Isabel Ramos Lobato studied geography (major), sociology and peace and conflict studies at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany. In 2011, she started working as a research fellow at ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development in Dortmund, Germany. Building on mainly qualitative methods, her research interests area broadly rooted in urban and social geography – with a particular emphasis on processes of social inclusion and exclusion in different social fields, particularly in the fields of education and housing.
In her PhD (2015-2019), she examined the interplay between socio-spatial and educational segregation by examining parental choice of primary schools after the abolition of catchment areas in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. More specifically, she analysed differences in school choice practices and their underlying value systems between parents with different levels of educational attainment and scrutinised the role of (childcare-related) parental networks in informing, shaping, and structuring primary school choice strategies.
Isabel Ramos Lobato has been engaged in several multidisciplinary research projects at ILS. These research projects covered topics such as: social mixing (policies), social networks, encounters and resource transfer between households in urban neighbourhoods, dissociation strategies of middle-class households, and institutional discrimination in the housing market. In addition to scientific cooperation and basic research, her position at ILS afforded her the opportunity to focus on application-oriented basic research, which involved close collaboration with (national and federal) ministries, public authorities, policy-makers and societal stakeholders.