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 40 per cent of the Faculty's graduate enrollments, and the percentage of international students has increased to 48 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

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

Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Berbee, Mary Department of Botany systematics, molecular phylogenetics, fungi, mycology
Berciu, Mona Department of Physics & Astronomy condensed matter theory, strongly correlated systems, polarons, bipolarons
Berlinguette, Curtis Department of Chemistry, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering CO2 conversion and utilization, clean energy , advanced solar cells, electrochromic windows, dynamic windows, hydrogen fuels production, catalysis, robotics and automation, machine learning / artificial intelligence
Bertram, Allan Department of Chemistry Physical and analytical chemistry of atmospheric aerosols
Beschastnikh, Ivan Department of Computer Science cloud computing, distributed systems, software engineering, software analysis
Bizzotto, Dan Department of Chemistry electrochemistry, interfacial analysis, biosensors, spectroelectrochemistry, electrocatalysis, self assembled monolayers, fluorescence microscopy
Bloem-Reddy, Benjamin Department of Statistics
Bohlmann, Jorg Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany, Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions
Boley, Aaron Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomy and Astrophysics; Planet formation, protoplanetary disk evolution, formation of meteorite parent bodies
Bonn, Douglas Andrew Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter, high temperature superconductors, microwave measurements, crystal growth
Bostock, Michael Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences structure of the Canadian upper mantle, Geophysics, formation and evolution of the first continental landmasses, the structure and dynamics of subduction zones
Bouchard-Cote, Alexandre Department of Statistics machine/statistical learning; mathematical side of the subject as well as in applications in linguistics and biology
Bowman, William Department of Computer Science
Boyd, David Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Environmental Law and Policy, Human Rights and Environment, Rights of Nature, Environmental Justice, Plastic Pollution
Brauner, Colin Department of Zoology Gas exchange, ion regulation and acid-base balance in fish, Evolution and comparative physiology
Brumer, Harry Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemistry enzymes, polysaccharides, carbohydrates, biomass, cellulose, plant cell walls, microbiota
Bryan, Jim Department of Mathematics Quantum invariants
Bryman, Douglas Department of Physics & Astronomy Experimental Particle Physics, Applied physics, Physics
Burke, Sarah Department of Physics & Astronomy Scanning probe microscopy, organic materials, nanoscale materials, surface physics, photovoltaics
Bustin, Robert Marc Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Unconventional Petroleum Reservoirs
Campbell, Trevor Department of Statistics
Carenini, Giuseppe Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, user modeling, decision theory, machine learning, social issues in computing, computational linguistics, information visualization
Cautis, Sabin Department of Mathematics
Chan, Kai Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability ecosystem services, sustainability science, conservation science, cultural ecosystem services, environmental values, conservation finance, environmental assessment, social-ecological systems, resilience, payments for ecosystem services, incentive programs
Chau, Albert Department of Mathematics Differential Geometry and Partial Differential Equations


Graduate Student Profiles

Nicolás Ernesto Talloni Alvarez

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Multilevel Governance Analysis of Marine Fisheries Sustainability

Katharine Sedivy-Haley

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
Designing improved anti-infective peptides

Kelsey Huus

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
Gut microbiota in malnutrition and enteric disease
UBC graduate student Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson

Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
Climate change impacts on municipal water supply in Western Canada

Neha Choudhary

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Inorganic Medicinal Chemistry

Samuel Griffin

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Development of transition metal catalysts for C-C and C-N bond formation

Joseph Ogbede

Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
Defining and manipulating the effect of cell-cell variation on drug response
Thomas Kostelnik, PhD student

Thomas Kostelnik

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Chelator Development for Radiopharmaceuticals

Alumni on Success

Peter Caravan

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [1997]
Job Title
Co-Director, Institute for Innovation in Imaging and Associate Professor of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Michael Hoff

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD) [2012]
Job Title
Assistant Professor
University of Washington

Sherry Zhao

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2014]
Job Title
Senior Director, Strategic Accounts & Business Development

Glen Hearns

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD) [2010]
Job Title
Self Employed
Self Employed

Jean Michel Lauzon

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2013]
Job Title
Product Manager

Costanza Casiraghi

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD) [2012]
Job Title
Senior Scientist
Chiesi Pharmaceuticals

Bruce MacKay

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2004]
Job Title
Principal Chemist and Client Support Manager
Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Recent Thesis Submissions