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
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
Leitch, Duncan Department of Zoology understanding sensory system adaptations in diverse organisms; contributions of nervous system properties to natural behaviours
Lemieux, Caroline Department of Computer Science Programming languages and software engineering; help developers improve the correctness, security, and performance of software systems; test-input generation; specification mining; program synthesis
Lerner, Jackie Environmental impact assessment; cumulative effects assessment; gender-based analysis
Leslie, Sabrina Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Physics & Astronomy
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, 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
Li, Xin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes
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
Lloyd, Samantha Medical physics; Automation in external beam and brachytherapy treatment planning and delivery.; Machine learning for cancer outcomes prediction; Systems design for safety and quality control; Clinical trials
Loewen, Philip Department of Mathematics Mathematical optimization; Calculus of Variations; Optimal Control; optimization; Machine Learning
Lukes, Laura Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Earth and related environmental sciences; Psychology and cognitive sciences; Education; Geoscience Education Research (Discipline-Based Education Research); Self-regulated Learning; field-based experiential learning; learning in informal settings (e.g., museums, parks, science centers); crowdsourced and citizen science; teacher beliefs; motivation, emotion, and beliefs in learning; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in STEM; learning engineering
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
Madzwamuse, Anotida Department of Mathematics
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

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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: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
UBC Author(s): Loren Rieseberg (Botany / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 289
Page Range: 20221542
Publication Date: 28 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: ACS Nano
UBC Author(s): Zachary Hudson (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 19360851
Volume: 16
Page Range: 13573-13594
Publication Date: 27 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Publication Date: 27 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Chemistry of Materials
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science), Carl Michal (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08974756
Volume: 34
Page Range: 8248-8261
Publication Date: 27 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Chemistry - A European Journal
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09476539
Volume: 28
Publication Date: 27 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Publication Date: 26 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
UBC Author(s): Anthony Peirce (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00221120
Volume: 947
Publication Date: 25 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 609
Page Range: 747-753
Publication Date: 22 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Analytical Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Dan Bizzotto (Chemistry / Faculty of Science), Glenn Sammis (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00032700
Volume: 94
Page Range: 12706-12714
Publication Date: 20 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition
UBC Author(s): Stephen Withers (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14337851
Volume: 61
Publication Date: 19 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Advances in Mathematics
UBC Author(s): Stephanie van Willigenburg (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00018708
Volume: 406
Publication Date: 17 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Organic Letters
UBC Author(s): Laurel Schafer (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15237060
Volume: 24
Page Range: 6571-6575
Publication Date: 16 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Organic Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Michael Wolf (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00223263
Volume: 87
Page Range: 12315-12322
Publication Date: 16 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: STAR Protocols
UBC Author(s): Khanh Dao Duc (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 3
Publication Date: 16 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Edward Grant (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 129
Publication Date: 16 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Andrew Potter (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 129
Publication Date: 16 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: The Journal of experimental biology
UBC Author(s): Eric Taylor (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Jeffrey Richards (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 225
Publication Date: 15 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review B
UBC Author(s): David Jones (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24699950
Volume: 106
Publication Date: 15 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
UBC Author(s): Mark Johnson (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01681923
Volume: 324
Publication Date: 15 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Precambrian Research
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03019268
Volume: 380
Publication Date: 15 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review D
UBC Author(s): Jessica McIver (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24700010
Volume: 106
Publication Date: 15 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of virology
UBC Author(s): Nelly Pante (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 96
Page Range: e0111822
Publication Date: 14 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Chemical Education
UBC Author(s): Walter Algar (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00219584
Volume: 99
Page Range: 3104-3113
Publication Date: 13 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Cell Reports
UBC Author(s): Sean Crowe (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science), Lisa Osborne (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 40
Publication Date: 13 September 2022

View Publication
Publication: Bulletin of mathematical biology
UBC Author(s): Leah Edelstein-Keshet (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 84
Page Range: 114
Publication Date: 5 September 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
2021 Dr. Kwong develops, tests, and implements a new technique for estimating zooplankton secondary production in the northeast Pacific. Her research highlights the importance of alternative hypotheses between zooplankton and higher trophic levels in ecosystem and fisheries models. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2021 Dr. Hong studied the Morse index estimate of constant mean curvature surfaces. He found that the analytic index is bounded by the topological information of the surface. This discovery will aid in the understanding of stability theory of surfaces in Riemannian geometry. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Morgan's work focused on the discovery of bioactive bacterial natural products using chemical and genetic tools. She developed a methodology targeting discovery of piperazic acid-containing natural products utilizing a combination of genome mining and nitrogen-15 nuclear magnetic resonance. This work will be applied to future discovery efforts. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kodirov explored offering network bandwidth guarantees as a first class cloud service. He developed efficient algorithms to schedule datacenter network bandwidth, and proposed a methodology for their evaluation in a realistic environment. He also built a prototype, and demonstrated that it is feasible to price bandwidth in a competitive manner. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Barvalia has characterized the immune system using high dimensional single cell systems immunology techniques. He has discovered marked heterogeneity in myeloid cells and identified discrete immune perturbation states in Lyn kinase deficiency and colorectal cancer. His research can further guide the development of novel immunotherapies. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Scurll developed new computational methods to analyze clustering in spatial and high-dimensional data from experiments in cell biology. His methods can advance our understanding of protein clustering on/in cells and of biological heterogeneity among cancer cells. He also conducted experiments to investigate heterogeneity among lymphoma B cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Macdonald investigated practical uses for enzymes that carry out carbohydrate metabolism. This work lead to the discovery of 11 new enzymes and developed a suite of new tools that can be used for future enzyme discovery efforts, which can be applied toward making the next-generation of carbohydrate based materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2021 Information visualization helps us to explore, analyze and communicate data. Dr. Oppermann studied the use of real-world data in visualization prototyping. He contributed tools, techniques, and guidelines for visualizing indoor spatial data and time-oriented data. He improved recommendations and compact previews for Tableau visualization workbooks. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Jansonius showed that chemical manufacturing can safer and cleaner using electricity and water to produce chemicals that would otherwise come from fossil fuel sources. His thesis provides strategies to enhance the efficiency and versatility of electrochemical membrane reactors. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Thriving oceans require abundant and biodiverse marine invertebrate communities. Dr. Gillespie examined how marine conservation can be tuned to support data-limited invertebrate species. He found that well-designed marine reserves combined with size limits for fisheries can support invertebrate conservation and contribute to human protein needs. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)

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