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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
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 Theoretical Physics, Particle and Nuclear Physics, Scattering Amplitudes, Effective Field Theory, General Relativity
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
Picard, Sebastien Department of Mathematics Differential geometry

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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: mBio
UBC Author(s): Marc Horwitz (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21612129
Volume: 15
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astronomy and Astrophysics
UBC Author(s): Jeremy Heyl (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00046361
Volume: 684
Publication Date: 1 April 2024

View Publication
Publication: New Phytologist
UBC Author(s): Sean Michaletz (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0028646X
Volume: 242
Page Range: 93-106
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Stephanie van Willigenburg (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00029947
Volume: 377
Page Range: 2525-2582
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Jason Hein (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07491581
Volume: 62
Page Range: 310-322
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Astrophysical Journal
UBC Author(s): Ingrid Stairs (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0004637X
Volume: 964
Publication Date: 1 April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Annals of Applied Probability
UBC Author(s): Young-Heon Kim (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10505164
Volume: 34
Page Range: 2364-2414
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
UBC Author(s): Brian Hunt (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0706652X
Volume: 81
Page Range: 368-386
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society
UBC Author(s): Alejandro Adem (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02730979
Volume: 61
Page Range: 199-199
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Biostatistics
UBC Author(s): Paul Gustafson (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14654644
Volume: 25
Page Range: 354-384
Publication Date: 1 April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Symbiosis
UBC Author(s): Kayla King (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03345114
Volume: 92
Page Range: 439-451
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Evolutionary Applications
UBC Author(s): Mary O'Connor (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 17
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: People and Nature
UBC Author(s): Kai Chan (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: 818-832
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Phycology
UBC Author(s): Patrick Martone (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00223646
Volume: 60
Page Range: 363-379
Publication Date: April 2024

View Publication
Publication: Heliyon
UBC Author(s): Gregory Dipple (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 24058440
Volume: 10
Publication Date: 30 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Physical Review Letters
UBC Author(s): Julio Parra Martinez (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00319007
Volume: 132
Publication Date: 29 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Cell
UBC Author(s): Tao Huan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00928674
Volume: 187
Page Range: 1801-1818.e20
Publication Date: 28 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Chemical Physics
UBC Author(s): Grenfell Patey (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00219606
Volume: 160
Publication Date: 28 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Amanda Giang (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 121
Publication Date: 26 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Environmental Science and Technology
UBC Author(s): Amanda Giang (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0013936X
Volume: 58
Page Range: 5500-5511
Publication Date: 26 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Philip C Stamp (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 121
Publication Date: 26 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Current Biology
UBC Author(s): Kayla King (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09609822
Volume: 34
Page Range: 1357-1363.e3
Publication Date: 25 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Kevin Leyton-Brown (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21595399
Volume: 38
Page Range: 9856-9864
Publication Date: 25 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Kevin Leyton-Brown (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21595399
Volume: 38
Page Range: 9636-9644
Publication Date: 25 March 2024

View Publication
Publication: Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
UBC Author(s): Eldad Haber (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21595399
Volume: 38
Page Range: 11874-11882
Publication Date: 25 March 2024

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. Huet developed numerical tools that allow fast and accurate simulations of complex fluid systems, ranging from rockfall dynamics to cell-resolved biological flows. His open-source software contributions can be used to better design microfluidic cell-sorting devices, thus speeding up many labour intensive tasks in biotechnology research. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Lan identified three genes that regulate an important signal molecule NHP in systemic acquired resistance in plants. The three genes function together and negatively regulate defence-related genes in epigenetic level. These findings assist us in understanding plant defence mechanism and plant disease control. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2023 Dr. Dai explored the intersection of classical machine learning and quantum computing, aiming to enhance algorithms for complex quantum problems. It highlights the development of a quantum-enhanced feature mapping algorithm and the practical application of quantum regression models. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Zhang developed the gluing method to construct the bubble tower of the ancient solutions and infinite time blow-up solutions for the critical heat equations, and finite time blow-up solutions simultaneously at any prescribed N points for the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Kukor developed new tools to study the crystallization of small molecules. He applied these tools to investigate and optimize the crystallization of two drug molecules, demonstrating the benefits of continuous crystallization. These new tools are now being used by pharmaceutical companies to study and improve the production of drugs. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Krekhno investigated mechanisms of pathogenic E. coli-caused infantile diarrhea, providing insights into host-microbe interactions. He employed computational and molecular biology tools to provide the first comprehensive overview of the changes in the regulation of gene expression during infection. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Davis studied the effects of temperature and resource availability on ecosystem functioning. She showed that rates of nitrogen supply usually accelerate with warming, and documented two important ecological effects of this pattern. She also identified a key limiting resource in a seagrass ecosystem recovering from decline. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2023 Dr. Ripoche studied evolved stellar populations, from giant stars to their remnants. He developed new tools to analyze data from X-ray space telescopes, measure distances in space, and identify dead stars, called white dwarfs, in large surveys. His findings will help us better understand the structure and history of our Galaxy and the Universe. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2023 Dr. Crescenzo measured the viscosity of airborne aerosol particles formed from the gas emissions from plants. His thesis showed that many of these airborne particles are more viscous than tar pitch, or even solid like glass at many humidities & temperatures. His studies are helpful to improve the accuracy of climate and air quality predictions. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2023 Dr. Wang devised and carried out landmark experiments using radio-frequency and millimeter-wave fields to control and probe the evolution of ultracold molecular plasmas. His findings have provided new insights into ultracold neutral plasmas specifically, and into disordered many-body systems in general. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)

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