I am a postdoc in the Behavioural Ecology Group at Macquarie University, and my research investigates in the social and environmental factors that drive biodiversity and species interactions in cities.
I am fascinated by the ability of some “urban exploiting” species to thrive in highly modified environments and I am investigating the traits that allow them to do this.
A focus of my work is looking at the impact of urban insecticide use on invertebrate predators and I love studying anything to do with spiders. I am also passionate about working with local communities to share my love of “creepy crawlies” and help create sustainable green spaces in cities.
In 2016-2017 undertook a 6 month Endeavour post-doc fellowship with the Ecology group at the University of Auckland. Here I studied the effects predation and urbanisaion on invertebrate communities (as well as meeting some amazing people and traveling through the beautiful country of New Zealand!).
During my PhD I had the pleasure of working in the Behaviour lab at The University of Hamburg with Jutta Schneider. I studied the European cross spiders and their behaviour along an urban gradient.
I completed my PhD in 2016 at The Integrative Ecology Lab at the University of Sydney. My thesis was on the effect of urbanisation on the diversity, morphology and behaviour of spiders. I surveyed spider biodiversity in both urban Sydney and surrounding bushland to determine the landscape characteristics associated with spider biodiversity. I also looked at the responses of Golden orb weavers (Nephila plumipes) to urbanisation.
After my honours I travelled to work with William Hughes Lab at The University of Leeds where I compared the immunity of feral and managed honeybees in Northern England.
I completed my honours research in 2009 with the CIBER research group at the University of Western Australia. My honours thesis was titled: Worker heterozygosity and immune response in feral and managed honeybees. My research quantified levels of inbreeding in feral and managed honey bees from South Western Australia and looked at the interactions between heterozygosity and immune function.
I live in Sydney with my partner and young son. We all love spending time outdoors and our weekends are often spent exploring bush land (or playgrounds…) in our current city of residence. We have a special connection with Germany and like to travel overseas when ever we can.
Email: lowe.lizzy at gmail.com