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.

Mission
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

Physics

Sustainability

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
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
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
Heyl, Jeremy Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum Phenomena, Stellar, Astrophysics, Stellar Physics, Quantum-Field Theory
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
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

Pages

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
Employer
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Michael Hoff

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

Sherry Zhao

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

Glen Hearns

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

Jean Michel Lauzon

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

Costanza Casiraghi

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

Peter Frischmann

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

Recent Thesis Submissions