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
Harley, Christopher Department of Zoology, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Fisheries sciences; Zoology; climate change; community ecology; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; marine algae; marine invertebrates
Harris, Leila Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Institute for Gender, Race, Sex and Social Justice Critical identity, ethnic and race studies; Gender, sexuality and education; Human rights, justice, and ethical issues; Africa; Development Policies; Drinking Water; Environmental justice; equity and social justice; Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice; Fresh Water; Gender Relationship; gender and social difference; Ghana; International development; participatory resource management; Resources Management; Social Contract and Social Justice; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; South Africa; Turkey and Middle East; Water; water governance; water politics
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 Mathematics and statistics; Modelization and Simulation; Evolution and Phylogenesis; Biological Behavior; dynamical systems; evolution; game theory; social dilemmas; stochastic processes
Haynes, Charles Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers
Heagy, Lindsey Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geoelectrics and geoelectromagnetics; Magnetism and paleomagnetism; Gravimetry; Environmental monitoring; Numerical computation; Machine learning; Geophysics; Inverse theory; data science; Machine Learning; Electromagnetics; Carbon sequestration; Groundwater; Environmental geophysics; Resource exploration
Hearty, Christopher Department of Physics & Astronomy Subatomic physics, Experimental Particle Physics Research
Hein, Jason Department of Chemistry discovery, design and study of new organometallic and organocatalytic reactions; investigating complex systems where multiple pathways compete, partitioning the active catalyst among many possible pathways
Hepburn, John Department of Chemistry Chemical physics
Hermon, Jonathan Department of Mathematics probability theory; Markov chains and the cutoff phenomenon; particle systems; percolation
Heyl, Jeremy Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomical and space sciences; Physical sciences; Astrophysics; Black Holes; Neutron Stars; quantum phenomena; Quantum-Field Theory; Stellar; Stellar Physics
Hickey, Kenneth Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences understand the processes involved in the genesis of mineral deposits from a multidisciplinary perspective; Post-mineralization weathering, denudation and subsequent burial of Carlin-type Au-mineralization at the Cortez Hills deposit: Implications for finding Au-deposits in bedrock under cover.
Hickson, Paul Department of Physics & Astronomy cosmology, galaxies, telescopes, adaptive optics., Astronomy, astrophysics, Galaxies, clusters, instrumentation, adaptive optics
Hieter, Philip Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Medical Genetics Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission
Hinshaw, Gary Department of Physics & Astronomy cosmology, cosmic background radiation, Cosmology, Measuring diffuse background radiations
Hirst, Martin Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Michael Smith Laboratories Bioinformatics; Clinical oncology; Genomics; Immunology; Microbiology; Carcinogenesis; Cellular Differentiation; Epigenomics; Leukemia; Molecular Genetics
Holmes, Reid Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; computer science; open source software; software comprehension; software development tools; software engineering; software quality; software testing; static analysis
Holmes-Cerfon, Miranda Department of Mathematics Mathematical modelling and simulation; Computational methods in statistics; Numerical analysis; Thermodynamics and statistical physics
Horwitz, Marc Department of Microbiology & Immunology Mechanisms of viral-induced immune disease in a variety of complex chronic disorders
Hu, Alan Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; formal methods; formal verification; model checking; nonce to detect automated mining of profiles; post-silicon validation; security; software analysis
Huan, Tao Department of Chemistry Bioinformatics, n.e.c.; Analytical spectrometry; Metabolomics; Separation science; Cancer progression and metastasis; Human nutrition and metabolism; Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry; Cellular Metabolism; Bioinformatics
Hudson, Zachary Department of Chemistry Synthesis of materials; Functional materials in materials chemistry sciences; Organic chemical synthesis; Optical properties of materials; Luminescent materials; Organic electronics; Polymer chemistry; Organic chemistry; Organic light-emitting diodes
Hunt, Brian Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Marine ecology (including marine ichthyology); Biological oceanography; marine food webs; ecosystem oceanography; plankton dynamics; open ocean; Coastal Ecosystems; climate change impacts on the ocean; salmon ecology; food web nutrition; microplastics; stable isotopes; forage fish; zooplankton
Hutchinson, Norman Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Computer Systems; distributed systems; File Systems; Virtualization

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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: Nature
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 610
Page Range: 699-703
Publication Date: 27 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: mBio
UBC Author(s): Marc Horwitz (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Page Range: e0127722
Publication Date: 26 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Lindsay Eltis (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science), William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 119
Publication Date: 25 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Allan Bertram (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: 2481-2490
Publication Date: 20 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Bioconjugate Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Christopher E Orvig (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10431802
Volume: 33
Page Range: 1900-1921
Publication Date: 19 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Quaternary Science Reviews
UBC Author(s): Anais Orsi (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02773791
Volume: 294
Publication Date: 15 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Science advances
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Page Range: eabq0160
Publication Date: 14 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Microbiology
