Dr Patricia Lu-Irving is the Weed Botanist at the National Herbarium of New South Wales at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
She currently leads a groundbreaking weed genomics project supported by the focused on lantana – a type of flowering plant native to the American tropics, and one of Australia's Weeds of National Significance. This project aims to unravel relationships within the invasive Lantana camara species complex, providing valuable insights into the origins of these weeds and paving the way for improved management strategies.
With a Phd in plant evolution and experience in the ecological genomics of invasive plants, Patricia applies broad expertise to her research seeking to understand the evolutionary ecology of weeds. Her work day varies depending on a project's stage; ranging from fieldwork to lab work, data analysis to manuscript writing, and collaboration with colleagues.
Her passion lies in scientific discovery and problem-solving with significant implications. The diversity and importance of flowering plants fascinate her, and she feels fortunate that each day offers new opportunities to learn and make meaningful contributions.
She envisions the Botanic Gardens of Sydney continuing its legacy of excellence in botany and plant evolutionary ecology research and expanding on collaborations and partnerships with other organisations in science, government, and industry.