Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)

Overview

The Botany Department is one of the largest and strongest plant-focused departments in North America with roots extending back to the founding of UBC in 1915. Our departmental community of more than 260 consists of 40 full-time faculty members, several part-time faculty or associates, about 100 graduate students, numerous post-doctoral fellows and research associates, laboratory technicians, and a support staff of secretarial, equipment, herbarium, stores, workshop and greenhouse personnel. Our graduate students are expected to make influential contributions to scientific discovery and discourse, engage in formal and informal teaching and mentoring, and progress to careers in academia, industry, government and non-governmental organizations. The Botany Grad Student Association forms an active group, organizing talks, study sessions, field trips and a variety of social activities. Recent Botany graduates have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral and teaching/research positions in Canada, the USA and abroad (England, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, France, Sweden).

What makes the program unique?

The Botany Department offers unparalleled opportunities for research and teaching/learning with faculty members at the leading-edge of their disciplines. Specializations within Botany range from molecular genetics to climate change impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Collaborations between Botany faculty and other departments including Zoology, Chemistry, Forestry, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Michael Smith Laboratories, bring a rich array of potential topic areas for research to Botany graduate students. State-of-the-art facilities for bio-imaging, as well as a world-class herbarium and access to living collections in the Canadian Centre for the Culture of Microorganisms, add to the overall uniqueness of the Botany program.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Science
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Botany
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Science

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Meet a UBC representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 23 August 2018
Time: 09:00 to 10:00
Join our Graduate Student Ambassadors Samuel Adenyanju (MSc Forestry, Nigeria), Federico Andrade (PhD Public Health, Colombia), Maria Angélica Guerrero (MA Educational Studies, Colombia), Xining (Linda) Yang (PhD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, China) and Dorine Akwiri (Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Kenya) who will be available to answer questions about their experiences at UBC, including topics such as accommodation, moving to a new city/province/country and settling in, making friends, being an international student, and more. This session is open to participants interested in different programs across all faculties at UBC. Please note that we will not be able to provide answers to questions regarding application or admissions policies or any that involve specific personal information.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

92
22
22
22
22

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

65 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 5 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 58 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (5)
University of Alberta (3)
University of California - Berkeley (2)
University of Texas at El Paso
Crandall University
University of Melbourne
Seoul National University
University of Toronto
Arizona State University
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
INRA IJPB
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canadian Museum of Nature
Enza Zaden
Carnegie Institution for Science
BC Ministry of Environment
Novozymes Inc.
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Research Scientist (4)
Postdoctoral Fellow (3)
Director of Operations
Associate
Researcher Plant Physiologist
Provincial Terrestrial Ecosystems Ecologist
Regional Entomologist
Scientist
Scientist II
Scientist and Project Manager
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Botany is the branch of biology that involves the study of the structure, evolution, properties and biochemical processes of all forms of plant life, including algae, fungi, ferns and trees. Also included within its scope are plant classification and the study of plant diseases, as well as the interactions of plants with people and the environment. A degree in Botany is well-suited to meet the challenges posed by biodiversity loss and impacts of climate change. Positions for people with botany backgrounds are usually in educational institutions, government and environmental organizations, and in the biotechnology industry including companies seeking new drugs and medicines, and useful genes for improvement of crop plants.

Alumni on Success

Jonathan Griffiths

Job Title
Postdoctoral Scientist
Employer
Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique

Hannes Dempewolf

Job Title
Scientist and Project Manager
Employer
Global Crop Diversity Trust

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$923.38 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20172016201520142013
Applications2814132727
Offers11931113
New registrations1073108
Total enrolment7366737669

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 86.96% based on 23 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 25 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 7.00 years with an average of 5.34 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 29 September 2017].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Thursday, 23 August 2018 - 11:00am - Room 207, Anthropology and Sociology Building, 6303 NW Marine Drive, V6T 1Z1

Lan Tuyet Tran
Functional Genomic Analysis of Novel Secondary Cell Wall Genes in Poplar (Populus Trichocarpa)

Monday, 10 September 2018 - 10:00am - 224, Biodiversity Research Centre, Main Mall

Yichun Qiu
Fates of Duplicated Genes: Sub-Localization, Intracellular Gene Transfer, and Concerted Divergence

