Q&A: How the human right to a healthy environment can help protect us all
From the COVID-19 pandemic to the raging wildfires in Australia and the U.S., scientific evidence shows an increase in planetary...
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.
Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology
Computational Sciences and Mathematics
Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Genomics and Biological Sciences
Chemistry and Materials Science
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.
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.
This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Science.
|2019||Dr. Fenneman revised the taxonomy of two genera of plants in the sunflower family, and developed novel criteria for the defining of these species in British Columbia. These developments will help to better understand the biodiversity of the province, and provide a stronger framework for species conservation.||Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Liu studied the free-surface flow of non-Newtonian fluids under gravity. His research provides insights in the dynamics of visco-plastic dambreak problems in different contexts. His results can be applied in many industrial and natural processes ranging from cementing to glacier movement.||Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Zhang mapped global seahorse populations to reveal distribution and threat patterns for these data-poor marine fishes. He discovered which seahorses are threatened and what the major threats are. This work will help prioritize urgently needed conservation plans, inform fishery policies and support the establishment of marine protected areas.||Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Zhu studied the optimal mapping problem: finding a bijective function between two topologically equivalent or inequivalent shapes. He developed several mapping algorithms that play crucial roles in many computer graphic applications such as planar embedding of curved surface, mesh deformation, and elastic simulations.||Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Hawkshaw explored the interaction of salmon and fisheries. He developed models to balance catch and escapement, estimate run timing, and manage fisheries based on in-season data. This research will inform better management of salmon fisheries.||Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Mittelholz explored the magnetic field environment of Mars, addressing the crustal, ionospheric and magnetospheric fields from satellite data. Her work also addressed the longevity of the ancient dynamo field, a constraint on Mars' early thermal evolution.||Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Irish researched the concentrations, properties and sources of particles that catalyse the formation of ice crystals in clouds in the Arctic. The results from this research will be used in numerical models for predicting future climate in this region.||Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)|
|2019||The ongoing loss of mountain glaciers influences sea level rise and the supply of freshwater to communities and ecosystems. Through observations in the mountains of British Columbia, Dr. Fitzpatrick examined the atmospheric conditions affecting melt rates, and developed methods to better understand the response of glaciers in a changing climate.||Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (PhD)|
|2019||DNA sequencing machines read the A, C, G, and T nucleotides that compose chromosomes, but they read only short snippets of DNA and make errors. Dr. Jackman developed tools to reconstruct the true genome sequence from imperfect DNA sequencing reads. He used these tools to assemble the western red cedar genome, which is four times larger than the human genome.||Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)|
|2019||Dr. Kleynhans studied how species evolve to environmental change when interacting with other species. She found that species interactions alter the probability of persistence and trajectory of evolution. Findings show that overall, the community in which a species lives profoundly influences how it evolves to climate change.||Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)|