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
Joe, Harry Sue Wah Department of Statistics Statistics and Probabilities, dependence modelling, copula construction, non-normal time series, extreme value inference, parsimonous high-dimensional dependence
Johnson, Pauline Department of Microbiology & Immunology Diseases of the Immune System, Immunology, Inflammation, Immune-cancer interactions, Innate immunity, Macrophages and myeloid cells
Johnson, Mark Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Hydrological Cycle and Reservoirs, Land and Soil, Climate Changes and Impacts, Agriculture, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Running Water Hydrosystem, Fresh Water, Ground Water and Water Tables, Ecohydrology, Carbon cycle, Land use, Water and Sustainability, Biogeochemistry, Data Science
Johnson, Catherine Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Lunar geophysics, Evolution of Mars' Magnetic Field and Atmosphere
Jones, David Department of Physics & Astronomy Atomic, optical and molecular physics,Ultrafast Optics, Spectroscopy
Karczmarek, Joanna Department of Physics & Astronomy String theory, Matrix models, Emergent spacetime and gravity, Noncommutative geometry
Karu, Kalle Department of Mathematics Algebraic geometry, toric varieties, log geometry, combinatorics of fans and posets
Kastrup, Christian Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology drug delivery, coagulation, biomaterials, atherosclerosis, in-vivo imaging, microfluidics
Keeling, Patrick John Department of Botany Molecular evolution and cell biology of eukaryotes
Kennedy, Lori Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Geological science, structural geology, development of large-scale fault systems and shear zones, displacements, fluid-rock interactions, strain localization, confining pressure
Kennepohl, Pierre Department of Chemistry spectroscopy, electronic structure, paramagnetic resonance, X-ray absorption, X-ray emission, sulfur radicals in biology, enzymatic catalysis, transition metal catalysis, Relationship between electronic structure and reactivity in catalytic systems
Kiczales, Gregor Department of Computer Science MOOCs, Blended Learning, Flexible Learning, University Strategy for Flexible and Blended Learning, Computer Science Education, Programming Languages, Programming languages, aspect-oriented programming, foundations, reflections and meta programming, software design
Kiefl, Robert Department of Physics & Astronomy Quantum Phenomena, condensed matter physics, polarons, multiferroics, superconductivity, magnetism
Kim, Young-Heon Department of Mathematics Partial Differential Equations and Geometry
Kopylova, Maya Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences diamond ore deposits, Diamond exploration, petrology and volcanology
Korthauer, Keegan Department of Statistics
Kremen, Claire Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, Department of Zoology
Krems, Roman Department of Chemistry Theoretical chemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy, Dynamics of few- and many-body molecular systems in electromagnetic fields
Kronstad, James Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Microbiology & Immunology Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Genomics and Proteomics, Pathogenesis of infectious diseases, Medical Mycology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Fungal diseases of plants
Kruecken, Reiner Department of Physics & Astronomy Elementary Particles, Universe Structure, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Astrophysics, Neutrino Physics
Kunst, Ljerka Department of Botany Seed storage oil production, biosynthesis
Laba, Izabella Department of Mathematics Harmonic analysis, geometric measure theory and additive combinatorics
Lakshmanan, Laks Department of Computer Science data management and data cleaning, data warehousing and OLAP, data and text mining, analytics on big graphs and news, social networks and media, recommender systems
Leander, Brian Department of Botany, Department of Zoology Evolutionary morphology, Marine invertebrate zoology, Evolutionary protistology, Species discovery, Phylogenetic biology, Comparative organismal biology, Marine biodiversity
Lee, Jae-Hyeok Department of Botany Developmental Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, genetic engineering of microalgae for robust biomass production, the roles of sexuality in the evolution of developmental mechanisms

Pages

Graduate Student Profiles

Amelia Hesketh

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

Eric Bowes

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
Rational Catalyst Design: Towards Methane Functionalization

Yasha Pushak

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
Automated algorithm configuration for solving large-scale computational problems

Kate Smith

Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences (PhD)
Pb isotopic and trace element signatures in honey: Environmental proxy for pollutant source-tracking

Alexa Tanner

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Natural hazard risk in context: Examining contextual factors that influence risk perceptions and associated decisions

Raphael Roccor

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
Spinning Straw into Golden Liquids – Making High-value Oils from Biomass Residues

Eric Press

Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)
Modular optic flow processing during natural locomotion

Kelsey Huus

Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology (PhD)
Gut microbiota in malnutrition and enteric disease

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
Senior Director, Strategic Accounts & 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
Senior Scientist
Employer
Chiesi Pharmaceuticals

Bruce MacKay

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

Recent Thesis Submissions