Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology (PhD)

Overview

Zoology encompasses over 50 principal investigators. Research interests of faculty members can be divided into several broad categories with substantial overlap of interest and collaboration among these arbitrary groups. The program vigorously promotes integrative research in biology and actively participates in several interdisciplinary programs, including the graduate programs in genetics, neuroscience, applied mathematics, and resource management.

What makes the program unique?

The Department of Zoology at UBC is internationally renowned for its research in a variety of modern biological sciences, including ecology, evolution, physiology, neurobiology, cell biology and development. The department has many strong interdisciplinary connections between different areas of research.

In addition Zoology is actively involved in several interdisciplinary programs of instruction and research including: Fisheries Centre, Centre for Biodiversity Research, Centre for Applied Conservation Research (CACR), Genetics Program, ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries), Institute of Applied Mathematics, BC Cancer Research Centre and Life Sciences Institute.

Quick Facts

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

Meet a UBC representative

Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

webinar
Date: Thursday, 26 July 2018
Time: 12:30 to 13:30
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.

Research Information

Research Focus

Cell and Developmental Biology: molecular and genetic bases of development and cellular function
Comparative Physiology: aspects of animal physiology from a comparative perspective, particularly those mechanisms underlying adaptive responses to environmental constraints
Ecology: blends field ecology and natural history with ecological theory and conservation biology
Evolution: encompasses evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, conservation genetics, theory, and systematics

Application Notes

Please consult this webpage for full details on how to apply: https://www.zoology.ubc.ca/graduate-studies/how-to-apply

DEADLINES:

January 15th - Deadline to be considered for Four Year Fellowship and Zoology Graduate Fellowship.

Please note: If an applicant does not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement, they will not be eligible to apply for a Teaching Assistant (TA) role during their first year of study. In subsequent years, students will be eligible to apply for a TA position once the English language proficiency is met.

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

95 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 6 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 87 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 (7)
University of Washington (4)
Stanford University (3)
McMaster University (2)
University of Calgary (2)
University of California - Riverside (2)
University of Ottawa (2)
University of California - Davis
University of Victoria
Pennsylvania State University
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2)
BC Ministry of Environment (2)
Vancouver Aquarium
Pure Integrative Pharmacy
AbCellera
Roadhouse Interactive
Hemmera
FISHBIO
Genentech
Mount Boucherie Secondary
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Postdoctoral Fellow (2)
Wildlife Research Biologist
Principal
Senior Behavioural Ecologist and Bioacoustician
Scientist
Senior Scientist
Fisheries Biologist
Research Manager
Teacher
Hydro-Impacts / Sturgeon Specialist
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.

Alumni on Success

Adam Ford

Job Title
Postdoc
Employer
University of Guelph

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
Applications2941272928
Offers1117121215
New registrations81611912
Total enrolment97107103109109

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 89.36% based on 47 students admitted between 2004 - 2007. Based on 35 graduations between 2013 - 2016 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.99 years with an average of 6.01 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

Monday, 30 July 2018 - 12:30pm - 224, Biodiversity Centre, 2212 Main Mall

Matthew Miles Osmond
Adaptive Challenges: Fitness-valley Crossing and Evolutionary Rescue

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.

  • Abraham, Ninan (Mammals, pathogens, genetic analysis, proper cell funtion, development, maintenance and proper functioning of T- and B-cells )
  • Adamson, Martin (Evolution, parasites)
  • Altshuler, Douglas (flight control, visual guidance, visual neuroscience, neuroethology, avian biomechanics, aerodynamics, wing morphing, motor control)
  • Angert, Amy (Biodiversity and Biocomplexity, Biogeography, Ecological and Ecophysiological Processes, evolutionary ecology, population biology, biological responses to climate change, conservation biology)
  • Auld, Vanessa (Cell, Neurogenesis and Gliogenesis, Developmental Genetics, Molecular Genetics, development, nervous system, permeability barriers, glia , cell biology , genetics, in vivo imaging, epithelia)
  • Aviles, Leticia (Evolution of sociality, evolution of sex ratios )
  • Brauner, Colin (Gas exchange, ion regulation and acid-base balance in fish, Evolution and comparative physiology)
  • Cheung, Wai Lung (Impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services)
  • Christensen, Villy (Ecosystem (Aquatic and Terrestrial), Ecological Trends, Fishery Resources, Marine Environment)
  • Doebeli, Michael Walter (Mathematical ecology and evolution, evolution of diversity, adaptive speciation, evolution of cooperation, game theory, experimental evolution in microorganisms)
  • Gordon, Michael (Neuroscience, Neural circuits, Sensory systems, Feeding, Taste, Gustation, Drosophila, Chemosensation)
  • Harley, Christopher (Ecology and Quality of the Environment, community ecology, climate change, marine invertebrates, marine algae)
  • Irwin, Darren (speciation, hybridization, ornithology, seasonal migration, genomic differentiation)
  • Jankowski, Jill (Ecology)
  • Leander, Brian (Evolutionary morphology, Marine invertebrate zoology, Evolutionary protistology, Species discovery, Phylogenetic biology, Comparative organismal biology, Marine biodiversity)
  • Li, Yue-Xian (Calcium signalling in neuroendocrine cells Fertilization calcium waves in oocytes)
  • Maddison, Wayne (Arachnology, Biodiversity, Spiders, Phylogenetic Theory and Programming)
  • Matsuuchi, Linda (Cell signaling of specific membrane receptors, combining aspects of Cell Biology, Immunology , Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
  • Matthews, Philip (respiratory adaptations of animals, primarily insects)
  • McAllister, Murdoch (Statistical methods for fisheries risk assessment, estimation, decision analysis and management strategy evaluation)
  • Mizumoto, Kota (Cell and Developmental Biology)
  • Moerman, Donald (Formation and function of muscle )
  • O'Connor, Mary (climate change, ocean, seafood, seagrass, eelgrass, invertebrate, ecology, environment, )
  • Otto, Sarah (evolution, mathematical modeling, population genetics, genomic evolution, evolution of sex, yeast experimental evolution, Population genetics and evolutionary biology, yeast)
  • Pante, Nelly (Molecular trafficking pathways within the cell)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Gregory James Duncan
    "Myelin is an essential component of the nervous system. Dr. Duncan characterized a gene essential for myelin regeneration and critical for the stability of neural connections and recovery in a rodent model of multiple sclerosis. Findings suggest enhancing myelin regeneration may ameliorate disability in people with multiple sclerosis." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Gigi Yik Chee Lau
    "Dr. Lau examined how sculpin fishes distributed along the marine intertidal zone deal with varying oxygen levels in their environment. Her research on different species revealed variation at the subcellular level where oxygen is used to power cellular activities but may also produce harmful byproducts." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Ryan Brady Shartau
    "Dr. Shartau examined various vertebrate species for the presence or absence of a novel pattern of acid-base regulation. He found that numerous adult fishes and the embryos of two reptile species use this novel pattern. This research may provide insight into major evolutionary transitions in vertebrates, including the evolution of air breathing." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Jasmine Tomie Ono
    "Dr. Ono examined adaptation using lab-evolved populations of yeast. She found that adaptation, and the underlying genetic changes, can depend on the nature and level of stress imposed and the genome of the organism. Her findings give insight into the ability of organisms to adapt to changing environments and the consequences of such adaptation." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Shannon Grace Obradovich
    "Dr. Obradovich studied how the catch on bottom longline gear changes with the number and species of fish underwater. Underwater camera observations of fish behavior and habitat around the longline hooks showed that catches for some species were not proportional to abundance. Her work will improve the scientific advice used for fisheries management." (May 2018)

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