About me

I’m interested in understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape the natural world, and in determining the effect that global change is having on these processes. These days I’m particularly interested in exploring the effects of temperature on coexistence and eco-evolutionary dynamics.

BIG NEWS! I’ll be starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph in September 2023! I will start recruiting students closer to that date – stay tuned.


I’m currently a Banting and Biodiversity Postdoc at UBC, where I’m working with Sally Otto, Mary O’Connor and Rachel Germain to conduct experiments that test the effect of temperature on species’ ability to adapt to degraded environments.

Before that I was a postdoc in Jonathan Levines group at Princeton, where I used field experiments with fruit flies and data synthesis to understand species’ rapid evolutionary responses to competition and climate.

During my PhD with Ben Gilbert at the University of Toronto, I used the insects that specialize on milkweed plants to look at the effects of climate change on species that live in patchy habitats. 

Check me out on , Google Scholar and ResearchGate.


August 2022 – I’m starting maternity leave! I won’t be taking any review requests but I’ll be checking email periodically. See you next year!

June 2022 – I’m giving a talk on rapid evolutionary responses to climate and competition on July 1st at the World Biodiversity Forum – check it out if you’re there!

April 2022 – I’ll be starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph in September 2023! Very excited to start up my own lab!

January 2022 – Excited to be giving a seminar at Waterloo on the importance of timing in ecology and evolution!

January 2022 – Two new papers out! “An empiricist’s guide to using ecological theory” in AmNat and “Writing accessible theory in ecology and evolution: insights from Cognitive Load Theory” in Bioscience (led by grad students Will Ou and Gil Henriques).

December 2021 – New paper out! “Rapid evolution of life history traits in response to warming, predation and competition: a meta-analysis” out now in Ecology Letters.

November 2021 – Had a great virtual visit to the University of Pittsburgh to give a seminar in their Ecology and Evolution series – thanks for the invite Taylor Zallek and Mart Turcotte!

September 2021 – Excited to attend the first meeting of an iDiv working group on Priority Effects led by Ben Delory and Tad Fukami!

August 2021 – Started up my big flour beetle experiment at UBC! Testing the effects of temperature on eco-evo dynamics! Stay tuned…

August 2021 – Presented my ongoing research on rapid evolutionary responses to global change and biotic interactions in the Early Career Award symposium at the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution Conference

June 2021 – Presented at the Evolution/ASN virtual conference in the Young Investigator Awards Symposium: “The Ecological and Evolutionary Interplay between Competition and Climate.” Talk should be posted online soon…

May 2021 – Grateful to be awarded a Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution Early Career Award!

April 2021 – I received a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Sally Otto, Mary O’Connor and Rachel Germain at UBC! Exciting eco-evo research to come…

March 2021 – Super honoured to receive a 2021 Jasper Loftus Hills Young Investigator Prize from the American Society of Naturalists!

February 2021 – New paper out in PNAS from my fruit fly work at Princeton: Competitive History Shapes Rapid Evolution in a Seasonal Climate

January 2021 – Finished up my postdoc at Princeton and started at UBC as a Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow!


Please note: I am on maternity leave from August 2022 to August 2023 – during this time I’ll be checking my email but I won’t be taking any review requests.

Tess Grainger
Postdoctoral Fellow

University of British Columbia
Department of Zoology
6270 University Blvd
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z4

tessgrainger (at) gmail.com