Research and publications

A list of my publications is available below. Feel free to contact me at leilaniwalker [at] for pdfs


Behavioural ecology of terrestrial invertebrates

I use invertebrate models to answer evolutionary questions with a particular interest in sexual selection

Equity in higher education

I was one of the only Māori students in my doctoral program and Indigenous narratives were all but absent throughout my education. I hope that this work helps to prepare a space for future Māori and Pasifika scientists to thrive.

Peer-reviewed publications

McCambridge JE, Painting CP, Walker LA. & Holwell GI (2021). Contests between male New Zealand sheet-web spiders, Cambridgea plagiata (Araneae: Desidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology. DOI: 10.1080/03014223.2021.1909081

McAllister TG, Naepi S, Wilson E, Hikuroa D, Walker, LA.  (2020). Under-represented and overlooked: Māori and Pasifika scientists in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and crown-research institutes. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Walker LA, Sin I, Macinnis-Ng C, Hannah K, McAllister T. (2020) Where to from here? Women remain absent from senior academic positions at Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities. Education Sciences, 10(6), 152.

Naepi S, McAllister TG, Thomsen P, Leenen-Young M, Walker LA, McAllister AL, Theodore R, Kidman J, & Suaaliia T. (2020). The Pakaru ‘Pipeline’: Māori and Pasifika Pathways within the Academy. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 24, 142.

Walker LA, Vink CJ, Holwell GI, & Buckley TR. (2019). A preliminary molecular phylogeny of New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea) and implications for web allometry. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, DOI: 10.1080/03014223.2019.1672760

Veale AJ, de Lange P, Buckley TR, Parry K, Raharaha-Nehemia K, Reihana K, Seldon D, Tawiri K, Walker LA. (2019) Using te reo Māori and te re Moriori in taxonomy. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 43(3), 3388. DOI: 10.20417/nzjecol.43.30 

McCambridge JE, Walker LA & Holwell GI. (2019). Natural history and ecology of the New Zealand sheetweb spiders Cambridgea plagiata and C. foliata (Araneae: Desidae). Journal of Natural History, 53(19-20), 1153-1167.

McCambridge JE, Painting CP, Walker LA & Holwell GI. (2018). Weapon allometry and phenotypic correlation in the New Zealand sheetweb spider. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 126(2), 349–359.

Walker, LA & Holwell, GI. (2018). Bad tenants; Female sheet-web spiders lose feeding opportunities when cohabiting with males. Journal of Arachnology, 46(3), 391-397.

Walker LA & Holwell, GI. (2018). The role of exaggerated chelicerae in male-male competition in sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea foliata). Animal behaviour, 139, 29-36.

Walker LA & Holwell GI. (2016). Sexual cannibalism in a facultative parthenogen: the springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra). Behavioral ecology, 27 (3): 851-856. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arv221