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
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, Pauline Department of Microbiology & Immunology Diseases of the Immune System; Immunology; Inflammation; Immune-cancer interactions; Innate immunity; Macrophages and myeloid cells
Johnson, Catherine Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Lunar geophysics, Evolution of Mars' Magnetic Field and Atmosphere
Johnson, Mark Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geology; Natural environment sciences; Agriculture; Biogeochemistry; Carbon cycle; Climate Changes and Impacts; data science; Ecohydrology; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Fresh Water; Ground Water and Water Tables; Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs; Land and Soil; land use; Running Water Hydrosystem; Water and Sustainability
Jones, David Department of Physics & Astronomy Atomic, optical and molecular physics,Ultrafast Optics, Spectroscopy
Karczmarek, Joanna Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; Emergent spacetime and gravity; Matrix models; Noncommutative geometry; String theory
Karu, Kalle Department of Mathematics Algebraic geometry, toric varieties, log geometry, combinatorics of fans and posets
Keeling, Patrick John Department of Botany Molecular evolution and cell biology of eukaryotes
Kennedy, Lori Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geological science, structural geology, development of large-scale fault systems and shear zones, displacements, fluid-rock interactions, strain localization, confining pressure
Kiczales, Gregor Department of Computer Science MOOCs, Blended Learning, Flexible Learning, University Strategy for Flexible and Blended Learning, Computer Science Education, Programming Languages, Programming languages, aspect-oriented programming, foundations, reflections and meta programming, software design
Kiefl, Robert Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; condensed matter physics; magnetism; multiferroics; polarons; quantum phenomena; superconductivity
Kim, Young-Heon Department of Mathematics Partial Differential Equations and Geometry
Kopylova, Maya Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences diamond ore deposits, Diamond exploration, petrology and volcanology
Korthauer, Keegan Department of Statistics Bioinformatics; Genomics; Statistics; Epigenomics; Single-cell analysis; Statistical genomics
Kremen, Claire Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Zoology Natural environment sciences; Zoology; agroecological farming systems; Reconciliation of agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation; sustainable landscapes
Krems, Roman Department of Chemistry Theoretical chemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy, Dynamics of few- and many-body molecular systems in electromagnetic fields
Kronstad, James Michael Smith Laboratories Bioinformatics; Immunology; Microbiology; Plant biology; Fungal diseases of plants; Genomics and Proteomics; Medical Mycology; Molecular Genetics; Pathogenesis of infectious diseases; Plant-Microbe Interactions
Laba, Izabella Department of Mathematics Harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory and additive combinatorics
Lakshmanan, Laks Department of Computer Science data management and data cleaning; data warehousing and OLAP; data and text mining; analytics on big graphs and news; social networks and media; recommender systems

Pages

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: Advanced Electronic Materials
UBC Author(s): Ke Zou (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Ecological Entomology
UBC Author(s): Michelle Tseng (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03076946
Volume: 47
Page Range: 872-882
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Darren Irwin (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 31
Page Range: 5356-5367
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Ecology
UBC Author(s): Christopher Harley (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00129658
Volume: 103
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Metamorphic Geology
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02634929
Volume: 40
Page Range: 1321-1346
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
UBC Author(s): Xin Li (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 16616596
Volume: 23
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Cells
UBC Author(s): Nelly Pante (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 11
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature Astronomy
UBC Author(s): Sean Crowe (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: 1133-1141
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Biology of Fishes
UBC Author(s): Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03781909
Volume: 105
Page Range: 1381-1397
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Biology of Fishes
UBC Author(s): Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03781909
Volume: 105
Page Range: 1481-1487
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Biology of Fishes
UBC Author(s): Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03781909
Volume: 105
Page Range: 1399-1403
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09396411
Volume: 179
Page Range: 11-25
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Global Ecology and Conservation
UBC Author(s): Claire Kremen (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 38
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry
UBC Author(s): Christopher E Orvig (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01620134
Volume: 235
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology
UBC Author(s): Erik Eberhardt (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08867798
Volume: 128
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Geophysical Journal International
UBC Author(s): Michael Bostock (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0956540X
Volume: 231
Page Range: 199-214
Publication Date: 1 October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Science and Policy
UBC Author(s): Theresa Satterfield (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14629011
Volume: 136
Page Range: 291-303
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Bioactive Materials
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 2452199X
Volume: 16
Page Range: 173-186
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Mary O'Connor (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Laura Parfrey (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 31
Page Range: 5107-5123
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Animal Ecology
UBC Author(s): Mary O'Connor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00218790
Volume: 91
Page Range: 2087-2102
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: ISME Journal
UBC Author(s): Sean Crowe (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science), Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17517362
Volume: 16
Page Range: 2373-2387
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Advanced Functional Materials
UBC Author(s): Zachary Hudson (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1616301X
Volume: 32
Publication Date: October 5, 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
UBC Author(s): Ariel Zhitnitsky (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09543899
Volume: 49
Publication Date: October 2022

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Geology
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00092541
Volume: 607
Publication Date: 30 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Essays in biochemistry
UBC Author(s): Xin Li (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 66
Page Range: 485-500
Publication Date: 30 September 2022

View Publication

Pages

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. Walters developed novel renewable nanomaterials from cellulose, a major component of plants and trees. Taking advantage of the unique structural and mechanical properties of cellulose, Dr. Walters demonstrated these materials could be valuable in packaging, catalytic, and energy storage applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kariyawasam explored the gene regulatory networks during the zygote differentiation of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Her research identified developmental mechanisms that play critical roles during the unicellular life cycle transitions and conserved between multicellular animal and plant embryo development. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Hong studied super-Brownian motion, a mathematical model for an evolving population undergoing random migration and reproduction. His research provided insight into the occupation density of the population and the interface between the infected and susceptible individuals in an epidemic. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Arcila-Maya explored questions about a mathematical structure called a topological Azumaya algebra, an important object of study in topology. Her work provides conditions for a topological Azumaya algebra to be broken down into smaller topological Azumaya algebras. Her research makes progress on the decomposition problem for this structure. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Lee's doctoral studies focused on how plants respond to environmental stresses such as drought and heat, and how they resist such stresses by examining changes in the expression of genes in two hybrid crops, canola and sunflower. His research advanced our understanding of the greater resilience of hybrid crops to environmental stresses. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Izett developed new tools for estimating rates of marine net community production, an important metric for describing the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle. This work significantly enhances the community's capacity to assess how variability in marine biological productivity will respond to ongoing climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kim's research utilized nanoparticles in bioanalysis, including in assays, as sensors and for cellular imaging. For example, Dr. Kim developed new nanoparticle-based probes capable of real-time and simultaneous analysis of 3 distinct enzymes, which will be useful for gaining better understanding of complex biological mechanisms. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Glass-forming materials are solid upon cooling but remain disordered on a molecular scale. Dr. Fujimoto has examined the near-surface molecular motion of two such glass-formers: a polymer and an ionic liquid. His characterization of these dynamics contributes to an understanding of the fundamental physics governing these materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2021 Petroleum resource development has raised concerns about fugitive natural gas leakage into the environment. Dr. Chao's research advances the understanding of the transport and fate of natural gas in a typical groundwater system of Western Canada. Her findings address the potential environmental impacts of fugitive gas and contribute to environmental practices at sites impacted by gas leakage. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2021 Dr. Morishige studied enumerative geometry, which classifies spaces by counting geometric solutions. She developed a method to compute invariants associated to a type of Calabi-Yau threefold. These flat 6 dimension spaces are fundamental in string theory as the hidden directions of space-time, and a central focus of research in mathematics. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)

Pages