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
Gladman, Brett Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomy, Planetary Science, meteorites, astrobiology, Solar system formation and evolution
Gold, Michael Department of Microbiology & Immunology understanding cell signaling, morphology, trafficking, and effector function of immune cells and tumour cells
Gordon, Michael Department of Zoology Neuronal Systems; neuroscience; Neural circuits; Sensory systems; Feeding; Taste; Gustation; Drosophila; Chemosensation
Gordon, Julia Yulia Department of Mathematics Representation theory of p-adic groups and motivic integration; Trace Formula and its applications
Graham, Sean Department of Botany Plant phylogenetics; Plant systematics; Plant evolution; Organelles; Phylogenomics; Land plants; Mycoheterotrophs
Grant, Edward Department of Chemistry Spectroscopy, molecular electronic structure, Chemical physics
Greenstreet, Mark Department of Computer Science Dynamic systems, formal methods, hybrid systems, differential equations
Greif, Chen Department of Computer Science Numerical Analysis; scientific computing; numerical linear algebra; iterative linear solvers; constrained optimization; numerical solution of partial differential equations
Groat, Lee Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Mineralogy and crystallography (except soil mineralogy and chemicals aspects of crystallography); Inorganic geochemistry; Economic geology; mineralogy; crystal chemistry; Geochemistry; economic geology; gem deposits; pegmatites
Gustafson, Stephen James Department of Mathematics Mathematical Analysis; Differential Equation; Global and Non-Linear Analysis; Mathematical physics; Nonlinear partial differential equations; Topological solitons; Nonlinear waves
Gustafson, Paul Department of Statistics Meta-Analysis; Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference; Theoretical Statistics; Pharmacoepidemiology; Bayesian statistical methods; Causal inference; Evidence synthesis; Biostatistics and Epidemiology; Partial Identification
Haber, Eldad Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Scientific computing and its application to geophysical and medical imaging
Hallam, Steven Department of Microbiology & Immunology methanogenesis, methane oxidation, methyl coenzyme M reductase, metagenomics, environmental microbiology, genomics, proteomics, microbial ecology, systems biology, archaea, energy, bioinformatics, Microbial communities, construction and interpretation of environmental genomic libraries, generation of computational tools and workflows for taxonomic and functional binning, population genome assembly, and comparative community analysis, development and functional screens to interrogate environmental genomic libraries for bioactive small molecules and biocatalysis
Hallas, Alannah Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum Phenomena; Quantum materials; Materials design and discovery; magnetism
Halpern, Mark Department of Physics & Astronomy Cosmology, Cosmic background radiation, history of star formation, measuring the geometry and contents of the Universe, satellites, balloon-borne telescopes, the physics of music, Physics of music, Cosmic Microwave Background, Physical Cosmology, Star formation history
Hancock, Robert E Department of Microbiology & Immunology Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides, Host Defence Peptides and Innate Immunity, Functional Genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Regulation of Antibiotic Resistance, Array Data, Self-promoted uptake hypothesis
Haney, Cara Department of Microbiology & Immunology genetic and metabolic factors that regulate assembly of host-associated microbial communities (
Harder, Kenneth Department of Microbiology & Immunology Host-pathogen, tumours, infection, immunity, atherosclerosis, role of macrophages in inflammation
Harley, Christopher Department of Zoology, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Ecology and Quality of the Environment; community ecology; climate change; marine invertebrates; marine algae
Harris, Leila Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Drinking Water; Fresh Water; Water; Resources Management; Development Policies; International Development; Gender Relationship; Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; Social Contract and Social Justice; water politics; water governance; Environmental justice; gender and social difference; equity and social justice; participatory resource management; Turkey and Middle East; Africa; Ghana; South Africa
Hart, Craig Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences
Harvey, Nicholas Department of Computer Science randomized algorithms, combinatorial optimization, graph sparsification, discrepancy theory and learning theory; algorithmic problems arising in computer networking, including cache analysis, load balancing, data replication, peer-to-peer networks, and network coding.
Hasinoff, Michael Department of Physics & Astronomy Low-energy particle physics
Hauert, Christoph Department of Mathematics Modelization and Simulation; Evolution and Phylogenesis; Biological Behavior; evolution; game theory; social dilemmas; dynamical systems; stochastic processes
Haughn, George Department of Botany Molecular Genetics; Plants; Cellular Differentiation; plant cell wall biology; seed coat differentiation

