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
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, Michael Department of Zoology Neuronal Systems; neuroscience; Neural circuits; Sensory systems; Feeding; Taste; Gustation; Drosophila; Chemosensation
Gordon, Julia Yulia Department of Mathematics Representation theory of p-adic groups and motivic integration; Trace Formula and its applications
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 Mineralogy and crystallography (except soil mineralogy and chemicals aspects of crystallography); Inorganic geochemistry; Economic geology; mineralogy; crystal chemistry; Geochemistry; economic geology; gem deposits; pegmatites
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
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
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
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
Haughn, George Department of Botany Molecular Genetics; Plants; Cellular Differentiation; plant cell wall biology; seed coat differentiation


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.


Publication: Canadian Journal of Cardiology
UBC Author(s): Raymond Tak-yan Ng (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0828282X
Volume: 36
Page Range: 1217-1227
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Science advances
UBC Author(s): Robert E Hancock (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 6
Page Range: eabc1828
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Alison Lister (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 11266708
Volume: 2020
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Evolution
UBC Author(s): Sarah Otto (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00143820
Volume: 74
Page Range: 1603-1619
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
UBC Author(s): Matthew Ramer (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15459683
Volume: 34
Page Range: 686-689
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
UBC Author(s): Susan Elizabeth Allen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21699275
Volume: 125
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Urban Health
UBC Author(s): Daniel Coombs (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10993460
Volume: 97
Page Range: 439-447
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Sustainability (Switzerland)
UBC Author(s): Gunilla Oberg (Institute for Resources,Environment & Sustainability / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 12
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Genetics
UBC Author(s): James Kronstad (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 215
Page Range: 1171-1189
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Clinical chemistry
UBC Author(s): Raymond Tak-yan Ng (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 66
Page Range: 1063-1071
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature Genetics
UBC Author(s): Keegan Korthauer (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10614036
Volume: 52
Page Range: 790-799
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Ecology
UBC Author(s): Christopher Harley (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00129658
Volume: 101
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Minerals
UBC Author(s): Ulrich Mayer (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 10
Page Range: 1-25
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Protein Science
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09618368
Volume: 29
Page Range: 1724-1747
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Calculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations
UBC Author(s): Juncheng Wei (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09442669
Volume: 59
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
UBC Author(s): Maya Kopylova (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00107999
Volume: 175
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Nature Chemical Biology
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15524450
Volume: 16
Page Range: 930
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Global Ecology and Biogeography
UBC Author(s): Diane Srivastava (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 1466822X
Volume: 29
Page Range: 1315-1327
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
UBC Author(s): Patrick John Keeling (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10557903
Volume: 149
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Antibiotics
UBC Author(s): Raymond Andersen (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00218820
Volume: 73
Page Range: 568-573
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
UBC Author(s): William Mohn (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 01054538
Volume: 75
Page Range: 1975-1986
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science), Daniel Pauly (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 118
Publication Date: August 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Imaging and Biology
UBC Author(s): Vesna Sossi (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 15361632
Volume: 22
Page Range: 931-939
Publication Date: 1 August 2020

View Publication


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. Kunimoto discovered 17 new planets outside of the Solar System, including one that may be considered potentially habitable. She also analyzed her planet catalogue to reveal important information about planet formation and evolution theories. Her results indicate that there may be as many as one Earth-like planet for every five Sun-like stars. Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wang investigated the genomic mechanisms of speciation, the process in which one lineage becomes more than one. She found that genetic underpinning of plumage coloration and mitonuclear coevolution were targets of selection in a Pacific Northwest warbler species complex. This research sheds light on the mechanisms that lead to biodiversity. Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wong studied membrane contact sites, locations in cells where membranes come together to share material and information. He discovered that a protein holding two membranes together also brings in other proteins that shuttle lipids between the two membranes. These studies provide fundamental insight into how cells use contact sites to survive. Doctor of Philosophy in Genome Science and Technology (PhD)
2020 Dr. Sajadi investigated the electronic properties of 2D topological insulators (TIs), a new class of materials with distinct electronic properties, and studied the interplay of 2D TIs with another exotic phase of matter: superconductivity. This work enhances our understanding of 2D TIs, and will pave the way towards topological quantum computing. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Mitchell worked to develop new data quality control and survey design methodologies specifically tailored for electrical and electromagnetic surveys collected in tunnel-based environments. These methodologies improve our ability to image the regions surrounding tunnels to mitigate hazards and map mineralized zones. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bowes investigated reductive elimination, a chemical reaction critical to the production of high-performance materials, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals. He developed a framework for predicting and controlling the outcome of this reaction that will inform more cost-effective and sustainable approaches to the preparation of these products. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Plourde studied how the distribution of earthquakes near tectonic plate boundaries is affected by the distribution of groundwater. To help unravel these tectonic systems, he presents new computational methods to illuminate detailed earthquake source processes. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Hernandez used state-of-the-art nuclear models and statistics to study the imprints of the nucleus on light from exotic atoms in which the nucleus is orbited by a muon instead of an electron. This work sheds light on recent experimental discrepancies and helps illuminate our understanding of the interplay between the nucleus and light. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2020 Dr. Zolaktaf examined ways of improving user interaction with data that is stored in large structured data sources. She developed algorithms and models that help users to explore, query, and analyze data more efficiently. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2020 Dr. Bolger-Munro investigated the role of the actin cytoskeleton in B cells, which are the antibody-producing cell of the immune system. Using sophisticated microscopy, her findings show the importance of the actin-related protein complex in amplifying B cell responses. This study provides new insights into how B cell activation is controlled. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)