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
Kunst, Ljerka Department of Botany Seed storage oil production, biosynthesis
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
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
Lerner, Jackie
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
Little, James Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics
Lloyd, Samantha
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
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

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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: Geoscience Frontiers
UBC Author(s): Matthijs Smit (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 16749871
Volume: 13
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Mark Halpern (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 927
Publication Date: 1 March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Mark Halpern (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 927
Publication Date: 1 March 2022

View Publication
Publication: VLDB Journal
UBC Author(s): Laks Lakshmanan (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10668888
Volume: 31
Page Range: 403-429
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
UBC Author(s): Wai Lung Cheung (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15409295
Volume: 20
Page Range: 102-110
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Extracellular Vesicles
UBC Author(s): Anna Blakney (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 11
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10956433
Volume: 265
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Mathematical Fluid Mechanics
UBC Author(s): Tai-Peng Tsai (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14226928
Volume: 24
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Machine Learning: Science and Technology
UBC Author(s): Roman Krems (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 3
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Metabolites
UBC Author(s): Tao Huan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: Symmetry
UBC Author(s): Ariel Zhitnitsky (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: March 2022

View Publication
Publication: IEEE Transactions on Information Theory
UBC Author(s): Brian Harry Marcus (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00189448
Volume: 68
Page Range: 1465-1479
Publication Date: 1 March 2022

View Publication
Publication: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
UBC Author(s): Paul Gustafson (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 16617827
Volume: 19
Publication Date: March-1 2022

View Publication
Publication: The Analyst
UBC Author(s): Walter Algar (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 147
Page Range: 765-766
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Developmental cell
UBC Author(s): Geoffrey Schiebinger (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 57
Page Range: 543-560
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Science
UBC Author(s): Zachary Hudson (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 20416520
Volume: 13
Page Range: 2296-2302
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Inorganic Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Parisa Mehrkhodavandi (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00201669
Volume: 61
Page Range: 3763-3773
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
UBC Author(s): Parisa Mehrkhodavandi (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 10
Page Range: 2772-2783
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Current Biology
UBC Author(s): Philip Matthews (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09609822
Volume: 32
Page Range: 927-933.e5
Publication Date: 28 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Steven Hallam (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Publication Date: 25 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Organic Letters
UBC Author(s): Jolene Reid (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15237060
Volume: 24
Page Range: 1429-1433
Publication Date: 25 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
UBC Author(s): Mary O'Connor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 289
Page Range: 20211762
Publication Date: 23 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Inorganic Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00201669
Volume: 61
Page Range: 2999-3006
Publication Date: 21 February 2022

View Publication
Publication: Scientific data
UBC Author(s): Thomas Pasquier (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 9
Page Range: 60
Publication Date: 21 February 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. Janzen systematically studied the establishment of a replicative niche by Salmonella bacteria within host cells. Her findings set a new paradigm for future Salmonella research and demonstrated the necessity of a wholistic view of Salmonella-host interactions to illuminate the poorly understood Salmonella replicative niche. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Kostelnik studied new radioactive drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. He found a number of compounds that form highly stable bonds with radioactive metals. These studies assist in the development of optimal radiopharmaceuticals for a wide range of diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Zhan studied the impact of genome doubling on the evolution of organisms. He found that genome doubling frequently coincides with the formation of new species but does not necessarily improve the evolutionary success of eukaryotic organisms. His work has helped to understand the role of genome doubling in shaping the biodiversity on Earth. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Livingston studied the cell biology of cannabis glandular trichomes, which are tiny structures that produce cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. His work revealed how the trichomes develop, and how the plant cells can produce and store cannabinoids. His work provides a molecular roadmap for cannabis production in a growing Canadian industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Poor data collection protocols can severely bias statistical methods. Dr. Watson developed elementary space-time statistical methodologies for detecting and mitigating sampling bias. He applied his work to tackle issues in the fields of public health and endangered species conservation. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2021 Nowadays, there is a growing concern over the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. Dr. Rodriguez-Arelis' research has used statistical computer experiments to simulate complex natural phenomena and engineering processes. These tools have improved the prediction accuracy of different systemic responses such as hurricane hazards. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2021 Dr. Montenegro Alonso studied a specific small protein that is secreted by the smut fungus when it infects barley. She revealed its timing of expression, localization in the plant and the role it plays in weakening the plant defenses. These findings can be used to better understand plant-fungal interactions and to develop resistant crop varieties. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2021 Dr. Horianopoulos characterized the roles of heat shock proteins in the disease-causing fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, focusing on the family of co-chaperone proteins containing the J domain. She identified proteins that allow this fungus to grow at human body temperature and adapt to the human host environment in order to establish infection. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Chun studied deadly paediatric cancers called rhabdoid tumours using sophisticated DNA sequencing and computational tools. She revealed diverse molecular characteristics of these cancers and discovered that a subset of tumours had more immune activities than others, thus revealing the potential use of immunotherapy for rhabdoid tumour patients. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2021 Many of the artificial-intelligence-powered products that we use daily rely on a family of methods called "deep learning"'. Dr. Shafaei presented solutions that enable a broader and safer application of these techniques. He also introduced a new application of deep learning for automated portrait editing that produces high-quality images. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)

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