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
Van de Panne, Michiel Department of Computer Science Computer Science and Statistics; Computer Sciences and Mathematical Tools; Robotics and Automation; simulation of human movement; computer animation; Robotics; deep reinforcement learning; motor control; computer graphics
Van Raamsdonk, Mark Department of Physics & Astronomy elementary particle theory, high energy theory.  , String theory, quantum field theory, quantum gravity
Van Waerbeke, Ludovic Department of Physics & Astronomy astrophysics, cosmology, dark energy, universe, gravitational lensing, galaxy, galaxies, Cosmology, dark matter, galaxy formation, structure formation
Van Willigenburg, Stephanie Department of Mathematics Combinatorics and discrete mathematics; algebraic combinatorics; Coxeter group; quasisymmetric function; Schur functions and generalizations; chromatic symmetric function
Vatsal, Vinayak Department of Mathematics Canonical periods, congruence formula, elliptic curve, Iwasawa invariants, Heegner points, L-functions
Vincent, Amanda Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Marine Environment; Fishery Resources; Sustainable Development; Protected Areas; Biodiversity and Biocomplexity; Ecology and Quality of the Environment; ocean conservation; threatened marine species, especially seahorses and their relatives; marine protected areas; Small-scale fisheries; nonselective fisheries, especially trawling; wildlife trade; community-based conservation; citizen science; multilateral environmental agreements
Wabnitz, Colette
Wachs, Anthony Department of Mathematics, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Fluidization and fluid mechanics; Process control and simulation in chemical engineering; Numerical computation; Fluid mechanics; Particle-laden flows; Non Newtonian flows; Heat and mass transfer; Numerical simulation; High performance computing; Multi-scale modelling
Wagner, Alan Department of Computer Science Parallel computation, interconnection networks, parallel programming environments
Waltham, Christopher Department of Physics & Astronomy Musical Acoustics
Wang, Yan Department of Chemistry Quantum chemistry, Chemical physics
Ward, Michael Jeffrey Department of Mathematics Applied analysis, singular perturbations, reaction-diffusion theory, mathematical modeling and scientific compution, nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Wasteneys, Geoff Department of Botany Cell Signaling; Hormones and Growth Factors; Molecular Genetics; Plant Growth and Development; Microtubule Dynamics and Organization; Trafficking of Membrane Receptors and Transporters; Cellulose Biosynthesis; Plant Cell Walls in Cell Shape and Tissue Function; Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress
Waterman, Stephanie Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Ocean dynamics, Scale interactions, Oceanic processes, Arctic oceanography, Southern ocean dynamics, Western boundary current jets, Geophysical fluid dynamics, jets, eddies & scale interactions
Watson, Liam Department of Mathematics Topology; Low-dimensional topology; Khovanov homology; Heegaard Floer homology
Wei, Juncheng Department of Mathematics Mathematics; Nonlinear partial differential equations; applied and geometric analysis; reaction-diffusion systems; singular perturbations and concentration phenomena; Mathematical biology; singularity formations in fluids
Weis, Dominique Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Earth Structure and Composition; Geodynamics; Chemical Pollutants; Earth Sciences; Geochemistry; Oceanic islands and mantle plumes; Environmental geochemistry; High-precision/sensitivity geochemical analyses; Indigenous studies
Welch, William Department of Statistics , Design of experiments, experiments with computer models, data mining, drug discovery, quality improvement
Wetton, Brian Department of Mathematics Scientific computing, fluid mechanics
Whitehead, Lorne Department of Physics & Astronomy Applied physics, especially novel geometrical approaches; Applied optics; Illuminating engineering and display technology
Whitlock, Michael Department of Zoology Evolutionary Genetics; Population Genetics
Whitton, Jeannette Department of Botany Evolution and Phylogenesis; Plant Reproduction; Vulnerable and Threatened Species; Plant evolutionary ecology; Evolution of asexuality; Evolution of polyploids; Speciation/ diversification; Species at risk; Conservation policy
Williams, Thomas Department of Mathematics Topology; Algebra; Algebraic topology; Motivic homotopy theory; A1 homotopy theory
Withers, Stephen Department of Chemistry Enzymes and Proteins; Blood Substitutes; Organic Molecules and Biomolecules; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Diabetes; Drug development; enzyme inhibition; carbohydrates; glycobiology; metagenomics; directed evolution
Wolf, Michael Department of Chemistry materials chemistry; polymer light-emitting devices; chemical sensors; conductive polymers, Electronic or photonic polymers


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 Myelin is a material in the brain which is damaged by certain diseases. Dr. Manning researched techniques to better detect myelin with an MRI scan. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Ivo Odon completed his research in the field of Atmospheric Sciences. He investigated the behaviour of extreme weather events across BC, and the impacts of climate change on such events. The results of his dissertation are being used by BC Hydro so they can better prepare for peaks in electricity demand and power outages. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)
2019 Dr. Sharma pioneered a method to examine the landscape of protein targets that can be recognized by a specialized class of immune cells called T cells. This method enables us to explore how the immune system successfully protects the body from possible threats and use this knowledge to develop new immune-based therapies for a wide array of diseases. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Si investigated the particles that catalyze ice formation in the atmosphere. These particles influence clouds, precipitation, and climate. She quantified the concentrations, properties, and identified sources of these ice-nucleating particles at remote Canadian environments. Her findings can help improve the accuracy of climate models. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Nanavati examined how modern high-performance servers can safely be shared across multiple applications. He then developed systems that enabled high resource efficiency on these shared servers, while isolating applications and providing them with virtual hardware abstractions, all with performance comparable to dedicated hardware. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2019 Dr. Maki studied the motion of expanding strongly interacting atomic gases. His research showed that the symmetry associated with fractals, a type of geometric figure, enables predictions about the rate of expansion for these gases. This research improves our understanding of atomic gases, which are a prime candidate for novel quantum technologies. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kuatsjah's work describes the characterization of three different enzymes that microorganisms use to degrade lignin. This work provides insights into how microorganisms contribute to the global carbon cycle and how Nature uses metals in enzymes. It also facilitates the development of tools to transform plant biomass into commodity chemicals. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Carlquist developed a method to map experimental measurements onto mathematical models that describe how a system changes in time and space. Applying his method, he unravelled the mechanism underlying dynamic pattern formation in the E. coli Min system, one of the simplest biological systems known to demonstrate diverse complex dynamic behaviour. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Mustoe specialised in understanding weak chemical bonds. To resolve an argument in her field, she developed a new method to study halogen bonds. She used this method to identify when these bonds can play an important role, such as helping generate electricity in solar cells. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Sous studied bipolarons, a type of paired electron, and localization. His results show that bipolarons can be very light, opening the possibility to a new mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity. His work also explains the non-equilibrium behaviour of quenched molecular gases in terms of the quantum phenomenon of localization. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)