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
Giang, Amanda Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Mechanical Engineering Atmospheric Pollutants, Climate Changes and Impacts, Chemical Pollutants, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Public Policies
Gladman, Brett Department of Physics & Astronomy Astronomy, Planetary Science, meteorites, astrobiology, Solar system formation and evolution
Gold, Michael Department of Microbiology & Immunology understanding cell signaling, morphology, trafficking, and effector function of immune cells and tumour cells
Gordon, Julia Yulia Department of Mathematics Representation theory of p-adic groups and motivic integration; Trace Formula and its applications
Gordon, Michael Department of Zoology Neuronal Systems, Neuroscience, Neural circuits, Sensory systems, Feeding, Taste, Gustation, Drosophila, Chemosensation
Graham, Sean Department of Botany Plant phylogenetics, Plant systematics, Plant evolution, Organelles, Phylogenomics, Land plants, Mycoheterotrophs
Grant, Edward Department of Chemistry Spectroscopy, molecular electronic structure, Chemical physics
Greenstreet, Mark Department of Computer Science Dynamic systems, formal methods, hybrid systems, differential equations
Greif, Chen Department of Computer Science Numerical Analysis, scientific computing, numerical linear algebra, iterative linear solvers, constrained optimization, numerical solution of partial differential equations
Groat, Lee Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences geology, mineralogy, minerals, crystallography, gems, pegmatite, rare elements, rare earth elements, carbonatites, Mineralogy, crystal chemistry and mineral physics, granitic pegmatites, environmental mineralogy, and the mineralogy of gemstones
Gustafson, Stephen James Department of Mathematics Mathematical Analysis, Differential Equation, Global and Non-Linear Analysis, Mathematical physics, Nonlinear partial differential equations, Topological solitons, Nonlinear waves
Gustafson, Paul Department of Statistics Meta-Analysis, Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference, Theoretical Statistics, Pharmacoepidemiology, Bayesian statistical methods, Causal inference, Evidence synthesis, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Partial Identification
Haber, Eldad Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Scientific computing and its application to geophysical and medical imaging
Hallam, Steven Department of Microbiology & Immunology methanogenesis, methane oxidation, methyl coenzyme M reductase, metagenomics, environmental microbiology, genomics, proteomics, microbial ecology, systems biology, archaea, energy, bioinformatics, Microbial communities, construction and interpretation of environmental genomic libraries, generation of computational tools and workflows for taxonomic and functional binning, population genome assembly, and comparative community analysis, development and functional screens to interrogate environmental genomic libraries for bioactive small molecules and biocatalysis
Hallas, Alannah Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum Phenomena, Quantum materials, Materials design and discovery, Magnetism
Halpern, Mark Department of Physics & Astronomy Cosmology, Cosmic background radiation, history of star formation, measuring the geometry and contents of the Universe, satellites, balloon-borne telescopes, the physics of music, Physics of music, Cosmic Microwave Background, Physical Cosmology, Star formation history
Hancock, Robert E Department of Microbiology & Immunology Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides, Host Defence Peptides and Innate Immunity, Functional Genomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Regulation of Antibiotic Resistance, Array Data, Self-promoted uptake hypothesis
Haney, Cara Department of Microbiology & Immunology genetic and metabolic factors that regulate assembly of host-associated microbial communities (
Harder, Kenneth Department of Microbiology & Immunology Host-pathogen, tumours, infection, immunity, atherosclerosis, role of macrophages in inflammation
Harley, Christopher Department of Zoology, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Ecology and Quality of the Environment, community ecology, climate change, marine invertebrates, marine algae
Harris, Leila Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Drinking Water, Fresh Water, Water, Resources Management, Development Policies, International Development, Gender Relationship, Ethics and Fundamental Issues of Law and Justice, Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection, Social Contract and Social Justice, water politics, water governance, Environmental justice, gender and social difference, equity and social justice, participatory resource management, Turkey and Middle East, Africa , Ghana, South Africa
Hart, Craig Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences mineral exploration, gold deposits, copper, exploration methods, global resources, Yukon, China, Mongolia, Alaska, Ring of Fire, tectonics, magma, mineral deposits, ore, assay, , Economic Geology, Exploration Targeting and Regional Metallogeny
Harvey, Nicholas Department of Computer Science randomized algorithms, combinatorial optimization, graph sparsification, discrepancy theory and learning theory; algorithmic problems arising in computer networking, including cache analysis, load balancing, data replication, peer-to-peer networks, and network coding.
Hasinoff, Michael Department of Physics & Astronomy Low-energy particle physics
Hauert, Christoph Department of Mathematics Modelization and Simulation, Evolution and Phylogenesis, Biological Behavior, evolution, game theory, social dilemmas, dynamical systems, stochastic processes


Graduate Student Profiles

Xunyu Liang

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

Amelia Hesketh

Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
Potential impacts of ocean acidification on the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas
Thomas Kostelnik, PhD student

Thomas Kostelnik

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Chelator Development for Radiopharmaceuticals

Erika Gavenus

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Coastal resource access and social-ecological systems as they relate to community health

Caitlin Pritchard

Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology (MSc)
The role of cytoskeletal dynamics and organization in mast cell activation

John Driscoll

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Fisheries and food security
UBC graduate student Joseph Zsombor-Pindera

Joseph Zsombor-Pindera

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Exploring the electronic structure and reactivity of transition metal complexes of redox non-innocent ligands through spectroscopy and computational chemistry

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

Bruce MacKay

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD) [2004]
Job Title
Principal Chemist and Client Support Manager
Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Recent Thesis Submissions