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
Mattison, Thomas Department of Physics & Astronomy Subatomic physics, Particle & Nuclear Physics, Applied Physics
Mayer, Ulrich Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences hydrogeology; low-temperature geochemistry; groundwater contamination; groundwater remediation; mine waste management
McAllister, Murdoch Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Statistical methods for fisheries risk assessment, estimation, decision analysis and management strategy evaluation
McDonald, Daniel Department of Statistics High dimensional data analysis; Computational methods in statistics; Statistical theory and modeling; Machine learning; Estimation and quantification of prediction risk; Evaluating the predictive abilities of complex dependent data; Application of statistical learning techniques to time series prediction problems; Investigations of cross-validation and the bootstrap for risk estimation
McDougall, Scott Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences Landslides, natural and man-made geological hazards, geohazards, rock avalanches, debris flows / floods, tailings dam breaches, shoreline erosion, landslide-generated waves
McGrenere, Joanna Department of Computer Science human-computer interaction; personalized user interfaces; universal usability; interactive technologies for older users and people with cognitive disorders; computer supported cooperative work (CSCW); computer science
McIver, Jess Department of Physics & Astronomy General relativity and gravitational waves in astronomical and space sciences; Gravitational wave astrophysics; Multi-messenger astronomy; Characterization of large-scale physics instrumentation; data science
McKenna, Janis Department of Physics & Astronomy Experimental Particle Physics; Instrumentation
Mehrkhodavandi, Parisa Department of Chemistry Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds; Polymers; Chemical Synthesis and Catalysis; Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry and Characterization; catalysis; Green Chemistry; Bioproducts; Bio-based polymers
Michal, Carl Department of Physics & Astronomy Nuclear magnetic resonance, biological and energy storage materials
Michaletz, Sean Department of Botany Plant physiological ecology; macroecology; fire behavior and effects
Milner, Valery Department of Physics & Astronomy Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Ultrafast Quantum Coherent Control; Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Mitchell, Ian Department of Computer Science safety critical systems, assistive technology (mobility), robotics, scientific computing, cyber-physical systems, Mathematical software, computational science and engineering, hybrid and cyber-physical systems, verification and validation, reproducible research, level set methods, robotic path, planning
Mizumoto, Kota Department of Zoology Cell and Developmental Biology
Mohn, William Department of Microbiology & Immunology pollutant biodegradation, pollutant bioremediation, biological treatment of forest industry effluents and wastes, microbial ecology, environmental biotechnology, forest soil microbial ecology, tuberculosis, microbial genomics, Microbial ecology
Momose, Takamasa Department of Chemistry Spectroscopy, Chemical physics
Munzner, Tamara Department of Computer Science Human-centered computing; visualization; information visualization; visual analytics; data science
Murphy, Gail Department of Computer Science Software Development; software engineering; software evolution; software design; knowledge worker productivity
Murphy, Michael Department of Microbiology & Immunology Microbiology; Functional and Structural Proteomics; Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms; Microbial metal metabolism; Bacterial pathogenesis; Alternatives to antibiotics
Murugan, Mathav Department of Mathematics probability theory and analysis; relationship between behavior of Markov processes and the geometry of the underlying state space; Sandpile models; boundary theory; potential theory; quasiconformal mappings; Metric geometry
Nagata, K Wayne Department of Mathematics Nonlinear dynamics and applied partial differential equations
Ng, Raymond Tak-yan Department of Computer Science Data mining and analysis, health informatics, text summarization, text mining
Nolde, Natalia Department of Statistics Statistics and Probabilities; Multivariate extreme value theory; Risk assessment; Applications in finance, insurance, geosciences
O'Connor, Mary Department of Zoology climate change, ocean, seafood, seagrass, eelgrass, invertebrate, ecology, environment,
Oberg, Gunilla Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability Science and Knowledge; Chemical Pollutants; Risk Management; Social and Cultural Factors of Environmental Protection; Environmental Health; Sustainable Development; Environment and Society; Language, Knowledge, Significance and Thought Building; Urban and Rural Planning Policies; Learning and Development Approaches


Graduate Student Profiles

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: Hydrobiologia
UBC Author(s): Brian Leander (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00188158
Volume: 847
Page Range: 2613-2644
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Biotechnology and Bioengineering
UBC Author(s): Charles Haynes (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00063592
Volume: 117
Page Range: 2100-2115
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Plant Journal
UBC Author(s): Yuelin Zhang (Botany / Faculty of Science), Keith Adams (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09607412
Volume: 103
Page Range: 705-714
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Evolutionary Applications
UBC Author(s): Sarah Otto (Zoology / Faculty of Science), Curtis Suttle (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17524563
Volume: 13
Page Range: 1380-1399
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 117
Publication Date: July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Marine Policy
UBC Author(s): Ussif Rashid Sumaila (Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 0308597X
Volume: 117
Publication Date: July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Psychiatry
UBC Author(s): Sara Mostafavi (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13594184
Volume: 25
Page Range: 1430-1446
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of Dynamical and Control Systems
UBC Author(s): Nassif Ghoussoub (Mathematics / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 10792724
Volume: 26
Page Range: 481-507
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Journal of High Energy Physics
UBC Author(s): Gordon Walter Semenoff (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 11266708
Volume: 2020
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Applications in Plant Sciences
UBC Author(s): Mary Berbee (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 21680450
Volume: 107
Page Range: 1021-1040
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: Molecular Ecology
UBC Author(s): Loren Rieseberg (Botany / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 09621083
Volume: 29
Page Range: 2535-2549
Publication Date: 1 July 2020

