Jan 2019 – Present: Research Fellow – School of Science, Auckland University of Technology.
2018: Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences – University of Auckland School of Biological sciences
2012: BA/BSc conjoint degree majoring in English literature and Biology (Hons) – University of Auckland
Publications and presentations – For copies of my publications feel free to contact me at leilani.walker [at] aut.ac.nz
Walker, L.A., Vink, C.J., Holwell, G.I., & Buckley, T.R. (in rev.). A preliminary molecular phylogeny of New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea) and implications for web allometry. Manuscript with NZ Journal of Zoology @ 17 May 2019.
Veale, A.J., de Lange, P., Buckley, T.R., Parry, K., Raharaha-Nehemia, K., Reihana, K., Seldon, D., Tawiri, K., Walker, L.A. (in rev.) Using te reo Māori and te re Moriori in taxonomy. Manuscript with NZ Journal of Ecology @ 15 April 2019.
McCambridge, J.E., Painting, C.P., Walker, L.A. & Holwell, G. I (in rev.). Contest Outcome and assessment in New Zealand sheet-web spider (Cambridgea plagiata). Manuscript with Behaviour.
McCambridge, J.E., Walker, L.A. & Holwell, G. I. (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, J.E., Painting, C.P., Walker, L.A. & Holwell, G. I. (2018). Weapon allometry and phenotypic correlation in the New Zealand sheetweb spider. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 126(2), 349–359.
Walker, L.A. & Holwell, G. I. (2018). Bad tenants; Female sheet-web spiders lose feeding opportunities when cohabiting with males. Journal of Arachnology, 46(3), 391-397.
Walker, L.A. & Holwell, G. I. (2018). The role of exaggerated chelicerae in male-male competition in sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea foliata). Animal behaviour, 139, 29-36.
Walker, L. A. & Holwell, G. I. (2016). Sexual cannibalism in a facultative parthenogen: the springbok mantis (Miomantis caffra). Behavioral ecology, 27 (3): 851-856. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arv221
Presentations and invited talks
Walker, LA. 2019. Kaitiakitanga and conservation; they’re not the same thing. Guest lecture. ENVS722 Socio-ecological Systems (August 22).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2018. Exaggerated weaponry in New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea). Joint Graduate School Seminar day (June 6th).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2015. Male-male competition and chelicera morphology in New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea foliata). The 64th New Zealand Entomological Society Conference (April 7th – 10th), Joint Graduate School Seminar day (July 14th), and Behaviour 2015 (August 9th – 15th).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2015. Sexual selection in New Zealand sheet-web spiders. The Entomological Society of New Zealand Auckland branch meeting (June 25th)
Walker LA. 2015. Invertebrate sexual selection” Forest and Bird Auckland branch meeting (August 3rd). Invited talk.
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2014. Sexual selection in New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea). The 63rd New Zealand Entomological Society Conference (April 22nd – 24th), Joint Graduate School Seminar day (June 9th) and School of Biological sciences PhD proposal (June 10th)
Walker LA, Holwell GI. 2013. The effect of food availability on the costs and benefits of sexual cannibalism in the Springbok mantis, Miomantis caffra. The 62nd New Zealand Entomological Society Conference (April 3rd – 5th); The Australasian Society for the Study of Animal behaviour Annual Meeting (July 1st – 4th).
Scholarships and awards
2018: Received the SBS writing bursary of $3,000 to cover costs of living between thesis submission and defence.
2017: 21st Anniversary Research fund to cover costs of molecular work for PhD.
2016: 2nd place prize for Best Student talk at the Combined Australian Entomological Society and Entomological Society of New Zealand conference 27-30 November, Melbourne. Selected to participate in the Science Policy Exchange 2016-2018 hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
2015: Best oral presentation and Best spider talk at the Entomological society of New Zealand annual conference; The Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity strategic fund grant ($700); “Generating a molecular phylogeny for New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea)
2013: Runner-up best student oral presentation at the annual Australasian society for the study of animal behaviour (ASSAB) conference; The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
2012: The University of Auckland Maori and Pacific Graduate Scholarship (Masters/Hons)
2011: Senior Prizes in Ancient Greek, Biology and English
2008: University of Auckland Scholarship
Ongoing: Project manager for Insects of New Zealand playing card project (began August 2015) for which I proposed, secured funding for and continue to manage a project to produce a set of playing cards featuring native New Zealand insects with the aim of disseminating basic natural history information to a broad audience. Product website: nzinsectcards.nz
2017: Co-hosted Wikipedia editing workshop to improve coverage of native insect fauna – 3 September 2017. Event details.
I enjoy giving talks or being involved with community events. Examples include:
- Cafe Scientifique monthly meeting. 29 May 2019. Title: Won’t you be my neighbour? Preserving New Zealand’s Native Biodiversity. (34 attendees).
- Forest and Bird Auckland Branch meeting 2nd July 2018. Title: Bar fights and bad tenants; Sexually selected behaviours in New Zealand sheet-web spiders
- Kiwi Conservation Club night walk, Centennial Park 22 September 2017
- Curious Kaipātiki night walk 8 April 2017
- Bioblitz Auckland 24 March 2017
- Henderson Valley School Green Day 27 August 2015
Teaching and employment
Research Assistant (November 2018 – February 2019)
Coding behavioural data of bats (Mysticina tuberculata) from videos playback in Behavioral Observation Research Interactive Software (BORIS).
Auckland Museum Entomology volunteer (March 2016 – Present)
Remounting specimens, tidying collections, sorting pitfall and malaise trap samples. Accessioning specimens in VERNON CMS.
Teaching assistant (October 2014 – November 2018)
Employer: School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
Grading assignments, exams and assisting students in labs and on field trips. Courses: BIOSCI 103 (Comparative animal biology), BIOSCI104 (New Zealand ecology), BIOSCI210 (Evolution), BIOSCI320 (Entomology), BIOSCI337 (Animal behaviour)
Powering Potential mentor (December 13-16th 2015)
Employer: The Royal Society of New Zealand
Assisting program facilitators and mentoring participants (school leavers) in researching and presenting on a question provided by NZ science stakeholders.
Te fale pouāwhina teaching assistant (February 2013 – December 2014)
Employer: Te fale pouāwhina; Student learning services, University of Auckland.
Providing one-to-one academic skills support for Māori and Pasifika students, feedback on student writing, generate academic skills workshops, teach academic skills workshops, liaise with departmental Tuākana programs, help organise writing retreats.
SBS Tuākana tutor (2011) and co-ordinator (2012)
Employer: School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
Planning and running weekly tutorials for students taking Stage I Biology papers. Manage Tuākana tutors for Stage I Biology papers and co-ordinate program
Service and memberships
Service roles: Combined Australian Entomological Society and Entomological Society of New Zealand conference organising committee (2016); Entomological society of New Zealand executive – Membership officer (2015-present); Auckland Youth Choir committee (2011-present)
Membership: Entomological society of New Zealand, International society of Arachnology, Australasian society for the study of animal behaviour (ASSAB)
Reviewing: Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Animal Behaviour.