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: 13 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Ocean Science
UBC Author(s): Susan Elizabeth Allen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18120784
Volume: 18
Page Range: 1451-1475
Publication Date: 13 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Microbiology
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: 12 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Laura Parfrey (Botany / Faculty of Science), B Brett Finlay (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00278424
Volume: 119
Publication Date: 11 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Macromolecules
UBC Author(s): Hongbin Li (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00249297
Volume: 55
Page Range: 8524-8532
Publication Date: 11 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Lindsay Eltis (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 119
Publication Date: 4 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)
UBC Author(s): Laurel Schafer (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 51
Page Range: 14654-14663
Publication Date: 4 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
UBC Author(s): Neil Balmforth (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03770257
Volume: 308
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: New Phytologist
UBC Author(s): Sean Michaletz (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0028646X
Volume: 236
Page Range: 369-384
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Process Control
UBC Author(s): Philip Loewen (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09591524
Volume: 118
Page Range: 139-152
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Kaitlyn Gaynor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01695347
Volume: 37
Page Range: 911-925
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis
UBC Author(s): Christoph Ortner (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00039527
Volume: 246
Page Range: 1-60
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Liam Watson (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00246115
Volume: 125
Page Range: 879-967
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Geology
UBC Author(s): James Kelly Russell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00917613
Volume: 50
Page Range: 1135-1139
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: European Journal of Protistology
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09324739
Volume: 86
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of experimental biology
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 225
Publication Date: 1 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Zinovy Reichstein (Mathematics / Faculty of Science), Thomas Williams (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00029947
Volume: 375
Page Range: 7277-7321
Publication Date: 1 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: JPhys Materials
UBC Author(s): Mona Berciu (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 5
Publication Date: 1 October 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
2022 Dr. Xie developed algorithms and systems to control legged robot to move intelligently in challenging situations. His research brings us closer to having intelligent robots in our daily life. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2022 The placenta is an essential organ in pregnancy but much is unknown about how epigenetics contributes to its function. Dr. Yuan studied how epigenetic marks like DNA methylation are important to the placenta. This understanding of fundamental placental biology will be important for understanding and improving pregnancy-related health. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Bayly studied large protein complexes called polyketide synthases, some of which produce widely-used therapeutics. Dr. Bayly used PKS12 from M. tuberculosis to explore and demonstrate new approaches for engineering these complexes. Her work contributes to ongoing efforts to engineer polyketide synthases to produce new therapeutics. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Christopherson developed novel polymer nanomaterials with biological relevance and subsequently used these polymers to sense the temperature of systems and to visualize cancer cells. Her research illuminated new ways of developing nanoparticles for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2022 Analyzing data stored in a distributed fashion requires new statistical strategies. Dr. Zhang developed novel approaches to combine summary information from separate locations under finite mixture models. Her work is useful for combining information in the data collected from and stored at different health centres and government agencies. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2022 Dr. Howatt examined how physical oceanic processes influence the distribution of zooplankton. She found that stratification and flows with different geographic origins had more influence on zooplankton, but flow around a submarine canyon and turbulence had little influence. These findings are important for understanding and predicting ocean habitat. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2021 Dr. Dehn used short-lived elementary particles called muons to study the magnetic and electronic properties of transition-metal compounds. His studies demonstrated that bound states comprised of a positive muon and an electron exist in magnetic materials, and explored the implications of this discovery for the study of magnetism with muons. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Sandeep's dissertation showed considerations of just energy transition for fossil fuel workers and their communities. This knowledge will aid in a more holistic understanding of the implications of fossil fuel industry declines on communities, by incorporating spatial, temporal, and justice aspects of transition. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
2021 Dr. Thompson's dissertation research made progress toward understanding how hybridization between species drives the origin of species. His studies illustrated the critical role of ecology in mediating this process and identified new ways to study natural selection acting on hybrids in field studies. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Han's doctoral research focused on the study of the reactivities of phosphorus-containing compounds for the purpose of making the related inorganic polymers. He discovered the novel properties of several phosphorus species and investigated the possible mechanisms. His work helped to advance our understanding of the world of phosphorus chemistry. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

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