Michelle Tseng

Wall Scholar


Assistant Professor


Departments of Zoology & Botany





Geographic Location


Prof. Michelle Tseng is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist in the Departments of Botany and Zoology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Tseng obtained an MSc in evolutionary ecology from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in disease ecology and evolution from Indiana University.

Prof. Tseng’s research group investigates how plankton and insect communities are responding to ongoing environmental change. Recent work in the research group includes: 1) quantifying how warming temperatures are reducing the availability of key nutrients in aquatic environments, 2) documenting the ecological impacts of shrinking insects, and 3) characterizing the joint effects of warming temperatures and microplastic pollution on freshwater ecosystems in BC.

Ongoing work in the group includes engaging the collective wisdom and power of citizen scientists to solve the global biodiversity crisis, and using urban green spaces to conserve biodiversity and reduce pest insect species.

Primary Recipient Awards

Michelle Tseng – Wall Scholar – 2022

As a Wall Scholar Dr. Tseng would like to collaborate with the other program participants, non-profits, municipalities, and industry to explore ways to enhance community resilience through the creation of sustainable urban green spaces. Green spaces create habitat for biodiversity conservation, help mitigate the effects of climate change, build social interactions and trust among neighbours, and enable societies to better weather large-scale events such as global pandemics and extreme climate events.


Co-Principal Investigator Awards

Kayla King – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2020

Global climate change is projected to alter the distribution, prevalence, and harm caused by infectious diseases. This alarming prediction suggests a pending crisis for nature as well as society. An array of health professionals to climate change scientists to natural historians have been examining changes to the patterns of infection in relation to extreme variation in environmental conditions.  Dr. King will synthesize primary infectious disease literature to determine the impact of environmental change on the spread, prevalence, virulence, and potential for evolution of infectious diseases globally. Specifically, she will examine the relationship between the deviation in environmental parameters from average and the magnitude of host harm (virulence) or changes in transmissibility of pathogens to new hosts and geographic areas. Dr. King’s visit is hosted by Drs. Michelle Tseng (Zoology) and Richard Hamelin (Forest and Conservation Sciences) at UBC.