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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
Ng, Raymond Tak-yan Department of Computer Science Data mining and analysis, health informatics, text summarization, text mining
Nichols, Eva Department of Chemistry Inorganic catalysis and reaction mechanisms; carbon dioxide reduction; electrocatalysis; bioinspired catalyst designs; molecularly-modified materials; molecular mechanisms; self-assembled monolayers; operando spectroscopy
Nocera, Alberto ,
Nolde, Natalia Department of Statistics Statistics; Statistics and Probabilities; Applications in finance, insurance, geosciences; Multivariate extreme value theory; Risk assessment
O'Connor, Mary Department of Zoology climate change, ocean, seafood, seagrass, eelgrass, invertebrate, ecology, environment,
Oberg, Gunilla Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability History and philosophy of science (including non-historical philosophy of science); Other earth and related environmental sciences, n.e.c.; Indigenous peoples environmental knowledge; All other social sciences, n.e.c.; Science and knowledge production; Scientific controversies surrounding the evaluation of chemical risk (epistemic and ontological); Indigenous data justice as related to chemicals regulation & management; Social and cultural factors of chemicals regulation & management; Vocabulary, Knowledge, Significance and Thought Building; environmental health; The challenge of teaching science as a process and not a deliverer of irrefutable facts; The role of deliberation in science
Ollivier, Rachel Department of Mathematics Langlands Programme, a central theme in pure mathematics which predicts deep connections between number theory and representation theory;
Orsi, Anais Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Atmospheric measurement techniques; Physics of snow and ice; Cryosphere processes, n.e.c.; Isotope geochemistry; Geochronology; Environmental geochemistry; Quantitative methods for environmental sciences; Earth system sciences; Climate change impacts and adaptation; climate change; Polar climate; Data analysis, inverse modeling; Paleoclimate
Ortner, Christoph Department of Mathematics Numerical analysis; Mathematical modelling and simulation; Partial and ordinary differential equations; Computational chemistry; Condensed matter modelling and density functional theory; Numerical modelling and mechanical characterisation; Numerical Analysis & Scientific Computing; Applied Analysis; Multi-scale Modelling and Coarse-graining; Molecular Simulation; Scientific Machine-learning, in particular for applications in multi-scale modelling
Osborne, Lisa Department of Microbiology & Immunology influence that the bacteria that live on and in our intestines, lungs and skin have on human health; understanding how the host recognizes the diverse species that reside in the gut - from microscopic viruses to large, multicellular helminthic worms - and tailors an immune response of the appropriate scope and magnitude necessary to achieve homeostasis
Oser, Scott Department of Physics & Astronomy Physical sciences; dark matter; Elementary Particles; neutrinos; particle physics; statistical methods for physics; gravitational wave astronomy; LISA
Otto, Sarah Department of Zoology evolution, mathematical modeling, population genetics, genomic evolution, evolution of sex, yeast experimental evolution, Population genetics and evolutionary biology, yeast
Pai, Dinesh Department of Computer Science Robotics, computer graphics, medical imaging, neuroscience, sensorimotor computation
Pakhomov, Yevhenii Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Feeding ecophysiology of aquatic invertebrates and fishes, Antarctic ecology, Antarctic krill biology, Tunicate biology, Fishery ecology, Stable isotope ecology
Pante, Nelly Department of Zoology Molecular trafficking pathways within the cell
Parfrey, Laura Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Microbial ecology, microbial diversity, microbiome, protists
Park, Mi Jung Department of Computer Science Privacy-preserving machine learning algorithms, Compressing neural network models using Bayesian methods, Relationships between differential privacy and other emerging notions in machine learning
Parra Martinez, Julio Department of Physics & Astronomy
Pasquier, Thomas Department of Computer Science Development of more transparent computer systems, Whole-system provenance, Computational experiments reproducibility, Intrusion detection, privacy and compliance
Patey, Grenfell Department of Chemistry Liquid dynamics, chemical physics
Pauly, Daniel Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Department of Zoology World fisheries; Marine life; Global catch; Management of fisheries; Fish growth and ecophysiology
Pawlowicz, Richard Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Oceans and Inland Waters; ocean physics; properties of seawater; geophysical fluid dynamics; Nonlinear waves
Peacock, Simon Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Natural sciences; metamorphic petrology; Tectonics; earthquakes
Peirce, Anthony Department of Mathematics Scientific computing, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Perrin, David Department of Chemistry Bioorganic Chemistry, Combinatorial Chemistry Enzyme Mimics Antisense Therapies, Radiopharmaceuticals

