Ms Olivia Rooke-Devoy
BA/BSc BSc(Hons) Auck.
Research | Current
PhD Research: Realising the opportunities of lawns for urban environmental mitigation
Cities are both important centres for ecosystem services and significant contributors to pollution and loss of biodiversity. This disjunction raises questions about globalisation and urban environments: in cities becoming increasingly similar, how can we best manage our urban green spaces to protect flora and fauna, encourage ecosystem functioning, and maximise ecosystem services?
Turfgrass lawn, advertised as an essential consumer product worldwide, is present in nearly all areas of urban nature. Tied to New Zealand’s colonial history, lawns are valued recreational spaces that buffer our dwellings. However, these homogenous lawn spaces are often highly controlled and maintained, incurring significant ecological and monetary expenses.
Therefore, my project aims to evaluate the social, economic, and ecological implications of lawns in Auckland. Using this knowledge, we will explore new ways of designing and managing lawns, with a focus on promoting biodiversity and mitigating the environmental effects of urbanisation.
Teaching | Current
2021: BIOSCI 394 Terrestrial Ecology and Conservation (Teaching Assistant)
BIOSCI 206 Principles of Ecology (Teaching Assistant)
Areas of expertise
- Urban landscape ecology
- Ecosystem functioning
- Biodiversity conservation
- Public engagement with ecology
- Science communication