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

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. Brown developed metal complexes that manipulate light. He demonstrated that the number of oxygen atoms bonded to a sulfur atom can finely tune the properties of metal complexes, in particular regarding the colour of light emitted from a material. This work opens a new avenue of control for lighting technologies. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Siren completed her doctoral studies in the field of biomaterials chemistry. She studied how naturally occurring polymers at the blood vessel surface influence the immune response. These findings led to the development of a synthetic polymer-based therapeutic which was used to suppress the onset of organ rejection with reduced side-effects. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cutts used novel radiometric dating methods to study the dynamics of Himalayan-style mountain building and the role of the mantle in preserving Earth's oldest crust. His results provide key insight and predictions into the uniformity of continental collision through time and on the feedbacks and interactions between the crust and mantle and the other Earth systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
2019 Dr. Milbury analyzed the effects of common blood cancer mutations to determine how they may contribute to the development of cancer. She demonstrated that cancer mutations in the gene DIS3 interfere with the stability of DNA in a yeast cell model. This finding could influence drug selection for patients carrying these mutations. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2019 Dr. Page developed sensitive detectors designed to detect dark matter particles. To search for the dark matter particles, he operated the detectors from a low-radiation cavern in a mine half a mile underground. Analysis of data from the detectors ruled out certain dark matter particles with a mass close to the proton mass. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Sun studied the regulation of plant immune responses mediated by two transcription factors, which were found to play a broad role in plant immunity. His study also provided new insight on how plants perceive salicylic acid, an essential plant defense hormone. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2019 Dr. Dettelbach demonstrated how ultraviolet light could be used to produce a silver-copper alloy that is difficult to obtain through commonly used methods. This alloy has applications toward clean energy conversion. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Wang explored scientific advancement in analytical methods for the quantification of small molecule medicines and the characterization of complex biopharmaceutical substances. His study assists people in producing medicines with better safety and efficacy. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Heagy studied the use of electromagnetic data for monitoring hydraulic fracturing operations. Her work contributed to the understanding of electromagnetic fields and fluxes in settings with steel-cased wells, as well as the development of open-source software tools for building models of the subsurface from geophysical data. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Ahmed worked on developing better optimization algorithms. Optimization plays a key role in building more efficient artificial intelligence systems. Through Dr. Ahmed's work, machine learning systems can be trained faster and use less computer memory. This work has a lot of applications such as computer vision and natural language processing. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)