Michelle Tseng

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Michelle Tseng
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  • Ecology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Ph.D
Alma materUniversity of Toronto Indiana University
  • Botanist
  • Assistant Professor
  • Researcher

Michelle Tseng is a Botanist and is currently an assistant professor and researcher at the Department of Zoology and Botany in the University of British Columbia.[1] She is a University of Toronto graduate and an alum of the Ecology and Environmental Biology [2]


Tseng received her Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2005 then became a postdoctoral fellow for NSERC at the University of British Columbia until 2007. From 2006 to 2013, she worked as the founding and managing editor for the Evolutionary Applications journal. From 2014 to 2016, she was a Research Associate at UBC. Her field of study focuses on the understanding and prediction of the effects of temperature on insect and aquatic communities. Her lab, Tseng Lab, Primarily does field and laboratory experiments to investigate the ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change [3][4] [5]


Tseng's current research is involved in plant biology, ecology, ecology and quality of the environment, and evolutionary biology. She has five ongoing labs that focus on the effects of temperature on aquatic and insect populations and communities which significantly contributes to current issues and questions involving climate change. Her ongoing labs concern nutrient availability, microplastics and aquatic ecosystem health, size decrease in insects, baseline rate of change, and the rate of evolution and adaptation of insects and plankton.[6][7] Since 2005, she has published articles that investigated species evolutionary responses to climate change while also looking at interspecific and intraspecific relationships.[8][9][10] Tseng is currently affiliated with the Biodiversity Research Centre and the Biodiversity Research: An Emerging Global Research Priority at the University of British Columbia.[1]

EEB POC Project

On July 2020, Tseng as the lead author and other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) researchers of colour collaborated and published a paper called Strategies and support for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in ecology and evolutionary biology that aimed to support Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) in the field of EEB. The paper summarizes strategies for BIPOC in dealing with discrimination while working as a researcher in the EEB field.[11] In a Q&A, Tseng said that she began this commentary piece because she was "worried that undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other early career researchers... were being discouraged" to keep pursuing their academic pathway in the field of EEB since it lacks diversity. She herself as a POC knows how difficult it can be to work in a predominantly white environment.[12]

The collaborating EEB researchers initiated the EEB POC project[13] in August 2020. The group created a Twitter account called @EEC_POC to highlight and advertise scientific articles and preprints that are written by EEB researchers of colour. This project helps the works of the underrepresented EEB researchers of colour to get more recognized. Additionally, it also encourages EEB students who identify as POC that they can succeed and rise against the diversity problem in the research academia.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Michelle Tseng: Assistant Professor at Department of Botany, Department of Zoology, UBC Faculty of Science". UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  2. "UofT EEB alum list".
  3. "Michelle Tseng | Department of Zoology at UBC". zoology.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  4. "Michelle Tseng". botany.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  5. "Botony Department".
  6. "Research & Teaching". MICHELLE TSENG LAB. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  7. "Tseng Lab". Tseng Lab. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  8. Tseng, M.; O'Connor, M. I. (2015-12-31). "Predators modify the evolutionary response of prey to temperature change". Biology Letters. 11 (12): 20150798. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0798. PMC 4707700. PMID 26673935.
  9. Tseng, M.; Bernhardt, Joey R.; Chila, Alexander E. (2019). "Species interactions mediate thermal evolution". Evolutionary Applications. 12 (7): 1463–1474. doi:10.1111/eva.12805. ISSN 1752-4571. PMC 6691212. PMID 31417627.
  10. Tseng, Michelle; Yangel, Evgeniya; Zhou, Yi Lin (2019-09-27). "Herbivory alters thermal responses of algae". Journal of Plankton Research. 41 (5): 641–649. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbz043. ISSN 0142-7873.
  11. Tseng, Michelle; El-Sabaawi, Rana W.; Kantar, Michael B.; Pantel, Jelena H.; Srivastava, Diane S.; Ware, Jessica L. (October 2020). "Strategies and support for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in ecology and evolutionary biology". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 4 (10): 1288–1290. doi:10.1038/s41559-020-1252-0. ISSN 2397-334X.
  12. "Researchers call for support for BIPOC in ecology and evolutionary biology". science.ubc.ca. 2020-07-20. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  13. El‐Sabaawi, Rana; Kantar, Michael B.; Moore, Tiara; Pantel, Jelena H.; Tseng, Michelle; Ware, Jessica (2020). "The EEB POC Project". Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin. 29 (3): 97–99. doi:10.1002/lob.10390. ISSN 1539-6088.

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