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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
Lerner, Jackie Environmental impact assessment; Land use and environmental planning; 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, Yue-Xian Department of Mathematics Calcium signalling in neuroendocrine cells Fertilization calcium waves in oocytes
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 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; Application of optical surface guidance for radiation therapy setup and motion monitoring; 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
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
Martone, Patrick Department of Botany Plant biology; Protist; Plants; Physiology; Taxonomy and Systematics; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Evolution and Phylogenesis; Biomaterials; Solid Mechanics; Fluid mechanics; biomechanics; Ecology; evolution; Intertidal Zone; Macroalgae; Phycology
Marziali, Andre Department of Physics & Astronomy Teaching methods, pedagogy, Robotics in education, Nanotechnology, Engineering Physics, Genomics, Biophysics, Genomics Technologies

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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: Biology Letters
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17449561
Volume: 19
Publication Date: 6 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Geoscientific Model Development
UBC Author(s): Harold Bradbury (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1991959X
Volume: 16
Page Range: 7059-7074
Publication Date: 5 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Science and Technology
UBC Author(s): Gunilla Oberg (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0013936X
Volume: 57
Page Range: 19066-19077
Publication Date: 5 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: ACM Transactions on Graphics
UBC Author(s): Alla Sheffer (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07300301
Volume: 42
Publication Date: 4 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: People and Nature
UBC Author(s): Kai Chan (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 5
Page Range: 2026-2047
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Terrance Preston Snutch (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics
UBC Author(s): Jingyi Chen (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00103640
Volume: 76
Page Range: 4075-4086
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): B Brett Finlay (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Anna Blakney (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
UBC Author(s): Alla Sheffer (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10772626
Volume: 29
Page Range: 4874-4890
Publication Date: 1 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Global Ecology and Biogeography
UBC Author(s): Dolph Schluter (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1466822X
Volume: 32
Page Range: 2257-2270
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Cellular Oncology
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 22113428
Volume: 46
Page Range: 1659-1673
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Modeling and Assessment
UBC Author(s): Susan Elizabeth Allen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14202026
Volume: 28
Page Range: 939-960
Publication Date: December 2023

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Publication: Communications Earth and Environment
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 4
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Notices of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Malabika Pramanik (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00029920
Volume: 70
Page Range: 1817-1819
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: ISME Journal
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17517362
Volume: 17
Page Range: 2326-2339
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
UBC Author(s): Douglas Bryman (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01689002
Volume: 1057
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Dentistry
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03005712
Volume: 139
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
UBC Author(s): Jeremy Heyl (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00358711
Volume: 526
Page Range: 5964-5975
Publication Date: 1 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Global Change Biology
UBC Author(s): Wai Lung Cheung (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13541013
Volume: 29
Page Range: 6478-6492
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications
UBC Author(s): Chen Greif (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08954798
Volume: 44
Page Range: 1540-1565
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: BMC Genomics
UBC Author(s): Carl Bohlmann (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 24
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

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
2023 Dr. Aina developed new computer-based methods for engineering vaccines to treat brain diseases. He showed that the methods are effective for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease in computer models, making them valuable in drug development. His findings benefit those with brain diseases, as well as researchers and the pharmaceutical industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Lawrence unified elements from reinforcement learning and control theory to solve industrially relevant problems. His framework enables learning stable control policies directly from data. This ensures that maintaining controllers in an industrial setting is efficient, safe, and automated. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Rowell studied explosive volcanic eruptions that interact with glaciers, lakes, and oceans, using both computer models and machine learning analysis of ash plumes in thermal camera imagery. He predicted how the behaviour, hazards, and climate impacts of eruptions evolve as they interact with increasingly greater volumes of water and ice. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Mowbray developed materials for electrochemical reactors that convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into chemicals and fuels. His thesis informs how to design and fabricate reactor materials that improve the efficiency of converting carbon dioxide into commodity chemicals using electricity. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Zhuang developed the first inhibitors of tubulin glycylation initiase and elongase and developed inhibitors of type I isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase. These inhibitors will be very useful tools in studying the structure and mechanism of these enzymes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Yan's research focuses on a quantum computer architecture built upon photonic and spin qubits in silicon. Dr. Yan has developed a universal fault-tolerant architecture with practical implementation, as well as specific operational procedures that increase the quantum information fault-tolerant threshold. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Christensen developed autonomous, self-optimizing robotic systems to guide chemical process optimization in high experimental throughput. These robotic systems were applied to the human intervention-free optimization of processes for the chemical syntheses of two pharmaceutically relevant compounds. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Ren investigated heterogeneous ice nucleation by computational simulations and laboratory experiments. Her work demonstrated how atmospherically relevant ice nucleating particles can be influenced by ions and pH conditions. These results improve our understanding of how environmental conditions affect ice formation in the atmosphere. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Zhang investigated fundamental steps in Platinum catalyzed reactions. He focused on mechanism understandings and new reaction discoveries. A better understanding of fundamental steps in catalytic cycles helps scientists develop efficient and inexpensive industrial processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 The simulation of frictional contact is a challenging problem in computer graphics. Dr. Larionov developed methods to accurately simulate friction between objects with smooth surfaces and showed where current methods fail. This work pushed the boundaries of acceptable friction behaviour in graphics, and opened promising avenues for future research. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)

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