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
Leander, Brian Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Plant biology; Zoology; Comparative organismal biology; Evolutionary morphology; Evolutionary protistology; Marine biodiversity; Marine invertebrate zoology; Phylogenetic biology; Species discovery
Lecuyer, Mathias Department of Computer Science Machine learning systems, Guarantees of robustness, privacy, and security
Lee, Jae-Hyeok Department of Botany Plant biology; Molecular Genetics; evolutionary genetics; cell and molecular biology of cellular differentiation; evolution of developmental mechanisms; molecular genetics of microalgae for robust biomass production
Leitch, Duncan Department of Zoology understanding sensory system adaptations in diverse organisms; contributions of nervous system properties to natural behaviours
Lerner, Jackie
Leslie, Sabrina Michael Smith Laboratories
Leyton-Brown, Kevin Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Artificial Intelligence; Algorithms; theoretical computer science; Resource Allocation; Computer Science and Statistics; Auction theory; game theory; Machine Learning
Li, Xin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes
Li, Hongbin Department of Chemistry Biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, single molecule studies, biological, atomic force, polymer chemistry
Li, Yue-Xian Department of Mathematics Calcium signalling in neuroendocrine cells Fertilization calcium waves in oocytes
Lister, Alison Department of Physics & Astronomy Particle physics, experimental; Large Hadron Collier (LHC); ATLAS experiment; Search for physics beyond the standard model; top quarks; dark matter; Machine Learning; Long-lived particles
Little, James Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics
Loewen, Philip Department of Mathematics Mathematical optimization; Calculus of Variations; Optimal Control; optimization; Machine Learning
MacDonald, Colin Department of Mathematics List of publications; The Closest Point Method: a new method for PDEs on surfaces; Time-stepping for PDEs: constructing Runge-Kutta methods, strong-stability-preserving methods (visit the SSP Site); WENO spatial discretizations; The Predicted Sequential Regularization Method; List of talks and presentations.
MacFarlane, Andrew Department of Chemistry Chemical physics, Electronic and magnetic properties of crystalline solids, especially strongly correlated materials such as the cuprate high temperature superconductors
MacLachlan, Mark Department of Chemistry Supramolecular inorganic chemistry; Inorganic materials; Supramolecular organic chemistry; Synthesis of materials; Functional materials in materials chemistry sciences; Supramolecular Chemistry; Nanomaterials; Biomaterials; Cellulose nanocrystals; Chitin; Materials Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry
MacLean, Karon Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Information Systems; design of user interfaces; haptic interfaces; human-computer interaction; human-robot interaction
Maddison, Wayne Department of Zoology, Department of Botany Arachnology, Biodiversity, Spiders, Phylogenetic Theory and Programming
Madison, Kirk Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter, atomic, molecular and optical physics
Maldonado, Maite Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Phytoplankton Trace Metal Physiology
Man, Allison Department of Physics & Astronomy Cosmology and extragalactic astronomy; galaxy formation and evolution
Mank, Judith Department of Zoology evolution; How selection acts on males and females within a species; How the genome responds to contradictory selection to encode sexually dimorphic traits; Sex chromosomes; Gene regulation; Sexual conflict
Marcus, Brian Harry Department of Mathematics Coding and information theory, symbolic dynamics, ergodic theory and dynamical systems
Marshall, Katie Department of Zoology Animal physiology, environmental stress; Environmental Change; Marine biodiversity; Population Ecology; invertebrates and temperature adaptation
Martin, Gregory Department of Mathematics Number theory, Diophantine Approximation and Classical Analysis