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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: Frontiers in Microbiology
UBC Author(s): Elitza Tocheva (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 11
Publication Date: 24 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Engineering Science
UBC Author(s): Anthony Wachs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00092509
Volume: 223
Publication Date: 21 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of chemical physics
UBC Author(s): Roman Krems (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 153
Page Range: 114101
Publication Date: 21 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Letters
UBC Author(s): Jeremy Heyl (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20418205
Volume: 901
Publication Date: 20 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Geology
UBC Author(s): Gregory Dipple (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00092541
Volume: 550
Publication Date: 20 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Science (New York, N.Y.)
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 369
Page Range: 1455-1461
Publication Date: 18 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)
UBC Author(s): Khanh Dao Duc (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 25
Publication Date: 17 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
UBC Author(s): Laurel Schafer (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 142
Page Range: 15740-15750
Publication Date: 16 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)
UBC Author(s): Michael Wolf (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 56
Page Range: 10750-10753
Publication Date: 15 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Physical review letters
UBC Author(s): David Jones (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 125
Page Range: 112502
Publication Date: 11 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
UBC Author(s): Allan Bertram (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 16807316
Volume: 20
Page Range: 10545-10563
Publication Date: 10 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 900
Publication Date: 10 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of medicinal chemistry
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science), Suzana Straus (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 63
Page Range: 9228-9236
Publication Date: 10 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of medicinal chemistry
UBC Author(s): Christopher E Orvig (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 63
Page Range: 9154-9167
Publication Date: 10 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Publication Date: 4 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Physical review letters
UBC Author(s): Jessica Mc Iver (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 125
Page Range: 101102
Publication Date: 4 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Classical and Quantum Gravity
UBC Author(s): Jessica Mc Iver (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02649381
Volume: 37
Publication Date: 3 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: The Lancet Infectious Diseases
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14733099
Volume: 20
Page Range: e216-e230
Publication Date: September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Raman Spectroscopy
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science), James Kelly Russell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03770486
Volume: 51
Page Range: 1822-1838
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Movement Disorders
UBC Author(s): B Brett Finlay (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08853185
Volume: 35
Page Range: 1695-1697
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature Catalysis
UBC Author(s): Curtis Berlinguette (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 3
Page Range: 719-726
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
UBC Author(s): Stefan Reinsberg (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 21
Page Range: 116-123
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Douglas Scott (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 641
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Douglas Scott (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 641
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

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
2020 Dr. Kunimoto discovered 17 new planets outside of the Solar System, including one that may be considered potentially habitable. She also analyzed her planet catalogue to reveal important information about planet formation and evolution theories. Her results indicate that there may be as many as one Earth-like planet for every five Sun-like stars. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wang investigated the genomic mechanisms of speciation, the process in which one lineage becomes more than one. She found that genetic underpinning of plumage coloration and mitonuclear coevolution were targets of selection in a Pacific Northwest warbler species complex. This research sheds light on the mechanisms that lead to biodiversity. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wong studied membrane contact sites, locations in cells where membranes come together to share material and information. He discovered that a protein holding two membranes together also brings in other proteins that shuttle lipids between the two membranes. These studies provide fundamental insight into how cells use contact sites to survive. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Sajadi investigated the electronic properties of 2D topological insulators (TIs), a new class of materials with distinct electronic properties, and studied the interplay of 2D TIs with another exotic phase of matter: superconductivity. This work enhances our understanding of 2D TIs, and will pave the way towards topological quantum computing. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Mitchell worked to develop new data quality control and survey design methodologies specifically tailored for electrical and electromagnetic surveys collected in tunnel-based environments. These methodologies improve our ability to image the regions surrounding tunnels to mitigate hazards and map mineralized zones. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bowes investigated reductive elimination, a chemical reaction critical to the production of high-performance materials, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals. He developed a framework for predicting and controlling the outcome of this reaction that will inform more cost-effective and sustainable approaches to the preparation of these products. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Plourde studied how the distribution of earthquakes near tectonic plate boundaries is affected by the distribution of groundwater. To help unravel these tectonic systems, he presents new computational methods to illuminate detailed earthquake source processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hernandez used state-of-the-art nuclear models and statistics to study the imprints of the nucleus on light from exotic atoms in which the nucleus is orbited by a muon instead of an electron. This work sheds light on recent experimental discrepancies and helps illuminate our understanding of the interplay between the nucleus and light. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zolaktaf examined ways of improving user interaction with data that is stored in large structured data sources. She developed algorithms and models that help users to explore, query, and analyze data more efficiently. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bolger-Munro investigated the role of the actin cytoskeleton in B cells, which are the antibody-producing cell of the immune system. Using sophisticated microscopy, her findings show the importance of the actin-related protein complex in amplifying B cell responses. This study provides new insights into how B cell activation is controlled. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)

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