Monday, 13 January 2014

More than Redbacks and Huntsmen

I'm a PhD student at the University of Sydney (about half way through now, still loving it!) and my research looks at how spiders are affected by urbanisation. Normally I focus on Golden orb weavers (Nephila plumipes) like the one in the photo above, but an offshoot of my research is to survey the biodiversity of spiders in urban areas and compare it to nearby bushland.

I am writing this blog because I have encountered many people in my search for spidery backyards who were keen to learn more about what is living in their gardens. I am constantly amazed by the diversity of spiders that I've been finding, so I want to share these discoveries and give people an idea of what's out there!

I am also writing this because I believe really strongly in maintaining biodiversity in urban areas, and in order for people to want to conserve something they need to like and understand it. I know many people are scared of spiders, but I think if they can see past the Redbacks and Huntsmen and see the cool creatures living in their gardens and surrounds, they might be a little kinder towards urban creepy crawlies.