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

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
Solymosi, Jozsef Department of Mathematics Additive Combinatorics, Discrete and Computational Geometry, Graph theory, and Combinatorial Number Theory
Song, Liang Department of Botany Plant genomics; Environmental stresses; Seed development; Gene Expression
Sossi, Vesna Department of Physics & Astronomy Medical Imaging, Brain imaging
Srivastava, Diane Department of Zoology biodiversity, tropics, Costa Rica, insects, mites, food webs, habitat loss, Community ecology, conservation, how species loss from food webs can affect the way ecosystems function
Stairs, Ingrid Department of Physics & Astronomy pulsars, gravity, general relativity, radio astronomy, radio pulsars, pulsar searches and long-term timing, Radio astronomy
Stamp, Philip C Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, strongly-correlated condensed matter systems, quantum magnetism, decoherence, quantum information, gravity
Straus, Suzana Department of Chemistry Proteins; Antimicrobial peptides; Viral membrane proteins; Structure-function; Protein-protein interactions
Stull, Roland Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Meteorology and weather; weather; Meteorology; atmospheric science; numerical weather prediction; clean energy meteorology; storms; transportation weather; forest fire weather; weather disasters; atmospheric boundary layers; aviation meteorology
Sugioka, Kenji Department of Zoology Basic medicine and life sciences; Cell division; Animal morphogenesis; Cytoskeletal dynamics
Sumaila, Ussif Rashid Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs Bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries
Suttle, Curtis Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Botany, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Marine Environment; Microbial Diversity; Marine Microbiology; Environmental Virology; Biological Oceanography; Viral Discovery; Viruses; Phage
Tanner, Martin Department of Chemistry Enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of the sialic acids in mammals
Taylor, Eric Department of Zoology Genomics; Evolutionary Genetics; biodiversity; speciation; fishes; conservation; biogeography
Tetzlaff, Wolfram Department of Zoology Neural development and regeneration
Thachuk, Mark Department of Chemistry Reaction dynamics, mathematical techniques, Chemical physics
Thompson, Charles Department of Microbiology & Immunology Regulation of bacterial gene expression
Tocheva, Elitza Department of Microbiology & Immunology Microbiology; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Functional and Structural Proteomics; Microbial Ultrastructure; Cryo-electron tomography and Structural Biology; bacterial physiology; Microbial Diversity; Secretion systems and Mechanisms of pathogenesis; Novel bacterial phyla
Tokuriki, Nobuhiko Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Experimental evolution of proteins and molecular networks.
Tortell, Philippe Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Botany Biological / Chemical Oceanography, Climate-active Trace Gases, Primary Productvity, Polar Marine Ecosystems
Trites, Andrew Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries marine mammals, seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, fisheries competition, population biology, ecology, Marine mamals research centre, biology of marine mammals, population dynamics, bioenergetics, fisheries
Tropini, Carolina Department of Microbiology & Immunology Bacteria; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Bioinformatics; Microbiology; Gut microbiota; Bacteriophages; Bioengineering; Biophysics; Inflammatory bowel disease
Tsai, Tai-Peng Department of Mathematics Differential equations and integral equations in pure mathematics; Partial Differential Equations; Mathematical physics
Tseng, Michelle Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Ecology and Quality of the Environment; Ecology; Evolutionary Biology
Turner, Robin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Biomedical Technologies
Unruh, William Department of Physics & Astronomy black holes; cosmology; quantum computers; theory of gravity


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.


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
2019 Dr. Giacomin investigated how different species of fish deal with environmental stressors. As the world's aquatic environments become more variable due to human impacts and climate change, the findings of her thesis advance our understanding of how diverse species of fish can cope and survive in challenging environments. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Yu developed statistical models and methods that can assess associations between longitudinal data and survival data, and handle the complications in the longitudinal data simultaneously. She applied her methods to an HIV vaccine study and discovered significant relationships between the risk of HIV infection and some immune response biomarkers. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Fortune discovered that bowhead whales feed year-round in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, and use flexible feeding strategies that may help them adapt to climate induced changes in their prey. She also found that bowheads slough their skin and rub against rocks to exfoliate - providing a new understanding of bowhead whale biology. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Lever developed methods to extract biomedical knowledge from published academic papers. Working at BC Cancer's Genome Sciences Centre, he used machine learning approaches to find genetic information useful to clinicians treating cancer patients in a personalized way. His results are accessed daily by cancer researchers around the world. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Marquez used a mouse model to study the relationship between Epstein-Barr Virus (the virus that causes Infectious Mononucleosis) and the development of Multiple Sclerosis (or MS). She found that B cells infected with the mouse version of Epstein-Barr directly contribute to the worsening of the mouse version of MS. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Martens studied the surface chemistry of platinum catalysts inside hydrogen fuel cells. A better mechanistic understanding of corrosion and degradation in these devices is critical for the development of economically viable clean power systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Granados studied the formation of Jupiter sized planets that are very close to their host star. Using numerical simulations, she found that under certain conditions, these 'close-in Jupiters' can form in the region we observe them today through multiple planet-to-planet collisions while there is still considerable amount of gas present in the protoplanetary disk. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (PhD)
2019 Dr. Charette studied pattern formations on evolving surfaces. He provided new findings on the bifurcations of reaction-diffusion systems and developed a numerical method to demonstrate his findings using the Closest Point Method. His work can be extended to many other evolving domain problems. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2019 Researchers today are able to study the behaviour of deep diving animals via sensors that generate high volumes of data. Dr. Fu developed automatic data analytic methods to group dive depth trajectories of southern elephant seals by dive shape. His methods help researchers understand seals' foraging and resting behaviour. Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Hund investigated the impacts of climate change and population growth on water supplies in the seasonally-dry tropics. She monitored streams and groundwater, modelled future climate scenarios, and worked with communities to develop novel tools to support adaptation to drought. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)