23 Sept 2019 – Present: RT Shannon Assistant Curator of Entomology, Auckland War Memorial Museum (0.8 FTE)
14 Aug 2019 – Present: Research support, Whai Maia Ltd, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust (0.2 FTE)
Jan 2019 – Sept 2019: Research fellow, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, School of Sciences, 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
For copies of my publications feel free to contact me at leilaniwalker [at] aucklandmuseum.com
Walker LA, Sin I, Macinnis-Ng C, Hannah K, McAllister T. (in. rev.) Where to from here? Women remain absent from senior academic positions at Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities. Submitted to Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management @ 20 October 2019.
McCambridge JE, Painting CP, Walker LA. & Holwell GI (in prep). Contest Outcome and assessment in New Zealand sheet-web spider (Cambridgea plagiata).
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,
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
Conference presentations, guest lectures and invited talks
Hannah K, Hikuroa D, Walker LA. 2019. He iwi ke, he iwi ke, titiro atu, titiro mai – Whose Notions of Encounter and Exchange? Conference panel. Encounters and Exchanges: Exploring the history of science, technology, medicine, and mātauranga. (3 Dec).
Walker LA, Buckley H, Case B, Smith V, Hall D. 2019. The experience of organisations conducting native afforestation in the North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Ecological Society conference (2 Dec).
Walker LA. 2019. Restoring biodiversity in new forest. Guest lecture. ENVS501 Biodiversity (7 Oct).
Walker LA. 2019. Kaitiakitanga and conservation; they’re not the same thing. Guest lecture. ENVS722 Socio-ecological Systems (22 Aug).
Walker LA. 2019. Won’t you be my neighbour? Preserving New Zealand’s native biodiversity. Invited talk. Café Scientifique (29 May).
Walker LA. 2018. The future of women in science. Opening of the Kathleen Curtis Atrium. University of Auckland (20 Nov).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2018. Exaggerated weaponry in New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea). Joint Graduate School Seminar day (6 Jun).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2017. A comparative analysis of sexually selected male traits in sheet-web spiders. Joint Graduate School Seminar day (12 Jun).
Walker LA, Scheltema, E. 2016. The Insects of New Zealand playing card project. School of Biological Sciences “Chitty chatty session” (12 Oct).
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 (7-10 Apr), Joint Graduate School Seminar day (14 Jul), and Behaviour 2015 (9-15 Aug).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2015. Sexual selection in New Zealand sheet-web spiders. The Entomological Society of New Zealand Auckland branch meeting (25 Jun)
Walker LA. 2015. Invertebrate sexual selection.” Invited talk. Forest and Bird Auckland branch meeting (3 Aug).
Walker LA, Vink CV, Holwell GI. 2014. Sexual selection in New Zealand sheet-web spiders (Cambridgea). The 63rd New Zealand Entomological Society Conference (22-24 Apr), Joint Graduate School Seminar day (9 Jun) and School of Biological sciences PhD proposal (10 Jun)
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 (3-5 Apr); The Australasian Society for the Study of Animal behaviour Annual Meeting (1-4 Jul).
Scholarships and awards
2019: Became Associate Investigator of Te Pūnaha Matatini (Centre of Research Interest). Accepted to participate in inaugural Postdoctoral Leadership Institute (30 Oct – 3rd Nov) at the SACNAS 2019 conference.
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
Reviewing: Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Animal Behaviour, Insect Science, Austral Entomology.
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)