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 40 per cent of the Faculty's graduate enrollments, and the percentage of international students has increased to 48 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

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
Edelstein-Keshet, Leah Department of Mathematics Mathematics, Modelization and Simulation, Cell Signaling, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Differential Equation, cell polarity, cell migration, developmental and cellular biology, swarming and aggregation, Rho GTPases
Eltis, Lindsay Department of Microbiology & Immunology Microbiology, Enzymes and Proteins, Metabolism (Living Organisms), Bacterial catabolism of steroids and lignin, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, biocatalyst development
Evans, William Department of Computer Science 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
Finlay, B Brett Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology Infectious agents, bacteria, microbial infections and how humans react to it
Folk, Joshua Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum devices, Majorana fermions, Strongly correlated electronics, Topological phenomena, Fractional quantum Hall effect, 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 Science Theory, Algebraic Graph Theory, Combinatorics
Froese, Richard Gerd Department of Mathematics Mathematics, Mathematical physics, quantum mechanics, spectral theory, scattering theory
Fryzuk, Michael Department of Chemistry energy; fuel cells; hydrogeny economy; nitrogen fixation, Metal, energy
Fu, Hu Department of Computer Science algorithmic game 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.
Gates, Derek Department of Chemistry Inorganic chemistry, materials science, polymer chemistry, catalysis
Gay, Colin Department of Physics & Astronomy Experimental subatomic physics, Beyond Standard Model physics, Extra dimensions
Gaynor, Erin Department of Microbiology & Immunology Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, foodborne human pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni
Germain, Rachel Department of Zoology Ecology, evolution
Ghioca, Dragos Department of Mathematics Drinfeld modules, isotrivial semiabelian varieties, Lehmer inequality
Ghoussoub, Nassif Department of Mathematics Mathematical sciences, R&Ed policies, developing science in Africa, Non-linear analysis and partial differential equations
Giang, Amanda Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Mechanical Engineering Atmospheric Pollutants, Climate Changes and Impacts, Chemical Pollutants, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Public Policies
Gladman, Brett Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomy, Planetary Science, meteorites, astrobiology, Solar system formation and evolution

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Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Science.


Publication: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 11266708
Volume: 2020
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Genetics
UBC Author(s): Philip Hieter (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 215
Page Range: 609-621
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 11266708
Volume: 2020
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Cancers
UBC Author(s): Raymond Andersen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Page Range: 1-17
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Journal of Instrumentation
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 15
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Astronomical Journal
UBC Author(s): Brett Gladman (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046256
Volume: 160
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: European Physical Journal C
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14346044
Volume: 80
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 11266708
Volume: 2020
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
UBC Author(s): Eric Cytrynbaum (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00928240
Volume: 82
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Nature Machine Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Sara Mostafavi (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 2
Page Range: 376-386
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Physica Scripta
UBC Author(s): William Unruh (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00318949
Volume: 95
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Minerals
UBC Author(s): Lee Groat (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 10
Page Range: 1-83
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Nature Immunology
UBC Author(s): Sara Mostafavi (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15292908
Volume: 21
Page Range: 700-703
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Nature Medicine
UBC Author(s): Keegan Korthauer (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10788956
Volume: 26
Page Range: 1041-1043
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00664804
Volume: 64
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24715638
Volume: 333
Page Range: 449-465
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Hydrobiologia
UBC Author(s): Brian Leander (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00188158
Volume: 847
Page Range: 2613-2644
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Biotechnology and Bioengineering
UBC Author(s): Charles Haynes (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00063592
Volume: 117
Page Range: 2100-2115
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Plant Journal
UBC Author(s): Yuelin Zhang (Botany / Faculty of Science), Keith Adams (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09607412
Volume: 103
Page Range: 705-714
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Evolutionary Applications
UBC Author(s): Sarah Otto (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Curtis Suttle (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17524563
Volume: 13
Page Range: 1380-1399
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 117
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 117
Publication Date: July 2020

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Publication: Molecular Psychiatry
UBC Author(s): Sara Mostafavi (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13594184
Volume: 25
Page Range: 1430-1446
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems
UBC Author(s): Nassif Ghoussoub (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10792724
Volume: 26
Page Range: 481-507
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

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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
2020 Dr. Oyinlola studied the effects of climate change on global seafood production. His findings show that increasing greenhouse gases will negatively affect mariculture production in many regions of the world, particularly the tropics and sub-tropical regions. This research supports continuous mariculture related research and industry applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lix studied and improved a new type of ultrabright fluorescent probe called polymer dots that are used in bioanalysis and imaging. She investigated how these materials interact with other fluorescent materials. Her research will be used to develop new technologies that will enable medical diagnosis at the point-of-care. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wu studied the signaling transduction pathways in plant immunity. His work revealed novel regulatory mechanisms governing the activation of plant immune receptors, which may contribute to the engineering of broad-spectrum resistance in crops. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Babanezhad's research explored optimizing parameters for machine learning algorithms, like those used in data processing, focusing specifically on computational cost. His proposed method, which he has tested on a new set of constraints and machine learning models, can train models in less time and achieve better results than previous methods. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Paudel studied two key aspects of plant-virus interaction: how viruses coerce plants to produce viral products and how the plant defends itself. He identified regions in the viral genome that help in hijacking the host resources. Also, his results showed a variety of host antiviral defenses and highlighted the complexity of the interaction. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Yeo examined the fundamental chemistry of early and late transition metal complexes. She studied the reactivity of early transition metal dinitrogen complexes and synthesized novel late transition metal complexes, exploring the capability of these chemical systems to provide insight for future advances in synthetic chemistry. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Chen studied numerical algorithms for stiff elastodynamic simulation, a key procedure in computer graphics applications. He developed models for natural physical movements that would maintain stability and produce lively simulations at a lower cost. This work will improve the efficiency and accuracy for physically-based computer simulation. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Xu's research explored the interactions between light and new synthetic molecules. These interactions include chemical changes such as photochromism or physical changes such as thermally activated delayed fluorescence and phosphorescence. This work will impact applications such as super-resolution imaging and display technology. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. McMillan developed and applied sophisticated geochemical approaches to stakeholder- and Indigenous-led investigations of archaeological biominerals and mineraloids, encompassing a large span of human history on two continents. The resulting techniques and data provided key information for addressing modern questions about the human journey. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hao investigated Ti-catalyzed hydroamination, a powerful tool in the synthesis of various nitrogen-containing compounds. He used this complex to transform simple starting materials into complex nitrogen containing products, which can be used in new chemical reactions to make important commercial products like drugs and herbicides. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

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