Dr. Toby Michelena becomes “the Greatest Contributor to Water Harnessing” in Wenzhou

Recently, Dr. Toby Michelena, assistant professor in biology at WKU was named as “the Greatest Contributor to Water Harnessing” by Wenzhou Municipal Propaganda Department and the Municipal Water Conservancy Office.

The program to look for “the Greatest Contributor at the Front of Water Harnessing” was launched jointly by Wenzhou Municipal Propaganda Department, the Municipal Water Conservancy Office, Wenzhou Daily Newspaper Group, and Wenzhou Radio and Television Media Group. In Ouhai District, Dr. Michelena was one of the six entities and individuals included in the honorary list.


Dr. Toby Michelena

Dr. Michelena has always concerned himself with water pollution, especially the pollution in lakes, rivers, and marine environments.

Since August 2015 when he came to Wenzhou, he has shown strong interest in Wenruitang River, trying to eliminate the river pollution with his own knowledge of biology and the environment

In December 2016, he led 4 students and 3 employees from WKU and started an ecological restoration of the river, an all-around project to offer a better policy suggestion on protecting the river by establishing a data model and analyzing the impact of pollution on the river, based on a solid knowledge of the river and its biology structure, as well as its ecological system through sampling analysis. “Only based on a thorough knowledge of the river can there be a targeted approach to the problem,” said Dr. Michelena.


By the end of 2016, the project was included in Wenzhou Water Pollution Control and Management Science and Technology Innovation 2016, and Wenzhou Public Welfare Science and Technology Plan 2016, and was financed with 150,000 Yuan by the municipal government.

In February 2017, Xia Baolong, then the party chief of Zhejiang, praised Dr. Michelena for his project of harnessing water when visiting our school’s biology lab. Dr. Michelena was awarded the “Yandang Friendship” prize by the city in 2016.

At present, the project has completed the sampling work at the first stage, to be followed by analysis on all collected samples and second round of sampling.