Executive Biographies

Dr. Gail MurphyDr. Gail Murphy

Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Dr. Gail Murphy assumed the role of Vice-President, Research & Innovation on August 14, 2017.

Dr. Murphy is a professor in UBC’s Department of Computer Science and was formerly Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Science. After completing her B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in 1987, she worked for five years as a software engineer in the Lower Mainland. She later pursued graduate studies in computer science at the University of Washington, earning first an M.Sc. (1994) and then a Ph.D (1996).

Dr. Murphy joined UBC in 1996 and was a key driver of the new Master of Data Science, a professional graduate program launching this fall — and has been instrumental in championing the creation of a Data Science Institute at the university. She also maintains an active research group with post-doctoral and graduate students.

Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage and coordinate the information that matters most for their work. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as co-founder of Tasktop Technologies.

Dr. Murphy also serves on the editorial boards for Communications of the ACM, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Software Engineering. She is also the general chair for the ACM conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Education: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), which took place in Vancouver in 2017.

Read one-on-one with Gail Murphy

Dr. Matthew Evenden

Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Matthew Evenden is a Professor of Geography and began his term as Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation on October 1, 2019.

Raised on Vancouver’s North Shore, Evenden earned his BA (Hons) (First Class) at Queen’s University (1993) followed by an MA (1994) and PhD (2000) at York University. A specialist in environmental history and historical geography, he is the author of several books on hydroelectricity, fisheries and rivers, including the prize-winning Fish versus Power (Cambridge 2004), The River Returns (co-authored with Chris Armstrong and Viv Nelles) (MQUP 2009) and Allied Power (UTP 2015) on the growth of hydro-electricity in Canada during the Second World War.  For his scholarship and teaching, he has received the Rachel Carson Prize, the Clio Prize and the UBC Killam Teaching Prize. 

Evenden served as Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Arts (2015-2019), and Chair of Canadian Studies (2011-2015). He was also a founding executive member of the SSHRC-funded Network in Canadian History and Environment/ Nouvelle initiative canadienne en histoire de l’environnement (NICHE).

Rachel Fernandez
Dr. Rachel Fernandez

Dr. Rachel Fernandez is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and assumed the role of Associate Vice President, Research & Innovation on March 15, 2021.

Dr. Fernandez earned her B.Sc. at the University of Toronto (1982) and M.Sc. (1985) and PhD (1992) in Microbiology from Dalhousie University. She completed  postdoctoral fellowships at Virginia Commonwealth University (1992-1993) and the University of Cincinnati (1993 -1996). She joined UBC in 1996 and has been a recipient of a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship and has twice been nominated for a UBC Killam Teaching Prize. Dr. Fernandez’ research focuses on how bacterial surfaces are assembled, vaccines and the bacterium causing pertussis (whooping cough).

Dr. Fernandez served two terms as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (2014-2019) where she oversaw the Postdoctoral Fellows Office and graduate student professional development.



Dr. Phil Barker


DR. philip Barker

Associate Vice-President, Research & Vice-Principal, Research, UBCO

Raised in the Okanagan and a graduate of Kelowna Secondary School, Dr. Barker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University, completed his PhD in anatomy and cell biology at the University of Alberta, and performed postdoctoral studies in neurobiology at Stanford University. He is Associate Vice-President, Research at the University of British Columbia and Vice-Principal, Research at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus effective August 1, 2015.

A molecular biologist and biochemist, Barker's research lab has published more than 100 scientific papers on signals that regulate life and death decisions in neurons and cancer cells. He co-founded a biotechnology company, holds several patents, and has developed and licensed several technologies.

From 2007 to 2011, Barker was the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and Chair of the MNI Centre for Commercialization and Research, a $15 million fund designed to facilitate rapid translation of research into commercial ventures and clinical practice.