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.

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



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
Momose, Takamasa Department of Chemistry Spectroscopy, Chemical physics
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
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;
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
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
Patey, Grenfell Department of Chemistry Liquid dynamics, chemical physics


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 Statistics and Data Analysis
UBC Author(s): Harry Sue Wah Joe (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01679473
Volume: 175
Publication Date: November 2022

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Publication: ISME Journal
UBC Author(s): William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17517362
Volume: 16
Page Range: 2503-2512
Publication Date: November 2022

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Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Douglas Bryman (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 2022
Publication Date: November 2022

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Publication: IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
UBC Author(s): Francois Jean (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02780062
Volume: 41
Page Range: 3128-3145
Publication Date: 1 November 2022

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Publication: Journal of Biogeography
UBC Author(s): Leticia Aviles (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 03050270
Volume: 49
Page Range: 1967-1977
Publication Date: November 2022

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Publication: Journal of Leukocyte Biology
UBC Author(s): Ninan Abraham (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07415400
Volume: 112
Page Range: 1105-1113
Publication Date: November 2022

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Publication: Nature
UBC Author(s): Colin Brauner (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00280836
Volume: 610
Page Range: 699-703
Publication Date: 27 October 2022

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Publication: mBio
UBC Author(s): Marc Horwitz (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 13
Page Range: e0127722
Publication Date: 26 October 2022

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Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
UBC Author(s): Lindsay Eltis (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science), William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 119
Publication Date: 25 October 2022

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Publication: ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Allan Bertram (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: 2481-2490
Publication Date: 20 October 2022

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Publication: Bioconjugate Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Christopher E Orvig (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10431802
Volume: 33
Page Range: 1900-1921
Publication Date: 19 October 2022

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Publication: Quaternary Science Reviews
UBC Author(s): Anais Orsi (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 02773791
Volume: 294
Publication Date: 15 October 2022

View Publication


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. 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)