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.

Mission
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

Physics

Sustainability

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
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 application of homotopy-theoretic methods to problems in, or inspired by, algebra and algebraic geometry.
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
Wood, Frank Department of Computer Science
Wu, Lang Department of Statistics Biostatistics
Xiao, Robert Department of Computer Science
Ye, Ziliang Department of Physics & Astronomy Optics and Photonics, Nanomaterials
Yilmaz, Ozgur Department of Mathematics Mathematical problems related to analog-to-digital conversion, blind source separation, sparse approximations and compressed sensing, and applications in seismic signal processing
Yoon, Dongwook Department of Computer Science Computer Science and Statistics, Design, Educational Technologies, Human-computer interaction (HCI), Multimodal interaction, Interaction and interface design, Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), Educational technology, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Speech, touch, multitouch, stylus, gesture, mixed-reality, 3d interaction
Young, Jeff Department of Physics & Astronomy Photonics, condensed matter physics, atomic, molecular, and optical physics, photonic crystals, nonlinear optics, spintronics
Zahl, Joshua Department of Mathematics classical harmonic analysis, discrete geometry, Kakeya-type maximal functions
Zamar, Ruben Department of Statistics Data mining and text mining, Modeling data quality, Development of new robust procedures, Statistical computing, Bioinformatics
Zhang, Yuelin Department of Botany Plants, Immune Reactions, Plant immunity, Systemic acquired resistance, ROS signaling, MAPK signaling, plant immune receptors
Zhao, Jiaying Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Psychology Psychology - Biological Aspects, Environment and Society, Socio-Economic Conditions, Cognitive Science, Poverty, Sustainability, Behavior Change, Public Policy
Zhitnitsky, Ariel Department of Physics & Astronomy Particle theory, cosmology, quantum chromodymics, hadrons, axion physics, physcs of neutron stars, inflation models, dark matter problem
Zhou, Fei Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter and theoretical physics, Ultra Cold Atoms Near Resonances
Zou, Ke Department of Physics & Astronomy 2D crystals, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) synthesis, heterostructures, gated field effect transistors (FETs)

Pages

Graduate Student Profiles

Yasha Pushak

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
Automated algorithm configuration for solving large-scale computational problems

Xunyu Liang

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
Dark matter in form of the axion quark nuggets

Florian Lüskow

Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
Trophodynamics of planktonic communities in coastal British Columbian waters, with focus on gelatinous zooplankton

Julia Huggins

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

Jamie Fenneman

Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
A Taxonomic Revision of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae) in British Columbia

Mihai Cirstea

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
The Microbiome and Parkinson's Disease

Sandeep Pai

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Evaluating ‘Just Transition’ policies for coal workers in Alberta, Canada

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
Employer
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Michael Hoff

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

Sherry Zhao

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2014]
Job Title
Director, Business Development
Employer
Mitacs

Glen Hearns

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

Jean Michel Lauzon

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

Costanza Casiraghi

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD) [2012]
Job Title
Pre-clinical Scientist
Employer
Chiesi Group

Peter Frischmann

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2010]
Job Title
Co-Founder & CTO
Employer
Sepion Technologies

Recent Thesis Submissions