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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: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): David Jones (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science), Andrea Damascelli (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Amanda Giang (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Communications
UBC Author(s): Christopher Harley (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 14
Publication Date: December 2023

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

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Kwang Moo Yi (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Ocean and Coastal Management
UBC Author(s): Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09645691
Volume: 246
Publication Date: 1 December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Communications Earth and Environment
UBC Author(s): Sean Crowe (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 4
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
UBC Author(s): Scott McDougall (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14359529
Volume: 82
Publication Date: December 2023

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Publication: Scientific Reports
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Current Opinion in Genetics and Development
UBC Author(s): Judith Mank (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0959437X
Volume: 83
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: npj Quantum Materials
UBC Author(s): Andrea Damascelli (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Low Temperature Physics
UBC Author(s): Mark Halpern (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00222291
Volume: 213
Page Range: 317-326
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Darren Irwin (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 32
Page Range: 6839-6853
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Loren Rieseberg (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 32
Page Range: 6729-6742
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Nature Physics
UBC Author(s): Andrew Potter (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17452473
Volume: 19
Page Range: 1799-1804
Publication Date: December 2023

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
UBC Author(s): Ke Zou (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07342101
Volume: 41
Publication Date: 1 December 2023

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Publication: Current Opinion in Systems Biology
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 36
Publication Date: December 2023

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Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Kaitlyn Gaynor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 623
Page Range: 757-764
Publication Date: 23 November 2023

View Publication
Publication: Routledge Handbook of Water and Development
UBC Author(s): Raymond Tak-yan Ng (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Page Range: 333-343
Publication Date: 21 November 2023

View Publication
Publication: Routledge Handbook of Water and Development
UBC Author(s): Leila Harris (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Page Range: 292-302
Publication Date: 21 November 2023

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review D
UBC Author(s): Moshe Rozali (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24700010
Volume: 108
Publication Date: 15 November 2023

View Publication
Publication: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
UBC Author(s): Mark Johnson (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01681923
Volume: 342
Publication Date: 15 November 2023

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review D
UBC Author(s): Matthew Choptuik (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24700010
Volume: 108
Publication Date: 15 November 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. Cirstea explored the role of gut microbiota in Parkinson's disease. Using human clinical studies and experimental models, he discovered several new connections between the bacteria in our guts and disease-relevant features. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Lüskow studied the ecology of oceanic gelatinous plankton. Long-established paradigms shedding a bad light on jellyfish's reputation were challenged. The novel knowledge obtained provided strong support for the "jelly web" persistence and allows for data-driven parameterisation of gelatinous zooplankton in global biogeochemical models. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2023 Dr. Nip developed computational solutions for sequence assembly and visualization for RNA-sequencing data. His research presents fast and memory-efficient methods to study RNA in cells. These contributions lay the groundwork to advance our understanding of biology and diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Janzen explored how users could better manage mobile notifications, which is difficult and time consuming despite extensive research on the subject. Through user centered design she identified that infrequent, targeted personalization sessions supported by visualizations of notification use could encourage and support notification management. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2023 Recent advances in genetic engineering and stem cell research have paved way for new approaches to studying and treating disease. Dr. Braam applied these complementary approaches to advance the field of diabetes research with respect to stem cell differentiation, cell safety, and disease modelling. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2023 Atmospheric aerosols are all around us: in kitchens, cities, forests, and wildfires. Dr. Kiland measured the viscosity of aerosols from each of these environments, and developed a new temperature-variable viscometer along the way. These studies are helpful to improve the accuracy of climate change and air quality predictions. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Zarrinderakht developed a comprehensive mathematical and numerical model for propagation of crevasses and iceberg calving in ice shelves. The hope is that this model will provide the scientific community new insights into the complex processes that control the impact of climate change on our planet. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Masrani contributed to the field of machine learning by proposing a novel method for training deep generative models based on techniques used in statistical physics. His research unifies and extends a number of methods in the literature, and provides practitioners with tools to train Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2023 Dr. Beaty studied human impacts and relationships with the ocean. She revealed broad negative effects of climate change on marine animals and identified traits and places that increase vulnerability. She also co-created a values-mapping project with Indigenous and local partners in the Salish Sea. Her work helps us steward life in the ocean. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Peña Díaz studied a group of molecules utilized by intestinal bacteria to perform cell-to-cell communication, and investigated their importance both during health and disease. His research will help in the development of novel therapeutics that could be used to manipulate bacterial behaviour as a method to treat infections. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)

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