Theresa Ong

Assistant Professor
Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Theresa Ong is an agroecologist who combines theory with empirical work in agricultural systems to understand how complex interactions between the environment, organisms and people ultimately influence food production and ecosystem stability. Her work focuses on how biocomplexity in terms of space, time and species diversity, influences the resilience of agricultural systems to both ecological and political perturbations. Specific interests include urban agriculture, biological control, critical transition theory, socio-ecological modeling, biocomplexity and spatio-temporal synchrony.

123 Fairchild
HB 6182
Environmental Studies
B.A. Williams College
M.S. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Selected Publications

Ong, T. W., and J. Vandermeer. 2018. Multiple hysteretic patterns from elementary population models. Theoretical Ecology:1–7. (, F1000 Prime:

Ong, T. W., D. Allen, and J. Vandermeer. 2018. Huffaker revisited: Spatial heterogeneity and the coupling of ineffective agents in biological control. Ecosphere 9:e02299. (

Ong, T. W., and J. Vandermeer. 2015. Coupling unstable agents in biological control. Nature Communications 6. (

Ong, T. W., and J. Vandermeer. 2014. Antagonism between two natural enemies improves biological control of a coffee pest: The importance of dominance hierarchies. Biological Control 76:107–113. (

Egerer, M., K. Li, and T. W. Ong. 2018. Context matters: Contrasting ladybird beetle responses to urban environments across two US regions. Sustainability 10:1829. (