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
Chen, David Department of Chemistry Instrumentation
Chen, Jingyi Department of Mathematics Differential geometry , partial differential equations
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
D'Arcy, Mitch Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geomorphology, Climate/palaeoclimate, Sedimentology, Geochronology, remote sensing
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 combine mathematical,computational and statistical tools to study fundamental biological processes, regulation and determinants of gene expression and translation
Davies, Jonathan Department of Botany Phylogenetics & Biodiversity. Development and application of phylogenetic methods in ecology and conservation biology
Dierker, Steve Department of Physics & Astronomy Collective dynamics of condensed matter systems, Dependence on reduced dimensionality, strong interactions, disorder, and mesoscale structure
Dipple, Gregory Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences carbon sequestration, geologic fluid flow, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
Doebeli, Michael Walter Department of Mathematics, Department of Zoology Mathematical ecology and evolution, evolution of diversity, adaptive speciation, evolution of cooperation, game theory, experimental evolution in microorganisms
Dowlatabadi, Hadi Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Energy Production, Economic Planning of Energy, Climate Changes and Impacts, Public Policies, New Technology and Social Impacts, Health Policies, Transportation Systems, The systematic study of systems at the interface of humans, nature, technology and policy
Eberhardt, Erik Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences landslides, rockslides, tunnelling, mining, rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering, Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering


Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications 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
2020 Dr. Coleman studied the regulation of swarming motility in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes lung and hospital-acquired infections. Her findings show that swarming, a multicellular movement that enables pathogens to spread over surfaces, is a complex behaviour that increases antibiotic resistance and influences disease virulence. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 The entry of calcium ions into immune cells stimulates cellular replication. Calcium channels participate in mediating calcium entry. Dr. Stanwood characterized antibodies against voltage-dependent calcium channels and discovered growth inhibitory effects against cells of lymphoma. The findings contribute to the field of cancer research. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 How natural is the link between topology and properties of materials? The first part of Dr. Sheinbaum Frank's thesis fills a gap in the classification of materials using a method that studies shapes using algebra, known as K-theory. What makes quantum mechanics weird? A new connection between K-theory and contextuality is presented in part 2. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Shim found that the protein CD45 regulates red blood cell progenitors in the spleen, which protect mice from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by interacting with cells in the spleen. This work shows the importance of CD45 as a modulator of immune response and suggests a novel approach to treating the systemic inflammation associated with IBD. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Scholer showed how avian traits, such as body size, number of eggs laid, and metabolic rate, along with a less seasonal climate, are all linked to the long lifespan of tropical birds. His work brings together some of the first empirical support for several key concepts in life history theory. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Rettie studied the performance of muon reconstruction and identification within the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He contributed to a search for new phenomena in events with two muons by analyzing proton-proton collisions. This search resulted in world-leading constraints placed on new physics scenarios. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Gatev developed a new method for analyzing epigenetic data to characterize genomic regions of concordant DNA methylation, which is an important part of the epigenome. His approach was used to characterize sex differences in DNA methylation of blood tissue. This work will improve statistical discovery and validation in future applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Bioinformatics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Colombo describes some of the first distributions of lead, iron, and manganese in the Canadian Arctic Ocean, as well as trace metals in remote rivers in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. His findings shed light on important biogeochemical processes and water masses circulation taking place in this unique and sensitive environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography (PhD)
2020 Dr. Munz examined how plants and algae respond to a lack of nitrogen, a macronutrient that is essential for growth and development. Using the genetics model of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a single-cell green algae, Dr. Munz makes a critical first step toward uncovering the elusive signaling mechanism that responds to cellular nitrogen status. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zwartsenberg discovered a novel quantum mechanical approach to switching materials from electrically conductive, to electrically non-conductive. His results are not only of importance to the understanding of fundamental physics, but also open up new avenues to explore in the design of future electronics and sensing materials. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)