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
Ryan, Katherine Department of Chemistry drug molecules in use today are organic compounds isolated from organisms such as bacteria, plants, and fungi; understand how natural products are made.
Salibian-Barrera, Matias Department of Statistics S-regression estimationg, robust statistics, functional principal component analysis, bootstrap estimators, rgam, clustering algorithm
Sammis, Glenn Department of Chemistry Methods development, natural product synthesis, organic free radicals, radical fluorination
Samuels, Anne Lacey Department of Botany plant cell biology, plant cell walls
Satterfield, Theresa Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Sustainable development, environmental health, First Nation & land management, social and cultural consequences of contamination
Schafer, Laurel Department of Chemistry catalysis, chemical synthesis, heterocycles, titanium, zirconium, yttrium, tantalum, hydroamination, hydroaminoalkyltion, biodegraable polymers, sustainable synthesis, Green Chemistry, Organometallic and organic chemistry
Schiebinger, Geoffrey Department of Mathematics
Schleich, Kristin Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, general relativity
Schluter, Dolph Department of Zoology Evolution of ecological diversity in groups of organisms that are multiplying rapidly
Schmidt, Mark Department of Computer Science Machine learning; Numerical Optimizaiton; Probabilistic Graphical Models; Causality
Schoof, Christian Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences glaciology, ice sheet dynamics, glacier hydrology, applied mathematics
Schotzau, Dominik Department of Mathematics Numerical methods for partial defferential equations, finite element methods, discontinuous Galerkin methods, scientific computing
Schulte, Patricia Department of Zoology Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, genomics, population genetics, and evolutionary biology to address the question, what are the physiological adaptations that allow animals to live in particular environments?
Scoates, James Stewart Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Origin and evolution of silicate magmas and mineralization potential; Applications of geochemistry and isotopic geochemistry to problems in petrology and mineral deposit geology; Physical volcanology and geochemical evolution of Large Igneous Provinces; Origin of igneous layering and the development of layered igneous intrusions; Petrologic, geochemical, isotopic, and geochronological aspects of Proterozoic anorthosite plutonic suites; Origin of magmatic Fe-Ti oxide, Cr, Ni, and PGE deposits
Scott, Douglas Department of Physics & Astronomy Science and Knowledge, Cosmology
Seltzer, Margo Department of Computer Science
Semenoff, Gordon Walter Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical and mathematical physics, the physics of elementary particles, condensed matter physics, String theory, quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, Moedal experiment, Large Hadron Collider, CERN
Shadwick, Robert Edward Department of Zoology Comparative Physiology Fish and whale swimming, Whale feeding and diving, Whale arteries and lungs
Sheffer, Alla Department of Computer Science Computer graphics, shape modeling and geometry processing
Shepherd, Frederick Department of Computer Science algorithms, optimization, convex geometry, and graph theory
Sherman, John Department of Chemistry Molecular structure of protein
Sigal, Leonid Department of Computer Science Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Statistics, Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Visual Recognition and Understanding, Vision + Natural Language Processing, Semantic Recognition
Sigurdson, Kris Department of Physics & Astronomy The Universe, Cosmology, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Particle Physics, Astrophysics, Cosmic Microwave Background, Cosmic 21-cm Fluctuations, Radio Astronomy, CHIME
Silberman, Lior Department of Mathematics Mathematics, Metric geometry, Number theory, Automorphic forms, Analysis on manifolds, Topology, Homogenous dynamics, Representation Theory, Group Theory
Slade, Gordon Department of Mathematics Renormalisation, Lace explansion, self-avoiding walk, scaling limits


Graduate Student Profiles

Harold Eyster

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Conservation science

Benjamin Scheifele

Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
Mixing and Turbulence in the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic)

Egor Larionov

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
Contact Mechanics in Physically-based Simulation

Amelia Hesketh

Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
Potential impacts of ocean acidification on the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

Balsher Singh Sidhu

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Reorienting rainfed agriculture: Increasing resilience to climate variability through optimized irrigation strategies

MengXing Na

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
Coherent control of ultrafast dynamics of materials studied with time and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy

Julia Huggins

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
Oxygen loss in our oceans and the environmental impacts of marine microorganisms

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
Director, 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
Pre-clinical Scientist
Chiesi Group

Bruce MacKay

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

Recent Thesis Submissions