Meet the Editor: Lee Hsiang Liow

We’re meeting a second Senior Editor ahead of the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting today: Lee Hsiang Liow

What’s your favourite species and why?
Microporella rusti. It is a bryozoan species from New Zealand and is named after a good friend Seabourne Rust who is a Kiwi bryozoologist. Most marine bryozoans are really lovely, but this one is not just that, but a bit weird, because no one has yet seen any brood chambers in the hundreds of colonies we have examined (hey! where did the babies go?). And, by naming this species, I am forever linked with some of the best bryozoologists in the world (Emanuela Di Martino, Paul D Taylor and Dennis Gordon), who are also some of the people I admire most!

Who inspired you most as a student?
My physics teacher in high school. He is kind, smart, funny, caring (he made jelly easter eggs for us) and knew how to make kids love physics. He is also a musician (and it was really fun to be taught the physics of sound by someone who loves sounds).

If any fictional character could join your lab, who would it be and why?
Doraemon. He is kind, funny and full of great ideas. And a bit crazy.

What can you tell us about the first paper you published?
That was a list of birds and butterfly species from a biodiversity survey on three tiny Malaysian islands (tiny one). Gosh it was hard to get all the Latin names right (and the whole 1 page paper was mostly just latin names).

You can’t beat a good stay-cation

If you could recommend one place for people to travel to on holiday, where would it be and why?
Stay at home! Enjoy your home town/city as a tourist and know you are contributing less to air pollution and climate change.

If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill, what would it be?
Oh man, so many new skills I would like to wake up with. But if I had to pick one now, it would be having a sense of direction. Being able program in RevBayes without having to go through the pages of tutorial come a close second.

What’s your favourite sports team and why?
I don’t appreciate spectator sports (why waste money watching else one else have fun?). But I like sports, I used to be in my school’s volleyball team and we made it to national 2nd (OK, my country is pretty small, not that impressive [Editor’s Note: That’s definitely still impressive!]).

Stir-fried Chinese greens : a tough dish to master, but 100% worth the effort.

Are you a good cook? What’s your signature dish?
Yes. I have a few: stir-fried Chinese greens (really hard to do well!), pot-stickers and satay.

Are you attending #BES2018? If so, when is the best opportunity for people to meet you?
Er…. no. But please come and say hi to me at other meetings! I do attend Evolution, Geological Society of America meetings, Paleontological Association meetings. In the past I have attended ISEC and Ecology meetings as well.

Lee Hsiang is interested in deep time evolutionary and ecological dynamics but she occasionally visits the conservation biology universe. Her research occupies the crossroads of the “traditional” fields of quantitative paleobiology, macroevolution, community ecology and statistical population ecology (and some others). Bryozoans are her new love and she wants to use these marine colonial organisms to understand the links between speciation, extinction, phenotypic evolution, life-history evolution and population dynamics.

We’ll be meeting the rest of the Senior Editor Team over the rest of this week. Check back here to find out about them. You can also find out about the other BES journals’ Senior Editors here:

Functional Ecology
Journal of Animal Ecology
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Ecology
People and Nature

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