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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
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
Hoang, Nguyen Phong Department of Computer Science networking; security & privacy; network security; online privacy; Internet measurement
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; Machine Learning; 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; Biodiversity; Ecosystem function; Ecological impacts of climate change; Community ecology (except invasive species ecology); 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; Urban oceans; Thiamine defficiency; Stormwater
Hutchinson, Norman Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Computer Systems; distributed systems; File Systems; Virtualization
Irwin, Darren Department of Zoology Zoology; evolutionary genetics; genomic differentiation; hybridization; ornithology; seasonal migration; speciation
Jankowski, Jill Department of Zoology Ecology
Jean, Francois Department of Microbiology & Immunology Medical virology; Protein trafficking in cell biology; Proteomics; Enzymes (including kinetics and mechanisms, and biocatalyst); Organelle function; Virology; Systems biology; Cellular virology; Emerging human viruses; COVID-19; Host-virus interactions; Broad-based antiviral agents; Antiviral agents; Natural products as antiviral agents; Lipid-modulating drugs; Cellular protease inhibitors; Viral protease inhibitors; Human coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; Human flaviviruses; Dengue virus; Zika virus; West Nile virus; Influenza A virus; Human microRNAs; Therapeutic microRNA; Viral and cellular biomarkers; Molecular diagnostics for detecting viral infection; Circulating exosomes; Exosomal microRNAs; Proteomics-based technologies; Multiplexed and Mass Spectrometric quantitation assays
Jefferies, Wilfred Arthur Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Medical Genetics Iron transport molecules
Jellinek, Mark Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Volcanology, Geodynamics, Planetary Science, Geological Fluid Mechanics
Jetter, Reinhard Department of Botany, Department of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry; Plant Ecophysiology; Plant Biochemistry; Molecular Genetics; Biological Chemistry
Joe, Harry Sue Wah Department of Statistics Statistics; Statistics and Probabilities; copula construction; dependence modelling; extreme value inference; non-normal time series; parsimonous high-dimensional dependence
Johnson, Catherine Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Lunar geophysics, Evolution of Mars' Magnetic Field and Atmosphere

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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: Electrophoresis
UBC Author(s): David Chen (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01730835
Volume: 45
Page Range: 1054-1064
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Communications on Applied Mathematics and Computation
UBC Author(s): Colin MacDonald (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20966385
Volume: 6
Page Range: 1131-1174
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Lithos
UBC Author(s): James Stewart Scoates (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00244937
Volume: 474-475
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Drug Policy
UBC Author(s): Daniel Coombs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09553959
Volume: 128
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Archives of Toxicology
UBC Author(s): Gunilla Oberg (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03405761
Volume: 98
Page Range: 1727-1740
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Nature Reviews Genetics
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14710056
Volume: 25
Page Range: 416-430
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Nonlinear Science
UBC Author(s): Michael Jeffrey Ward (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09388974
Volume: 34
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: New Phytologist
UBC Author(s): Sean Michaletz (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0028646X
Volume: 242
Page Range: 1919-1931
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Letters
UBC Author(s): Takamasa Momose (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20418205
Volume: 968
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review D
UBC Author(s): Janis McKenna (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24700010
Volume: 109
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Animal Ecology
UBC Author(s): Diane Srivastava (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00218790
Volume: 93
Page Range: 755-768
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 968
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
UBC Author(s): Michelle Kunimoto (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00358711
Volume: 531
Page Range: 1276-1293
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astronomical Journal
UBC Author(s): Michelle Kunimoto (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046256
Volume: 167
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Automatica
UBC Author(s): Philip Loewen (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00051098
Volume: 164
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Structural Biology
UBC Author(s): Lindsay Eltis (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10478477
Volume: 216
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
UBC Author(s): Douglas Scott (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00358711
Volume: 531
Page Range: 61-83
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Algorithms
UBC Author(s): William Evans (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 17
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
UBC Author(s): Mark Van Raamsdonk (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 2024
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: PLoS ONE
UBC Author(s): Kaitlyn Gaynor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 19
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review D
UBC Author(s): Christopher Hearty (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science), Janis McKenna (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24700010
Volume: 109
Publication Date: 1 June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Ecology Letters
UBC Author(s): Kaitlyn Gaynor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1461023X
Volume: 27
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Discrete Mathematics
UBC Author(s): Jozsef Solymosi (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0012365X
Volume: 347
Publication Date: June 2024

View Publication
Publication: Artificial Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Kevin Leyton-Brown (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00043702
Volume: 331
Publication Date: June 2024

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
2024 Dr. Bajpai made theoretical and algorithmic contributions to the study of integer solutions to polynomial equations. He developed methods to resolve several new families of such equations, and applied these methods to prove novel results on approximations to complex numbers. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2024 Dr. Liu investigated the evolutionary mechanisms underlying freshwater adaptation in ancestrally marine fish. She found that both local habitats and time since marine isolation play a role in the responses to varied salinities in prickly sculpin. Her study provides a possible explanation for how marine fish diversified and colonized fresh water. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2024 Dr. Tully's work lays the foundation for measuring the electronic structure and fate of excitations in carbon-based solar cell materials. Her measurements of excited states in C60 films demonstrate the first high-quality data on such systems with lab-scale equipment, enabled by advances in film quality developed by Dr. Tully. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2024 Dr. Cang examined emotionally expressive touch behaviour for human-robot interaction. To be truly reactive, devices must address the dynamic nature of emotion. For her dissertation, she developed multi-stage machine learning protocols to train robots to respond to your evolving feelings. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2024 Dr. Rostamzadeh's Markerless Dynamic Tumor Tracking method revolutionizes cancer treatment, utilizing the lung-liver interface for precise radiation targeting, reducing side effects, and providing hope to liver and lung cancer patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Physics (PhD)
2024 Dr. Strouth examined how people decide if a community is 'safe enough' from landslides. In addition, he put landslide risks into context with other types of risks. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering (PhD)
2024 Dr. McNutt studied the hormone somatostatin and its role in slowing the growth of breast cancer. She demonstrated that two similar subtypes of breast cancer respond variably to treatment with somatostatin. This research underscores the multiple mechanisms responsible for cancer growth and may contribute to the development of new therapeutics. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2024 Dr. Florko explored how habitat changes affect predator-prey dynamics in the Arctic. Her research, which modelled prey shifts and tracked seal and polar bear movements in Hudson Bay, provides insights into their interactions. This work advances our understanding of predator-prey ecology, crucial for identifying critical habitat. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceans and Fisheries (PhD)
2024 Dr. Krekhno investigated the breakdown of steroids by mycobacterial pathogens and identified several genes that result in toxicity upon disruption. These insights into steroid utilization provide valuable information on how these bacteria cause infection and may contribute to the development of new, more effective therapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2024 Dr. Gauthier's thesis work outlined the development, optimized, and diagnostic test performance of pathogen-agnostic sequencing for diagnosis of respiratory viral infections. His thesis work helped to overcome key translational barriers to aid in the translation of genomic sequencing technologies for applications in diagnostic virology. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)

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