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
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
Leyton-Brown, Kevin Department of Computer Science Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science, Resource Allocation, Computer Science and Statistics, Machine learning, Game theory, Auction theory
Li, Xin Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Botany Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes
Li, Hongbin Department of Chemistry Biophysical chemistry, biomaterials, single molecule studies, biological, atomic force, polymer chemistry
Li, Yue-Xian Department of Mathematics Calcium signalling in neuroendocrine cells Fertilization calcium waves in oocytes
Lister, Alison Department of Physics & Astronomy Elementary Particles, Large Hadron Collier (LHC), ATLAS experiment, Search for physics beyond the standard model, top quarks, Dark Matter, Detector development
Little, James Department of Computer Science Artificial intelligence, computational vision, geographic information systems, robotics
Loewen, Philip Department of Mathematics Mathematics, Calculus of Variations
Love, Jennifer Ann Department of Chemistry Metals and catalystic processes
Macdonald, Colin Department of Mathematics List of publications; The Closest Point Method: a new method for PDEs on surfaces; Time-stepping for PDEs: constructing Runge-Kutta methods, strong-stability-preserving methods (visit the SSP Site); WENO spatial discretizations; The Predicted Sequential Regularization Method; List of talks and presentations.
MacFarlane, Andrew Department of Chemistry Chemical physics, Electronic and magnetic properties of crystalline solids, especially strongly correlated materials such as the cuprate high temperature superconductors
Mackworth, Alan Department of Computer Science vision; robotics, Intelligent systems, programming
MacLachlan, Mark Department of Chemistry Nanomaterials, Supramolecules and Autoassembling, Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds, Biomaterials, Basic Materials, Supramolecular Chemistry, Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Cellulose nanocrystals, Chitin, Materials Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry
MacLean, Karon Department of Computer Science Information Systems, human-computer interaction, haptic interfaces, human-robot interaction, design of user interfaces
Maddison, Wayne Department of Zoology, Department of Botany Arachnology, Biodiversity, Spiders, Phylogenetic Theory and Programming
Madison, Kirk Department of Physics & Astronomy Condensed matter, atomic, molecular and optical physics
Maldonado, Maite Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Phytoplankton Trace Metal Physiology
Mank, Judith Department of Zoology
Marcus, Brian Harry Department of Mathematics Coding and information theory, symbolic dynamics, ergodic theory and dynamical systems
Marshall, Katie Department of Zoology
Martin, Gregory Department of Mathematics Number theory, Diophantine Approximation and Classical Analysis
Martone, Patrick Department of Botany Protist, Plants, Physiology, Taxonomy and Systematics, Ecology and Quality of the Environment, Evolution and Phylogenesis, Biomaterials, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Phycology, Macroalgae, Evolution, Biomechanics, Intertidal Zone, Ecology
Marziali, Andre Department of Physics & Astronomy Teaching methods, pedagogy, Robotics in education, Nanotechnology, Engineering Physics, Genomics, Biophysics, Genomics Technologies
Matsuuchi, Linda Department of Zoology Cell signaling of specific membrane receptors, combining aspects of Cell Biology, Immunology , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Pages

Graduate Student Profiles

Xunyu Liang

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

Poushali Maji

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Air quality, climate and developmental implications of energy policies in India

Thomas Malig

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
The Development and Application of an Automated Reaction Monitoring Prototype to Elucidate Catalytic Reaction Mechanisms

Brian Chan

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics (PhD)
Combinatorics of Tableaux

Zhongshou Wu

Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
Identification and Analysis of Immune Regulating E3 Ligases and Their Ubiquitination Substrates
Vincent Ricciardi

Vinny Ricciardi

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Examining the food security, climate resilience, and equity implications of farm size

Graham McDowell

Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)
Socio-Ecological Adaptation to Hydrological Change in High Mountains

Kate Smith

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

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

Bruce MacKay

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

Recent Thesis Submissions