Doctor of Philosophy in Botany (PhD)

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
 

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.

 

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

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$1,600.60$2,811.98
Tuition per year$4,801.80$8,435.94
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

 20162015201420132012
Applications1413272727
Offers93111313
New registrations7310810
Total enrolment6673766963

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 91% based on 32 students admitted between 2003 - 2006. Based on 22 graduations between 2012 - 2015 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 5.55 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: 12 July 2017]. 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: 8 April 2016].

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 (evolutionary ecology, population biology, biological responses to climate change, conservation biology)
  • Berbee, Mary (Molecular phylogenetic studies of fungi and evolution of fungal life history stategies)
  • 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)
  • Fast, Naomi (Genomics, single-celled organisms)
  • Graham, Sean (Plant phylogenetics, Plant systematics, Plant evolution, Organelles, Phylogenomics, Land plants, Mycoheterotrophs)
  • Harrison, Paul Garth (Ecology of seagrasses)
  • Haughn, George (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 (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 (Biomechanics, evolution, and ecophysiology of marine macroalgae)
  • 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 microbiology, Arctic microbiology, , Biological Oceanography, Marine Microbiology, Environmental Virology, bacteriophage, bacteria, viruses, artic microbiology, environmental microbiology)
  • Tortell, Philippe (Biological / Chemical Oceanography, Climate-active Trace Gases, Primary Productvity, Polar Marine Ecosystems)
  • Wasteneys, Geoff (Plant Growth and Development, Microtubule Dynamics and Organization, Trafficking of Membrane Receptors and Transporters, Cellulose Biosynthesis, Plant Cell Walls in Cell Shape and Tissue Function)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Caitlin Charlotte Anne Donnelly
    "Dr. Donnelly studied filamentous structures called microtubules, which control plant cell shape. She focused on how the organization of microtubules is regulated under stressful environmental conditions. Her results are important for understanding how plants change their growth in response to stress." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Tegan Marjorie Haslam
    "Dr. Haslam studied the synthesis of plant cuticular waxes, which waterproof plant surfaces and prevent desiccation. Waxes are extremely long, modified fatty acids. Dr. Haslam identified and characterized a novel protein family that controls the extensive elongation of fatty acids that occurs during cuticular wax metabolism." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Adriana Rocio Suarez-Gonzalez
    "Dr. Suarez-Gonzalez used genomics to identify genetic markers associated with traits of ecological and economical interest in natural tree hybrids. Her findings contribute to our understanding of adaptive introgression as a source of important genetic variation and have great potential for forest management in the face of climate change." (May 2017)
  • Dr. William Laughton Harrower
    "Dr. Harrower showed how the structure of temperate grassland food webs changed when ecosystems go from wet to dry. His experiments help us understand how climate change events, such as persistent drought, will impact grassland biodiversity and ultimately have an effect on human activities such as ranching." (May 2017)
  • Dr. Rebecca Jo Guenther
    "Dr. Guenther examined the effects of climate change, specifically ocean temperature and pH, on calcified red algae. She demonstrated that mature seaweeds were surprisingly resilient to climate stressors, but that spore adhesion declined in acidified seawater. Her findings suggests that habitat-forming seaweeds may be impacted by climate change." (November 2016)

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 

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January 2018 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2016
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 August 2017
International Applicant Deadline
01 August 2017

September 2018 Intake

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

January 2019 Intake

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

Program Information

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