: 849
Page Range: 1543-1557
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Fishes
UBC Author(s): Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Landslides
UBC Author(s): Scott McDougall (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1612510X
Volume: 19
Page Range: 977-991
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction
UBC Author(s): Cristina Conati (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09241868
Volume: 32
Page Range: 215-252
Publication Date: April 2022

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Publication: Global Change Biology
UBC Author(s): Wai Lung Cheung (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science), Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13541013
Volume: 28
Page Range: 2312-2326
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Control Engineering Practice
UBC Author(s): Philip Loewen (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09670661
Volume: 121
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Biophysical Reviews
UBC Author(s): Sabrina Leslie (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18672450
Volume: 14
Page Range: 417-421
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature Microbiology
UBC Author(s): Harry Brumer (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Page Range: 556-569
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
UBC Author(s): Jeremy Heyl (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00358711
Volume: 511
Page Range: 5984-5993
Publication Date: 1 April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature Astronomy
UBC Author(s): Aaron Boley (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: 428-435
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09441344
Volume: 29
Page Range: 24167-24179
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series B: Statistical Methodology
UBC Author(s): Alexandre Bouchard-Cote (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13697412
Volume: 84
Page Range: 321-350
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: ChemPlusChem
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 87
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Analytica Chimica Acta
UBC Author(s): Tao Huan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00032670
Volume: 1200
Publication Date: 1 April 2022

View Publication
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
UBC Author(s): Yaniv Plan (Mathematics / Faculty of Science), Ozgur Yilmaz (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00189448
Volume: 68
Page Range: 2573-2603
Publication Date: 1 April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Protist
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14344610
Volume: 173
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Computational Physics
UBC Author(s): Christoph Ortner (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00219991
Volume: 454
Publication Date: 1 April 2022

View Publication
Publication: New Zealand Geographer
UBC Author(s): Leila Harris (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00288144
Volume: 78
Page Range: 104-108
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Trends in Microbiology
UBC Author(s): James Kronstad (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0966842X
Volume: 30
Page Range: 338-349
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Ecology
UBC Author(s): Diane Srivastava (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00129658
Volume: 103
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Dolph Schluter (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Statistical Papers
UBC Author(s): Harry Sue Wah Joe (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09325026
Volume: 63
Page Range: 543-569
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Aquatic Sciences
UBC Author(s): Curtis Suttle (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10151621
Volume: 84
Publication Date: April 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
UBC Author(s): Maria Maldonado-Pareja (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21699275
Volume: 127
Publication Date: April 2022

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
2021 Dr. Coleman investigated the physiological mechanisms that allow some kelp species to develop progressively narrower and longer photosynthetic blades as water flow increases. His research has improved our understanding of an important biomechanical adaptation to variable flow conditions in a group of ecologically important marine organisms. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Yuan studied how organic molecules interacted with light. She synthesized a variety of sulfur-bridged chromophore dimers and examined the effect of oxidation on the photophysical and photochemical properties. She demonstrated how these materials could be used for potential applications in anti-counterfeiting. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Cen studied the effects of insulin levels on insulin receptor expression. He showed that high insulin reduces insulin receptors in muscle, thereby causing insulin resistance. He also identified proteins that control insulin receptor expression and movement within cells. His findings improve our understanding of insulin resistance and diabetes. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Wong searched for exotic particles beyond the Standard Model of particle physics with the ATLAS detector at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. The searches helped constrain new physics scenarios, including leptoquarks and hidden strong dynamics. He also contributed to the upgrade of a tracking system of the detector, allowing efficient recording of collision data. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Lai investigated the Green tensor of incompressible flows in the half space and examined existence theorems of fluid-related models such as plasma, polymetric liquid, and swimming bacteria. His research provides insights on boundary behavior of fluid flows and gives a deeper understanding of complex fluids. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Yang explored the extreme limits of chemical bonding in both long and short directions. The molecular systems designed with the new theories can be used as molecular switches, narrow band-gap conducting polymers, and superhigh energy density materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Gil discovered novel anatomical structures in baleen whales that protect the nasal cavities from pressure damage and the respiratory tract from water and food incursion. She proposed a mechanism for how these whales can swallow huge volumes of food through a surprisingly small esophagus, contributing to the evolution of their enormous size. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Berk analyzed sensitivity of LASSO programs, which are well-known algorithms at the interface of convex optimization and probability. This sensitivity analysis builds on important tools from high-dimensional probability theory, and informs the practitioner's selection of the right computational tool. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Melo developed a super-resolution microscope, combining interferometric scattering and Raman microscopies, which he applied to nanoscopic and biological systems. He also developed a non-invasive methodology to diagnose Brugada Syndrome, a precursor of sudden cardiac death, from the analysis of electrocardiograms using a deep neural network. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Qu explored methods of modifying graphene on a silicon carbide substrate using adsorbed and intercalated atoms. Using a variety of surface characterization techniques, she studied the electronic properties of the resulting materials. This research helps us understand how graphene could eventually be used in everyday electronics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

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