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
Haughn, George Department of Botany Molecular Genetics, Plants, Cellular Differentiation, plant cell wall biology, seed coat differentiation
Haynes, Charles Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Protein purification, recombinant proteins, molecular thermodynamics, biocompatible polymers
Hearty, Christopher Department of Physics & Astronomy Subatomic physics, Experimental Particle Physics Research
Heckman, Nancy Department of Statistics Statistics and Probabilities, functional data analysis, smoothing, splines
Hein, Jason Department of Chemistry discovery, design and study of new organometallic and organocatalytic reactions; investigating complex systems where multiple pathways compete, partitioning the active catalyst among many possible pathways
Hepburn, John Department of Chemistry, Department of Physics & Astronomy Chemical physics
Hermon, Jonathan Department of Mathematics
Heyl, Jeremy Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum Phenomena, Stellar, Astrophysics, Stellar Physics, Quantum-Field Theory, Neutron Stars, Black Holes
Hickey, Kenneth Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences understand the processes involved in the genesis of mineral deposits from a multidisciplinary perspective; Post-mineralization weathering, denudation and subsequent burial of Carlin-type Au-mineralization at the Cortez Hills deposit: Implications for finding Au-deposits in bedrock under cover.
Hickson, Paul Department of Physics & Astronomy cosmology, galaxies, telescopes, adaptive optics., Astronomy, astrophysics, Galaxies, clusters, instrumentation, adaptive optics
Hieter, Philip Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Medical Genetics Molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosome transmission
Hinshaw, Gary Department of Physics & Astronomy cosmology, cosmic background radiation, Cosmology, Measuring diffuse background radiations
Hirst, Martin Department of Microbiology & Immunology Carcinogenesis, Leukemia, Cellular Differentiation, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Molecular Genetics, Epigenomics
Holmes, Reid Department of Computer Science computer science, software engineering, software testing, software quality, open source software, software development tools, software comprehension, static analysis
Horwitz, Marc Department of Microbiology & Immunology Mechanisms of viral-induced immune disease in a variety of complex chronic disorders
Hu, Alan Department of Computer Science formal verification, formal methods, model checking, software analysis, post-silicon validation, security, nonce to detect automated mining of profiles
Huan, Tao Department of Chemistry Metabolic measurements, Metabolomics, Cellular Metabolism
Hudson, Zachary Department of Chemistry development of new materials to address issues of sustainability in chemistry and materials science
Hunt, Brian Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries plankton dynamics, British Columbia coastal ecosystems
Hutchinson, Norman Department of Computer Science Computer Systems, distributed systems, File Systems, Virtualization
Irwin, Darren Department of Zoology Evolutionary Genetics, speciation, hybridization, ornithology, seasonal migration, genomic differentiation
Jankowski, Jill Department of Zoology Ecology
Jean, Francois Department of Microbiology & Immunology Viral Infections, Virus, Virus (Living Organisms), Antivirals, Cell Therapy of Infectious and Immune Diseases, Bioactive Molecules, Infectious Diseases, Molecular virology, Host-virus interactions, Cellular proprotein convertases, Emerging human viruses, Mosquito-borne viruses, Dengue virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Influenza A virus, Antiviral agents, Natural products as antiviral agents, Broad-based antiviral therapeutics, Lipid-modulating drugs, Human microRNAs, Therapeutic microRNA, Viral and cellular biomarkers, Molecular diagnostics for detecting viral infection, Circulating exosomes, Exosomal microRNAs
Jefferies, Wilfred Arthur Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Medical Genetics, Department of Microbiology & Immunology Iron transport molecules
Jellinek, Mark Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Volcanology, Geodynamics, Planetary Science, Geological Fluid Mechanics


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 Oleaginous bacteria have considerable potential for the sustainable production of lipid-based chemicals. Dr. Round's research characterized and exploited lipid biosynthesis enzymes to create a biocatalyst. The work provides insight into bacterial lipid biosynthesis and facilitates the development of processes to sustainably produce oleochemicals. Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
2019 The ongoing loss of mountain glaciers influences sea level rise and the supply of freshwater to communities and ecosystems. Through observations in the mountains of British Columbia, Dr. Fitzpatrick examined the atmospheric conditions affecting melt rates, and developed methods to better understand the response of glaciers in a changing climate. Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science (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. Sadek demonstrated novel uses of organofluoroborates as sources of fluorine for chemical reactions, and synthesized boron and fluorine containing fluorescent molecules with novel structures and properties. These works serve to expand the chemical reactivity of organofluoroborates as well as the development of potential tools for medical imaging. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Myelin is a material in the brain which is damaged by certain diseases. Dr. Manning researched techniques to better detect myelin with an MRI scan. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Nanavati examined how modern high-performance servers can safely be shared across multiple applications. He then developed systems that enabled high resource efficiency on these shared servers, while isolating applications and providing them with virtual hardware abstractions, all with performance comparable to dedicated hardware. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (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. Liu studied plant immunity using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Her studies provide new insights on how plants sense pathogens and regulate defense responses, which help us better understand the complicated plant immune system Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2019 Dr. Liu studied the free-surface flow of non-Newtonian fluids under gravity. His research provides insights in the dynamics of visco-plastic dambreak problems in different contexts. His results can be applied in many industrial and natural processes ranging from cementing to glacier movement. Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Belliveau developed algorithms that produce three-dimensional images of the interior of the earth from remotely collected electrical and magnetic measurements. These images help scientists understand the Earth's interior. Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)