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

Name Academic Unit(s) Research Interests
Chan, Kai Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Human Ecology, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Applied Ethics, Values and Lifestyles, Sustainable Development, ecosystem services, sustainability science, conservation science, cultural ecosystem services, environmental values, conservation finance, environmental assessment, social-ecological systems, resilience, payments for ecosystem services, incentive programs
Chau, Albert Department of Mathematics Differential Geometry and Partial Differential Equations
Chen, David Department of Chemistry Instrumentation
Chen, Jingyi Department of Mathematics Differential geometry , partial differential equations
Chen, Jiahua Department of Statistics finite mixture model, empirical likelihood, asymptotic theory, sample survey
Cheung, Wai Lung Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services
Choptuik, Matthew Department of Physics & Astronomy Theoretical physics, Relativity/Computational Physics
Chou, Keng Chang Department of Chemistry Chemical physics
Christensen, Villy Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Ecosystem (Aquatic and Terrestrial), Ecological Trends, Fishery Resources, Marine Environment
Ciufolini, Marco Department of Chemistry organic chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, synthetic methodology, natural products, Environmentally responsible preparative reactions
Cohen Freue, Gabriela Department of Statistics statistical genomics (focus in proteomics), robust estimation and inference, linear models with endogeneity
Colliander, James Department of Mathematics hamiltonian dynamical systems; partial differential equations; harmonic analysis
Conati, Cristina Department of Computer Science artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, affective computing, personalized interfaces, intelligent user interfaces, intelligent interface agents, virtual agent, user-adapted interaction, computer-assisted education, educational computer games, computers in education, user-adaptive interaction, Artificial intelligence, adaptive interfaces, cognitive systems, user modelling
Condon, Anne Department of Computer Science Algorithms, Molecular Programming
Coombs, Daniel Department of Mathematics Cell Signaling and Infectious and Immune Diseases, Mathematics, Epidemiology, Mathematical biology, Cell biophysics, Immune cell signalling, Disease models
Cronk, Quentin Charles Department of Botany Comparative genomics, molecular developmental biology and evolutionary biology to study plant form
Crowe, Sean Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geobiology, biogeochemistry, microbial evolution
Cytrynbaum, Eric Department of Mathematics Bacterial cell division, Microtubule and cellular organization, Wave propagation in excitable media
Dake, Gregory Department of Chemistry Organic, bioactive, metal as catalyist
Damascelli, Andrea Department of Physics & Astronomy Electronic structure of solids, strongly correlated electron systems, low dimensional spin systems, thin films and nanostructures, transition metal oxides, high-Tc superconductors, linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopies, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy, synchrotron based spectroscopies., Electronic structure of novel complex systems in nanostructured materials
Dao Duc, Khanh Department of Mathematics
Davies, Jonathan Department of Botany Phylogenetics & Biodiversity. Development and application of phylogenetic methods in ecology and conservation biology
Dean, Gillian Plants, Genes, Cell wall, plant development, genetics, mutants, cell biology
Dierker, Steve Department of Physics & Astronomy
Dipple, Gregory Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences carbon sequestration, geologic fluid flow, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions


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
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Michael Hoff

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

Sherry Zhao

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

Glen Hearns

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

Jean Michel Lauzon

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

Costanza Casiraghi

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

Peter Frischmann

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

Recent Thesis Submissions