View Publication
Publication: BMC Biology
UBC Author(s): Judith Mank (Zoology / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 18
Publication Date: 30 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Biogeosciences
UBC Author(s): Philippe Tortell (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 17264170
Volume: 17
Page Range: 3277-3298
Publication Date: 29 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: iScience
UBC Author(s): Steven Plotkin (Physics & Astronomy / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 23
Publication Date: 26 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
UBC Author(s): Sara Mostafavi (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 8
Publication Date: 25 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Chemical Communications
UBC Author(s): Martin Tanner (Chemistry / Faculty of Science), Michael Murphy (Microbiology & Immunology / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 13597345
Volume: 56
Page Range: 6830-6833
Publication Date: 25 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: BMC Medical Research Methodology
UBC Author(s): Paul Gustafson (Statistics / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 20
Publication Date: 24 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Langmuir
UBC Author(s): Dan Bizzotto (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 07437463
Volume: 36
Page Range: 6837-6847
Publication Date: 23 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Frontiers in Marine Science
UBC Author(s): Yevhenii Pakhomov (Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 7
Publication Date: 23 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)
UBC Author(s): Raymond Tak-yan Ng (Computer Science / Faculty of Science)
Publication Date: 23 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Chemistry of Materials
UBC Author(s): Walter Algar (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 08974756
Volume: 32
Page Range: 4863-4883
Publication Date: 23 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Macromolecules
UBC Author(s): Hongbin Li (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 00249297
Volume: 53
Page Range: 4704-4710
Publication Date: 23 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition
UBC Author(s): Mark MacLachlan (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
ISSN: 14337851
Volume: 59
Page Range: 10348-10352
Publication Date: 22 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society
UBC Author(s): Nobuhiko Tokuriki (Michael Smith Labs / Faculty of Science)
Publication Date: 19 June 2020

View Publication
Publication: ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
UBC Author(s): Allan Bertram (Chemistry / Faculty of Science)
Volume: 4
Page Range: 873-881
Publication Date: 18 June 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
2019 Dr. Toker's research on user-adaptive information visualizations is at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction. His work leveraged eye tracking to show how adaptive interventions could be devised to support users according to their individual needs and differences. Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2019 Dr. McGee studied the outer protective coat of the seed. He developed the tools and system to be able to modify specific components of the cell wall in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. This work increased our understanding of cell wall structure and function. Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)
2019 Dr. Leistenschneider studied how neutrons form shell structures in the nucleus of titanium and vanadium atoms. The imprints that nuclear shells leave on the mass of the atom were investigated in several isotopes of these elements using high precision mass spectrometry techniques. The results served as stringent tests for modern nuclear theories. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cantin studied quantum systems. He showed that certain quasiparticles can be localized by disorder and modeled a tool to study material surfaces. His work improves our understanding of energy transport in materials and gives a foundation for machine learning to solve the inverse scattering problem for surface-sensitive molecular interferometers. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Altiere developed an ultraviolet laser system to probe the atomic energy levels in xenon gas. Her work also included precision optical measurements of atomic constants in xenon 129. These results are essential to neutron electric dipole moment experiments at TRIUMF and to the broader scientific community. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Zhao developed a practical and accurate dosimetry method to achieve optimized cancer therapy with radionuclides. His research demonstrated the feasibility of personalizing cancer treatment in routine clinics. His work contributes significantly to the safe and effective usage of radionuclides in cancer therapy. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Nuclear medicine is an important field of medicine, shining a light within the human body to facilitate diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Wang developed a new group of chelators based on "oxine" arms which showed a marked improvement from its previous counterpart. This work has significant potential for radiophamaceuticals in nuclear medicine. Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)
2019 There is much that we still do not understand about the world around us. Dr. Forestell focused on creating mathematical models of how new types of physics may interact with the known Universe throughout the course of our cosmological history. Her research contributes to the set of tools that are used to limit and probe new models of physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Cuen-Rochin participated in precise measurements of rare pion decays. His analysis of an extensive data set recorded by the PIENU experiment at TRIUMF, and evaluation of experimental systematic effects allowed high precision measurements to be obtained. This work will lead to stringent tests of the Standard Model of particle physics. Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
2019 Dr. Kar studied how and why millions of rural poor in Asia and Africa continue to use polluting cooking fuels like firewood even after adopting clean fuels like gas. He mapped the fuel transition process and its underlying behavioural determinants. He recommends that policymakers focus on behaviour change interventions for clean fuel adopters. Doctor of Philosophy in Resources, Environment and Sustainability (PhD)