Dr. William Cheung, professor in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, has been awarded a E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship.
E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships are awarded annually by The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to recognize early-stage academic researchers and to support them to enhance their research capacity. Ultimately, the fellowship is to assist these researchers as they become leaders in their field and inspire others.
Dr Cheung is a Professor with UBC’s Changing Ocean Research Unit, Director (Science) of the NF-UBC Nereus Program and Canada Research Chair in Ocean Sustainability and Global Change (Tier 2). His main research studies the risks and impacts of fishing and climate change on marine ecosystems and their goods and services, and examine potential solutions to support ocean sustainability that reconcile the interactions between these impacts.
“When I was a student in Hong Kong, I dreamed about becoming a marine scientist and making discoveries that could contribute to a better future for our world’s ocean. It is a remarkable journey to realize this now,” said Dr. Cheung. “This award will help expand my works and their impacts, as well as inspire others to pursue their career in science and to find solutions that address the urgent problems of climate change and other threats to our ocean.”
Internationally renowned, Dr. Cheung is highly effective in helping local and international communities understand how their actions are affecting the oceans, and informing policy and practice changes to ensure the sustainability of living marine resources. He was taking lead authorship role in various high-level international environmental science-policy assessments including those for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and Global Biodiversity Outlook. He also serves as associated editor for Global Change Biology and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, member of the editorial board of Fish and Fisheries and Fisheries Oceanography, and as scientific advisors in a number of international and local organizations including the IUCN, Ocean and Climate Platform and Ocean Wise.
By receiving this award, Dr. Cheung will undertake a research project entitled, “Boosting resilience of marine ecosystems to climate change challenges.” The project will develop knowledge to identify general principles for designing climate adaptation intervention through marine protected areas, fisheries and conservation management to reduce climate-risks in the ocean. It will develop new data-infrastructure and innovative coupled human-natural system modelling to explore effective ways to facilitate climate adaptation for marine social-ecological systems. Dr. Cheung hopes that the outcomes will improve our understanding of the effectiveness of interventions to boost adaptation of marine systems and provide critical knowledge for policy discussion on ocean-based climate solutions in Canada and elsewhere.
“With climate change already impacting our ocean and the dependent human communities, everything from our seafood choices to policies on protected areas need to adapt to get us through these climate impacts before we successfully mitigate greenhouse gases emissions,” said Dr. Cheung. “This award will help me and my research team discover ways that we can do climate adaptation effectively in the ocean.”