The expansion of our cities drastically alters ecological processes and species interactions, so it is vital to understand the ways that urbanisation impacts native fauna. Spiders are widespread predators that utilise many different habitats and foraging strategies, making them ideal to study the effect of urbanisation on closely related groups with different niche requirements.
I am studying the influence of urbanisation on the spider species diversity and investigating the effect of novel habitats on spider behaviour, condition and life history. My research provides insights into the adaption of spiders to novel ecosystems and the underlying mechanisms which drive arthropod diversity in urban landscapes.
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.
After my honours I traveled to work with William Hughes Lab at The University of Leeds where I compared the immunity of feral and managed honeybees in Northern England.