William Cheung

Wall Scholar


Director and Professor


Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries





Geographic Location

William Cheung

Dr. William Cheung is Director and Professor at the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, Director of the Changing Ocean Research Unit, and Director of Science for the Nippon Foundation – UBC Nereus Program. Cheung earned his PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from UBC and an MPhil in Ecology and Biodiversity from the University of Hong Kong.

His main research areas address the key challenges in understanding and predicting the responses of marine natural-human systems to global changes. The ultimate goal is to generate cutting-edge ideas and knowledge that advance policy discussions on the sustainability of future marine and coastal ecosystems and communities.

Dr. Cheung is actively involved in international and regional initiatives that bridge science and policy. He was a Lead Author in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a Coordinating Lead Author in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He serves as member of the editorial board of Fish and Fisheries, Fisheries Oceanography and Frontier in Marine Sciences, and as scientific advisors in a number of international organizations including BioDiscovery, IUCN and WWF Canada.

Primary Recipient Awards

William Cheung – Wall Scholars – 2017

As a Wall Scholar, Dr. Cheung will explore the question: what are the effective ways to communicate to the public about future projections of our oceans and fisheries under climate change? Scientific research is projecting large impacts of climate change on marine fisheries and ecosystems. To develop effective solutions, we need to effectively communicate to the public and policy-makers about what our future global oceans would look like. Cheung will undertake research to explore effective ways of communicating future scenarios about our oceans. He will engage experts related to this topic across disciplines to development approaches for scenario visualization and communication that facilitate co-development of solutions for future ocean sustainability.

William Cheung – International Research Roundtables – 2015

Seafood in an Uncertain Future: from Scenarios to Policies
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. William Cheung, Changing Ocean Research Unit, Fisheries Centre, UBC; Dr. Yoshitaka Ota, NF-Nereus Program, Fisheries Centre, UBC; Dr. Masahiro Matsuura, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo.
This novel collaboration, featuring international experts from a variety of backgrounds—natural and social scientists, representatives from government and non-government organizations, journalists, and artists— will present and synthesize ideas pertaining to the current and future state of the world’s fisheries. Using their academic and personal experiences, participants will address the following question: Do we have enough seafood to feed the world’s demand in an era of climate change?
Specifically, roundtable discussions will:

  • Advance our current understanding of the multi-dimensional linkages between climate change and the world’s seafood production systems;
  • Develop potential scenarios of future ocean fisheries and aquaculture systems, taking into account the tradeoffs between our need for food, conservation of the marine environment, and the preservation of coastal livelihoods;
  • Explore policies for marine climate change adaptation and risk mitigation (including the identification of long-term research directions);
  • Develop a new approach for communicating tradeoffs and scenarios to policy makers and the public at large.
William Cheung – Early Career Scholars – 2013