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Adams, Keith (Molecular evolution, genome evolution, and gene expression)
  • Angert, Amy (Biodiversity and Biocomplexity, Biogeography, Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes, evolutionary ecology, population biology, biological responses to climate change, conservation biology)
  • Berbee, Mary (Evolution and Phylogenesis, Microorganisms, Taxonomy and Systematics, systematics, molecular phylogenetics, fungi, mycology)
  • Bohlmann, Jorg (plant biochemistry, forestry genomics, forest health, conifers, poplar, bark beetle, mountain pine beetle, natural products, secondary metabolites, terpenes, floral scent, grapevine, Conifer genomics Forest health genomics Mountain pine beetle, fungus, pine interactions and genomics Chemical ecology of conifer, insect interactions)
  • Cronk, Quentin Charles (Comparative genomics, molecular developmental biology and evolutionary biology to study plant form)
  • Davies, Jonathan (Phylogenetics & Biodiversity. Development and application of phylogenetic methods in ecology and conservation biology)
  • Fast, Naomi (Genomics, single-celled organisms)
  • Graham, Sean (Plant phylogenetics, Plant systematics, Plant evolution, Organelles, Phylogenomics, Land plants, Mycoheterotrophs)
  • Haughn, George (Molecular Genetics, Plants, Cellular Differentiation, plant cell wall biology, seed coat differentiation)
  • Jetter, Reinhard (Analytical Chemistry, Plant Ecophysiology, Plant Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Biological Chemistry)
  • Keeling, Patrick John (Molecular evolution and cell biology of eukaryotes)
  • Kunst, Ljerka (Seed storage oil production, biosynthesis)
  • Leander, Brian (Evolutionary morphology, Marine invertebrate zoology, Evolutionary protistology, Species discovery, Phylogenetic biology, Comparative organismal biology, Marine biodiversity)
  • Lee, Jae-Hyeok (Developmental Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, genetic engineering of microalgae for robust biomass production, the roles of sexuality in the evolution of developmental mechanisms)
  • Li, Xin (Molecules in plants, plants defence against pathogen infection, plant genes)
  • Maddison, Wayne (Arachnology, Biodiversity, Spiders, Phylogenetic Theory and Programming)
  • Martone, Patrick (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)
  • Parfrey, Laura (Microbial ecology, microbial diversity, microbiome, protists )
  • Rieseberg, Loren (plant evolutionary biology, adaptation, speciation, crops, weeds, invasive plants)
  • Rosado Rey, Abel (Plasma membrane repair mechanisms in plants)
  • Samuels, Anne Lacey (plant cell biology, plant cell walls)
  • Suttle, Curtis (Marine Environment, Microbial Diversity, Marine Microbiology, Environmental Virology, Biological Oceanography, Viral Discovery, Viruses, Phage)
  • Tortell, Philippe (Biological / Chemical Oceanography, Climate-active Trace Gases, Primary Productvity, Polar Marine Ecosystems)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Jaclyn Marie Dee
    "Dr. Dee studied the evolution of diverse cell shapes in fungi. By comparing cellular organization and gene content across the fungi and its closest relatives, Dr. Dee has expanded our understanding of how different fungal shapes could have been molded with a shared set of genetic tools that was present in the common ancestor of fungi and animals." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Marli Vlok
    "Dr. Vlok studied the composition and distribution of aquatic RNA viruses from the poles to the tropics. She found more than 27 virus genera and developed a taxonomic method to classify many new species. Her study has a strong impact on the understanding of the complex and dynamic roles played by RNA viruses in aquatic ecosystems." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Yoichiro Watanabe
    "Dr. Watanabe studied the cell biology of cellulose synthesis in woody cells. He showed that plant cells tightly regulate the localization and movement of the enzymes responsible for cellulose synthesis during wood formation. His work lays the foundation for understanding how plants control the enzymes that produce cellulose at the cellular level." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Shuang Liu
    "Plant cuticular waxes cover a plant surface as a hydrophobic layer that prevents desiccation and other environmental stresses. Dr. Liu identified novel regulatory factors controlling the waxes biosynthesis during plant development and in response to environmental cues. Her results may have important agricultural applications." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Yi-Chen Lee
    "Dr. Lee studied the mechanisms of polar distribution of cell wall components in plant cells. The asymmetric distribution of cell wall components contributes to the heterogeneity of cell wall properties, which, in turn, influences plant cell structure and function." (May 2018)

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 

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January 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
25 August 2017
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 August 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 August 2018

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
31 July 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019
International Applicant Deadline
01 February 2019

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

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