Zoë Metherell

PhD student Zoe Metherell

Zoë Metherell is examining how to integrate ecology and landscape architecture to design for biodiversity.

Zoë is a landscape architect and ecological designer with 20 years in professional practice. She began this PhD after experiencing the challenges of ecological design firsthand. Her initial research aimed to clarify the specific challenges in the design process and to demonstrate how urban sites could be designed for biodiversity and people. She undertook the Urban Ecology Park Scenario as a design experiment to explore these questions and this project was incorporated into the urban ecology strategy for the Moonee Valley City Council.

Zoë established the need to develop tools and methods that could aid design for biodiversity at urban sites and partnered with the City of Melbourne and Dr Amy Hahs to produce an Ecological Design Toolkit.

Her research expands on pattern language as a system to generate a transdisciplinary language and knowledge base for ecological design. She has also advanced the pattern language approach, to create entirely new tools and methods for:
• collaboration between ecologists and landscape architects,
• communicating an integrated vision of how to design for biodiversity at urban sites,
• translating ecological theory into nature-based designs, and
• integrating ecological knowledge in the design process.

Zoë was interviewed by the University of Melbourne in 2020 and the story of why she is researching how to design for people and biodiversity is available here.

Contact

Email: zme@student.unimelb.edu.au

Website: www.zmenvironments.com.au

Research Interests

Ecological design in landscape architecture, urban ecology, biodiversity conservation.

Supervisors

Dr Amy Hahs (Ecosystem and Forest Sciences), A/Prof Gini Lee (Melbourne School of Design) and Dr Mark McDonnell (BioSciences).