Lizzy Lowe

Lizzy Lowe

Position: Doctoral candidate

Mobile: 0413 871 179
Location: Room 408, Heydon-Laurence Building (A08),
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Email:
Website: http://sydneyspiders.blogspot.com.au/


Current Research

"The effect of urbanization on the diversity, abundance and condition of spiders"
The continual expansion of urban areas is drastically altering ecological processes and interactions, making it critical to understand how 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 diversity and abundance of spider functional groups and investigating the effect of novel habitats on spider behaviour, condition and development. This research will provide insight into the adaption of spiders to novel ecosystems and the underlying mechanisms which drive arthropod diversity in urban landscapes.

Past Research

  • 2013 Academic Exchange, Zoological Institute, University of Hamburg
  • 2010 Academic Exchange, Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, University of Leeds
  • 2010 Honours in Zoology at the University of Western Australia
    Thesis Title: "Heterozygosity and immunity of feral and managed honey bees in Western Australia"
    Supervised by: Prof. Boris Baer and Prof. Leigh Simmons

Publications

  • E. Lowe, L.W. Simmons and B. Baer (2011) "Worker heterozygosity and immune response in feral and managed honeybees (Apis mellifera)."
    Australian Journal of Zoology 59(2):73-78
  • EC. Lowe, Wilder SM, Hochuli DF (2014) Urbanisation at Multiple Scales Is Associated with Larger Size and Higher Fecundity of an Orb-Weaving Spider. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105480. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105480
  • Colas des Francs-Small, C., A. Falcon de Longevialle, Y. Li, E. Lowe, S. Tanz, C. Smith, M. Bevan and I. Small (2014) "The PPR proteins TANG2 and OTP439 are involved in the splicing of the multipartite NAD5 transcript encoding a subunit of a mitochondrial complex I" Plant Physiology DOI:10.1104/pp.114.244616

Oral Presentations

  • 2014 “Spider communities in cities: have we underestimated the biodiversity value of private gardens?” The Ecological Society of Australia, Alice Springs
  • 2014 "The effects of urbanisation on wildlife - The spider story" Three minute thesis competition, University of Sydney Finals
  • 2014 "The effects of urbanisation on wildlife" Research bites, The University of Sydney
  • 2014 “Boldness and feeding voracity of the European garden spider along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance” Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Katoomba
  • 2014 “Boldness and feeding voracity of the European garden spider along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance” International Society of Behavioural Ecology, New York
  • 2013 "How to pick a winner: the effect of urbanisation on the abundance and life history of Nephila plumipes" Entomological Society of Australia, Adelaide
  • 2013 "The effect of urbanisation on the size and condition of Nephila plumipes" International Arachnology Congress, Taiwan.
  • 2012 "The effect of urbanisation on the size and condition of Nephila plumipes" The Ecological Society of Australia, Melbourne.
  • 2012 "The effect of urbanisation on the size and condition of Nephila plumipes" Entomological Society of Australia, Hobart
  • 2012 “The effect of urbanisation on spider communities” Biological Sciences Postgraduate showcase, University of Sydney
  • 2011 "Genetic diversity and immunity in feral and managed honey bees in Western Australia" Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
  • 2010 "The factors affecting the immunity of Apis mellifera" Honey bee diseases workshop Perth, Western Australia
  • 2009 “Problems facing the Honeybee, Research on Western Australian Bees” Western Australian Apiarists Society

Poster Presentation

  • 2012 "How to pick a winner: The effect of urbanisation on the life history of an urban exploiter" International Arachnology Congress, Taiwan

Outreach and community involvement

  • 2014 Board appointed member for social media, Australian Entomological Society
  • 2014 Board member for the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour
  • 2014 Board member of Society of Conservation Biology, Sydney chapter
  • 2014 CSIRO scientists in Schools program, volunteering at Camdenville Public School and Crown St Public School
  • 2014 Chair for School of Biological Sciences postgraduate showcase
  • 2013 President of the School of Biological Sciences postgraduate student committee
  • 2013 Member of the School of Biological Sciences safety committee
  • 2012- 2014 Member of the School of Biological Sciences postgraduate student committee
  • 2012-2014 Helping to coordinate postgraduate introduction days and postgraduate showcases
  • 2012-2013 Volunteer for School of Biological Sciences alumni event
  • 2012 Demonstrator for Kick Start high school program

Awards

Year Academic Scholarships and Awards
2014 Student Presentation Award, Ecological Society of Australia Conference
2014 Helen Beh Citizenship Award, Science student who has contributed most to the Faculty of Science’s non-academic activities and interests.
2013 Student grant to attend the International Congress of Arachnology
2013 First prize for student presentation at the International Congress of Arachnology
2013 Student grant to attend the Australian Entomological Society Conference
2013 Highly commended presentation at the Entomological society of Australia conference
2012 Highly commended presentation at the Entomological society of Australia conference
2011 First prize for oral presentation and third place overall for the Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum

Media

2014 PLoS One paper reported in 123 online articles including; New Scientist, Sydney Morning Herald, Los Angeles Times, Daily Mail, Wired, Smithsonian, Australian Geographic, BBC news, Telegraph UK.
2014 "City spiders are getting bigger — but that’s a good thing" The Conversation, 39,000 readers, ranked 16th out of 1592 articles from The University of Sydney
2014 Radio interviews with; BBC world service, ABC Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, KPCC  Los Angeles, 2SER Sydney, 2UE Sydney, 4BC Sydney.
2014 TV interview, the ABC midday report with Ros Childs
2013 "Killing spiders risks an increase in other pests"
Article published in print and video interview at the Sydney Morning Herald
2012 "City dwelling spiders getting all warm and fuzzy - and bigger"
Article published in print at the Sydney morning Herald and The Age.
2012 Radio interview on ABC720 radio Perth, Eoin Cameron’s breakfast show.
2012 Radio interview on 3AW News radio Melbourne, Denis Walters afternoon show.