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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: New Phytologist
UBC Author(s): Claire Kremen (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0028646X
Volume: 231
Page Range: 447-459
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Global Change Biology
UBC Author(s): Katie Marshall (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13541013
Volume: 27
Page Range: 3009-3034
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
UBC Author(s): Gail Murphy (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00985589
Volume: 47
Page Range: 1402-1413
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Microbiology
UBC Author(s): Sean Crowe (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14622912
Volume: 23
Page Range: 3682-3694
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Claire Kremen (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01695347
Volume: 36
Page Range: 573-575
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: PLoS Pathogens
UBC Author(s): James Kronstad (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15537366
Volume: 17
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Plant Cell and Environment
UBC Author(s): Sean Michaletz (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01407791
Volume: 44
Page Range: 2414-2427
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Fungi
UBC Author(s): James Kronstad (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Rachel Germain (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01695347
Volume: 36
Page Range: 610-622
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Mark Halpern (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 915
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
UBC Author(s): Mark Halpern (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00670049
Volume: 255
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Gary Hinshaw (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 651
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Letters
UBC Author(s): Jessica McIver (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20418205
Volume: 915
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review C
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24699985
Volume: 104
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Letters
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20418205
Volume: 915
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Biotropica
UBC Author(s): Diane Srivastava (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00063606
Volume: 53
Page Range: 1191-1202
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Nature Ecology and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Judith Mank (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 5
Page Range: 939-948
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Sustainability Science
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 18624065
Volume: 16
Page Range: 1391-1396
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Fish and Fisheries
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14672960
Volume: 22
Page Range: 812-821
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Ecological Economics
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09218009
Volume: 185
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Advances in Applied Mathematics
UBC Author(s): Stephanie van Willigenburg (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01968858
Volume: 128
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Computer Speech and Language
UBC Author(s): Giuseppe Carenini (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08852308
Volume: 68
Publication Date: July 2021

View Publication
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
UBC Author(s): Ivan Beschastnikh (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10459219
Volume: 32
Page Range: 1513-1525
Publication Date: 1 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Transfusion
UBC Author(s): Robin Turner (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00411132
Volume: 61
Page Range: 2159-2168
Publication Date: July 2021

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. Gonzalez Anaya's research is concerned with the complexity of geometric spaces arising as solutions to polynomial equations. His work contributes to our understanding of how the process of deforming their shape can sometimes result in new geometric objects having significantly more intricate geometric properties. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hughes studied mathematical models for random spatial populations which arise in a variety of settings, including ecology. His work focused on fractal properties of the population densities. This research sheds light on how these populations, and other important stochastic models, are locally distributed in space. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Risley developed methods that can both detect lower levels of key protein components and use those components to separate similar proteins. Such improvements in therapeutic protein testing reduce the potential for adverse reactions in patients who are using these specialized proteins to treat illnesses. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Lin studied the evolution of rare cases when the roles are reversed, and plants consume animals or parasitize fungi. He discovered a new carnivorous plant lineage, and addressed species boundaries in it. He also resolved relationships of monocot which parasitize fungi, and uncovered an unusual gene transfer from soil fungi to plants. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Best created a synthesis of techniques from disparate areas of Systems and Programming Languages research, augmented with new highly efficient coordination algorithms, to better leverage the multiple processors available in modern computing devices. This work will open new avenues for programmers to write faster programs with fewer errors. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Ryan used analyses of rocks from dome-building volcanoes in tandem with high-temperature, high-pressure experimentation to show that crystalline granular materials in volcanic environments heal on short timescales. This research demonstrates that the healing of crystalline granular materials can trigger cyclical explosive eruptions. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2020 Dr. Kepplinger devised reliable statistical methods to identify proteins for predicting severity of heart diseases in the presence of anomalous protein levels, an issue as technology affords measuring numerous proteins. Beyond proteomics, these statistical methods boost generalizability of results from studies with few subjects but many variables. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zhou studied nonlinear partial differential equations with an emphasis on phenomena where solutions become unbounded. By developing new gluing methods, he rigorously constructed solutions to equations arising from different contexts such as geometry and mathematical physics. This research gives a deeper understanding of singularity formation. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Maharaj found evidence for the impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, showed that coral habitats are important for protecting resident fishes from these impacts, and demonstrated that multi-scale comparisons of ecosystem models help reconcile the differences in climate impacts expected at global and regional scales. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Thompson examined modern bacteria from an iron-rich lake to address questions about the growth and interactions of microbial communities in the global oceans three billion years ago. Ancestors of these modern bacteria likely supported life for over a billion years by fueling the production of a warming climate under the faint early Sun. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)

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