Michelle Hak Hepburn

Student Fellow


PhD Candidate







Geographic Location

Vancouver, BC

Michelle Hak Hepburn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Her research follows huayruro trees (Ormosia sf.) in the Peruvian Andean Amazon to explore the social connections Indigenous Kichwa and non-Indigenous mestizos maintain with trees and forests. Thinking with trees, seeds, timber, and forests, her research considers the impacts of deforestation and how they are mitigated.

Areas of Interest: anthropology of trees, forests and deforestation

Primary Recipient Awards

Michelle Hak Hepburn – Catalyst Fellows – 2022

The Wall Catalyst Student Fellow cohort will first come together to engage in the online, interdisciplinary Facing Human Wrongs course and subsequently work together on a number of public-facing projects.

The course content touches upon systemic, historical and ongoing violence, unsustainability, our complicities in social and ecological harm, and our tendency to address complex problems, such as biodiversity loss, food insecurity, economic and political crises, and the potential for social and environmental collapse, with simplistic solutions. The course requires students to be willing to be uncomfortable and to have their perspective challenged.