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.

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



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
Li, Hongbin Department of Chemistry Biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, single molecule studies, biological, atomic force, polymer chemistry
Li, Xin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes
Lister, Alison Department of Physics & Astronomy Elementary Particles, Large Hadron Collier (LHC), ATLAS experiment, Search for physics beyond the standard model, top quarks, dark matter, Detector development
Little, James Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics
Loewen, Philip Department of Mathematics Mathematics, Calculus of Variations
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 Nanomaterials, Supramolecules and Autoassembling, Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds, Biomaterials, Basic Materials, Supramolecular Chemistry, Cellulose nanocrystals, Chitin, Materials Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry
MacLean, Karon Department of Computer Science Information Systems, human-computer interaction, haptic interfaces, human-robot interaction, design of user interfaces
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
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 Environmental Change, Marine biodiversity, Population Ecology, invertebrates and temperature adaptation
Martin, Gregory Department of Mathematics Number theory, Diophantine Approximation and Classical Analysis
Martone, Patrick Department of Botany Protist, Plants, Physiology, Taxonomy and Systematics, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Evolution and Phylogenesis, Biomaterials, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Phycology, Macroalgae, evolution, biomechanics, Intertidal Zone, Ecology
Marziali, Andre Department of Physics & Astronomy Teaching methods, pedagogy, Robotics in education, Nanotechnology, Engineering Physics, Genomics, Biophysics, Genomics Technologies
Matsuuchi, Linda Department of Zoology Cell signaling of specific membrane receptors, combining aspects of Cell Biology, Immunology , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Matthews, Jaymie Mark Department of Physics & Astronomy Stellar seismology, stellar structure and evolution, exoplanets, magnetic peculiar stars, photometry and spectroscopy, space astronomy
Matthews, Philip Department of Zoology respiratory adaptations of animals, primarily insects
Matthews, Benjamin Department of Zoology Comparative Physiology, Genome of mosquitoes, Aedes aeygpti mosquitoes, Arboviral pathogens, Dengue fever, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, Zika
Mattison, Thomas Department of Physics & Astronomy Subatomic physics, Particle & Nuclear Physics, Applied Physics
Mayer, Ulrich Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences hydrogeology, low-temperature geochemistry, groundwater contamination, groundwater remediation, mine waste management
McAllister, Murdoch Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Statistical methods for fisheries risk assessment, estimation, decision analysis and management strategy evaluation


Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Science.

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
2019 Dr. Scribner demonstrated the effect of contamination on the mineralogy of the Rau pegmatite group. Her research provides strong evidence that contamination has a more prominent influence on the chemical signature of pegmatites than previously recognized. She also developed a validated assessment to measure learning gains in mineralogy courses. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Lewis developed gels using nanoparticles made from wood. The gels are water-filled, soft materials that can change their properties in a controllable way. These new materials have potential applications in environmental remediation, tissue engineering, and energy storage. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Sun used a model of the cystic fibrosis lung to study how bacteria use motility to adapt to these kinds of environments. She studied a new form of bacterial motility known as surfing and found that it contributes to virulence and antibiotic resistance regulated by complex genetic networks. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Patton analyzed the concentration of rare earth elements in marine sediment and constructed a numerical model of those elements in pore water.This research explores how these elements are cycled between sediment and pore water and questions the validity of previous interpretations of these elements as a water mass tracer preserved through time. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2019 In our global battle against drug-resistant superbugs, there is a limited arsenal of antibiotics. Dr. Behroozian discovered broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities in a natural clay from Kisameet Bay, British Columbia, and clarified the active principal components and modes of action. Her contributions may lead to development of novel treatments. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Leigh considered two enumerative problems in geometry that are motivated by mathematical physics. In the first he developed a new theory for counting a special type of object. In the second he provided an explicit computation involving a string-theoretic space called the "banana threefold". Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Rahjoo investigated the mechanics of rock fracturing, strength and deformation, and developed models for the behaviour of fracturing rocks. With tunnels and mines heading towards greater depths, this knowledge is critical for safe and stable excavations. His findings contribute to the advancement of rock mechanics and rock engineering. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Engineering (PhD)
2019 Dr. Neuenfeld applied quantum information theory to study gravitational physics. He investigated how information is transferred in processes involving gravity, and explored how quantum information restricts the spacetimes that can be realized in nature. His results contribute to a better understanding of a quantum theory of gravity. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Campbell examined how publication policy impacts the reliability of scientific research from a statistical perspective. He proposed novel policy prescriptions and modelled how adopting these could transform the incentives driving research. This work aims to address the reproducibility crisis and issues of publication bias. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Didier found evidence of a previously unreported membrane steroid receptor in a Basel vertebrate. This work has wide ranging implications for our understanding of steroid/receptor evolution in vertebrates. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)