Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
Coherent control of ultrafast dynamics of materials studied with time and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy
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.
Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology
Computational Sciences and Mathematics
Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Genomics and Biological Sciences
Chemistry and Materials Science
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.
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.
|Name||Academic Unit(s)||Research Interests|
|Munzner, Tamara||Department of Computer Science||Human-centered computing; visualization; information visualization; visual analytics; data science|
|Murphy, Gail||Department of Computer Science||Computer and information sciences; Software Development; knowledge worker productivity; software design; software engineering; software evolution|
|Murphy, Michael||Department of Microbiology & Immunology||Bacteriology; Enzymes (including kinetics and mechanisms, and biocatalyst); Alternatives to antibiotics; Bacterial pathogenesis; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Functional and Structural Proteomics; Microbial metal metabolism|
|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|
|Nasseri, Seyed Ali||Nanoelectronics; Condensed matter physics, n.e.c.; Aerospace systems design; aerospace systems; engineering design; micromagnetics; nanomagnetism; spintronics; Computational physics; Applied physics; space safety; space sustainability|
|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|
|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;|
|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; 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|
|Pasquier, Thomas||Department of Computer Science||Development of more transparent computer systems, Whole-system provenance, Computational experiments reproducibility, Intrusion detection, privacy and compliance|
This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Science.
|2021||Dr. Lai investigated the Green tensor of incompressible flows in the half space and examined existence theorems of fluid-related models such as plasma, polymetric liquid, and swimming bacteria. His research provides insights on boundary behavior of fluid flows and gives a deeper understanding of complex fluids.||Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Yang explored the extreme limits of chemical bonding in both long and short directions. The molecular systems designed with the new theories can be used as molecular switches, narrow band-gap conducting polymers, and superhigh energy density materials.||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Gil discovered novel anatomical structures in baleen whales that protect the nasal cavities from pressure damage and the respiratory tract from water and food incursion. She proposed a mechanism for how these whales can swallow huge volumes of food through a surprisingly small esophagus, contributing to the evolution of their enormous size.||Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Berk analyzed sensitivity of LASSO programs, which are well-known algorithms at the interface of convex optimization and probability. This sensitivity analysis builds on important tools from high-dimensional probability theory, and informs the practitioner's selection of the right computational tool.||Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Melo developed a super-resolution microscope, combining interferometric scattering and Raman microscopies, which he applied to nanoscopic and biological systems. He also developed a non-invasive methodology to diagnose Brugada Syndrome, a precursor of sudden cardiac death, from the analysis of electrocardiograms using a deep neural network.||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Qu explored methods of modifying graphene on a silicon carbide substrate using adsorbed and intercalated atoms. Using a variety of surface characterization techniques, she studied the electronic properties of the resulting materials. This research helps us understand how graphene could eventually be used in everyday electronics.||Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Foth developed new synthetic methods to incorporate fluorine atoms into organic molecules that are more efficient and practical than existing methods. These strategies access industrially-relevant compounds and will aid in the development of future pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and materials.||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Wang used optical tweezers to investigate the mechanical properties of proteins at the single molecular level. His study provided invaluable insights into the protein folding-unfolding mechanisms, and assisted us in understanding a variety of biological processes in the nano scale.||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)|
|2021||Tumours are heterogeneous entities composed of genetically and functionally distinct cell populations. Dr. LeBlanc's work characterized this heterogeneity in brain tumours, shedding light on the biology of these lethal cancers and providing a resource to help guide the appropriate use of brain tumour models crucial to research.||Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)|
|2021||Dr. Silva studied rocks formed in a sea that existed 240 million years ago in present-day British Columbia and Alberta. His research reconstructs how these rocks were deposited and describes how the minerals and rock properties vary across space, contributing to the understanding of the geologic history and energy resources of western Canada.||Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)|