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
Murphy, Michael Department of Microbiology & Immunology Bioinformatics; Immunology; Microbiology; Alternatives to antibiotics; Bacterial pathogenesis; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Functional and Structural Proteomics; Microbial metal metabolism
Murphy, Gail Department of Computer Science Computer and information sciences; Software Development; knowledge worker productivity; software design; software engineering; software evolution
Murugan, Mathav Department of Mathematics Mathematics and statistics; boundary theory; Metric geometry; potential theory; probability theory and analysis; quasiconformal mappings; relationship between behavior of Markov processes and the geometry of the underlying state space; Sandpile models
Nagata, K Wayne Department of Mathematics Nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
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 Natural environment sciences; Science and Knowledge; Chemical Pollutants; Risk management; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; environmental health; Sustainable Development; Environment and Society; Language, Knowledge, Significance and Thought Building; Urban and Rural Planning Policies; Learning and Development Approaches
Ollivier, Rachel Department of Mathematics Langlands Programme, a central theme in pure mathematics which predicts deep connections between number theory and representation theory;
Orians, Kristin Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Chemistry Chemical Oceanography, Trace metals in seawater
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
Orvig, Chris Department of Chemistry Chemical sciences; Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis; Imaging; Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds; Nuclear medicine; Chemical Processes; Chemotherapy; bioinorganic chemistry; coordination chemistry; ligand design and synthesis; medicinal inorganic chemistry; radiopharmaceutical chemistry
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
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
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

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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: Computational Geosciences
UBC Author(s): Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14200597
Volume: 25
Page Range: 1359-1377
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Computational Geosciences
UBC Author(s): Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14200597
Volume: 25
Page Range: 1337-1358
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
UBC Author(s): Andrea Damascelli (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03682048
Volume: 251
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Douglas Scott (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 652
Publication Date: 1 August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Biology letters
UBC Author(s): Leticia Aviles (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 17
Page Range: 20210316
Publication Date: 1 August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
UBC Author(s): Philippe Tortell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 19
Page Range: 497-509
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: European Physical Journal C
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14346044
Volume: 81
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of the Optical Society of America B: Optical Physics
UBC Author(s): Paul Hickson (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07403224
Volume: 38
Page Range: 2239-2251
Publication Date: 1 August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Water Resources Research
UBC Author(s): Ali Ameli (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00431397
Volume: 57
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics
UBC Author(s): Neil Balmforth (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03770257
Volume: 294
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Phycology
UBC Author(s): Laura Parfrey (Botany / Faculty of Science), Patrick Martone (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00223646
Volume: 57
Page Range: 1119-1130
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Water Resources Research
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00431397
Volume: 57
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Planetary Science Journal
UBC Author(s): Catherine Johnson (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 2
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Calculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations
UBC Author(s): Juncheng Wei (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09442669
Volume: 60
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Science Advances
UBC Author(s): Catherine Johnson (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Darren Irwin (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 30
Page Range: 4090-4102
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Murdoch McAllister (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 130
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets
UBC Author(s): Catherine Johnson (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21699097
Volume: 126
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Biochemist
UBC Author(s): Anna Blakney (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0954982X
Volume: 43
Page Range: 14-17
Publication Date: August 2021

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 127
Publication Date: 30 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Physical Chemistry A
UBC Author(s): Mark Thachuk (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10895639
Volume: 125
Page Range: 6486-6497
Publication Date: 29 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Chemical Physics
UBC Author(s): Takamasa Momose (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00219606
Volume: 155
Publication Date: 28 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
UBC Author(s): Christian Schoof (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13645021
Volume: 477
Publication Date: 28 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Journal of the American Chemical Society
UBC Author(s): Laurel Schafer (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00027863
Volume: 143
Page Range: 11243-11250
Publication Date: 28 July 2021

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Sean Michaletz (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00278424
Volume: 118
Publication Date: 27 July 2021

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
2020 Dr. Malig developed an automated device to monitor chemical transformations as they progress. He used this platform to perform kinetic studies of chemical reactions leading to increased mechanistic understanding and process efficiency. His research will allow chemical researchers to maximize chemical understanding while minimizing analyst workload. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Cashion examined the economic and environmental trade-offs of capture fisheries. His work evaluated how current fishing methods negatively affect threatened species and their contribution to wasteful practices such as discarding fish at sea. This research can inform conservation efforts by improving the spatial management of fisheries. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceans and Fisheries (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bowles investigated an axiomatic framework for problems concerning optimal ways to transport a distribution into another. In his work, he focused on an associated class of non-linear operators and developed their invariant properties. This research contributes to our understanding of common structures that persists across such problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Cheng introduced nonaqueous solvents into capillary electrophoresis (CE), which separates species based on charge and size. He modified the connection of CE to modern mass spectrometry and optimized its analysis of hydrophobic compounds. His work complements the state-of-art CE by achieving its analysis of hydrophobic analytes. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Vitale studied how everyday technology users curate their personal data, such as photos, documents, or mobile apps, by deciding what to keep or discard. His work characterizes the strong individual differences that users display in their decisions and provides implications for designing personalized tools that can meet different user needs. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Qiu used computer simulations to explain the motion of drops made from a magnetic liquid, and developed a general computational method to study liquid crystals with a free surface. His research helps understand the physics of complex fluids under surface tension, and design new materials for many possible applications, such as medical care. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Martinez-Dibene laid the foundations for the uniform spanning forest model with uniform drift in one coordinate. He studied basic statistics such as the number of visits to a point as well as the geometry of the resulting forest. This helps understanding better the models of random forests in graphs which have applications in the design of networks. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zhang identified two protein kinases that are critical for plant defense against pathogens. She found that these two kinases are involved in a conserved signalling transduction process in plant immunity. This research contributes to our understanding of plant immunity and will potentially help with sustainable agriculture. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bauer explored the influence of gut microbes on early-life malnutrition. This work revealed key gut microbiota-brain interactions linked to cognitive function and glial biology. In addition, Dr. Bauer assessed how dietary intervention impacts the malnourished microbiome and improves fatty liver pathology. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 By analysing the gravitational response to quantum matter, Dr. Arderucio Costa has shown that a hybrid classical and quantum-mechanical formulation of general relativity is sufficient for accounting for the laws of black hole thermodynamics. This work unifies the understanding of the thermodynamics of black holes and ordinary systems Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

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