Dr Leesa Sidhu

+61 2 6268 8891
+61 2 6268 8786


Room 133 PEMS South (Bldg 26) School of Physical, Environmental & Mathematical Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, PO Box 7916, Canberra BC ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA


Leesa is currently a Lecturer in Statistics and the Postgraduate Coursework Coordinator in the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences at UNSW Canberra.


  • PhD, 2007, University of NSW.
  • MEdSt, 1998, University of Queensland.
  • DipEd, 1990, University of Queensland.
  • BSc (with 1st class Honours in Mathematics), 1989, University of Queensland.
  • Employed by UNSW Canberra as Associate Lecturer (Feb 1997 - Jan 2000) and as Lecturer from Feb 2007.
  • Employed as High School Mathematics teacher at Bremer State High School, Queensland (Jan 1991 - Jan 1997).

Research Interests: Current projects in my research areas of Statistical Ecology, Mathematical Biology and Education include:-

  • Effect of climatic and oceanographic variables on survival of little penguins
  • Effect of banding on little penguins
  • Bayesian analysis of multiyear tagging and catch-at-age data for southern bluefin tuna
  • Modelling food- and water-borne disease outbreaks
  • Comparing the performances of first-year engineering students at UNSW Canberra

PhD Opportunities: MPhil, MSc and PhD thesis topics for the above research areas are available.

Honours and Awards:

  • UNSW Canberra Rector’s Commendation for Excellence in Classroom Teaching: 2009
  • Highly commended for seminar entitled “Little Penguins: to band or not to band?” at the Australian Statistical Conference in Melbourne: 2008
  • Ria de Groot Prize for the best female postgraduate research student graduating from UNSW Canberra: 2007

Journal articles

Phelps HL; Watt SD; Sidhu HS; Sidhu LA, 2019, 'Using Phase Change Materials and Air Gaps in Designing Fire Fighting Suits: A Mathematical Investigation', Fire Technology, vol. 55, pp. 363 - 381, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10694-018-0794-z

Chambers MS; Sidhu LA; O'Neill B; Sibanda N, 2017, 'Flexible von Bertalanffy growth models incorporating Bayesian splines', Ecological Modelling, vol. 355, pp. 1 - 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.03.026

Chambers MS; Sidhu LA; O'Neill B; Sibanda N, 2017, 'Evidence of separate subgroups of juvenile southern bluefin tuna', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 7, pp. 9818 - 9844, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3500

Hao Z; Drake VA; Sidhu L; Taylor JR, 2017, 'Locust displacing winds in eastern Australia reassessed with observations from an insect monitoring radar', International Journal of Biometeorology, vol. 61, pp. 2073 - 2084, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-017-1404-3

Drake VA; Hao Z; Sidhu L; Taylor JR, 2016, 'Investigating wind effects on insect migration', Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Computational Techniques and Applications Conference, CTAC-2014, Canberra, 1-3 December 2014, vol. 56, pp. C399 - C415, http://dx.doi.org/10.0000/anziamj.v56i0.9349

Waters EK; Hamilton AJ; Sidhu HS; Sidhu LA; Dunbar M, 2016, 'Zoonotic Transmission of Waterborne Disease: A Mathematical Model', Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, vol. 78, pp. 169 - 183, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11538-015-0136-y

Chambers MS; O'Neill B; Sidhu LA, 2015, 'Frailty models for the estimation of tag shedding rates with tagger effects', Fisheries Research, vol. 161, pp. 303 - 311, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2014.08.019

Waters EK; Sidhu HS; Sidhu LA; Mercer GN, 2015, 'Extended Lotka-Volterra equations incorporating population heterogeneity: Derivation and analysis of the predator-prey case', Ecological Modelling, vol. 297, pp. 187 - 195, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.11.019

Ganendran LB; Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Chambers LE; Dann MP, 2015, 'Effects of ambient air temperature, humidity and rainfall on annual survival of adult little penguins Eudyptula minor in southeastern Australia', International Journal of Biometeorology, pp. 1 - 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-015-1119-2

Dann P; Sidhu LA; Jessop R; Renwick L; Healy M; Dettmann B; Baker B; Catchpole EA, 2014, 'Effects of flipper bands and injected transponders on the survival of adult Little Penguins', Ibis, vol. 156, pp. 73 - 83, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12122

Chambers MS; Sidhu LA; O'Neill B, 2014, 'Southern bluefin tuna (thunnus maccoyii) shed tags at a higher rate in tuna farms than in the open ocean - two-stage tag retention models', Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, vol. 71, pp. 1220 - 1228, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2013-0325

Sidhu LA; Dann P; Chambers L; Catchpole EA, 2012, 'Seasonal ocean temperature and the survival of first-year little penguins Eudyptula minor in south-eastern Australia', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 454, pp. 263 - 272, http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps09709

Ganendran LB; Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P; Chambers LE, 2010, 'The effect of directional wind components on survival of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor', ANZIAM Journal, vol. 52

Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2010, 'Modelling banding effect and tag loss for little penguins eudyptula minor', ANZIAM Journal, vol. 52

Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2007, 'Mark-recapture-recovery modeling and age-related survival in little penguins (Eudyptula minor)', Auk, vol. 124, pp. 815 - 827, http://dx.doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2007)124[815:MMAASI]2.0.CO;2

Sidhu LA; Carss M, 2000, 'Dynamics modelling activites', Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, vol. 14, pp. 15 - 25

Sidhu LA; Carss M, 1999, 'The Use of practical modelling activities and technology in Queensland senior mathematics', Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, vol. 13, pp. 21 - 32

Conference Papers

Quill R; Sharples JJ; Sidhu LA, (eds.), 2015, 'Effects of post-fire vegetation regrowth on wind fields over complex terrain', in 21ST INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MODELLING AND SIMULATION (MODSIM2015), MODELLING & SIMULATION SOC AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND INC, Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA, pp. 277 - 283, presented at 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM) held jointly with the 23rd National Conference of the Australian-Society-for-Operations-Research / DSTO led Defence Operations Research, Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA, 29 November - 04 December 2015

Phelps H; Sidhu HS; Sidhu LA, 2014, 'Modelling heat transport in protective fire fighting clothing containing phase change materials', in Chemeca 14 Processing Excellence: Powering Our Future, Chemeca 14 Processing Excellence: Powering Our Future, Perth, Western Australia, presented at Chemeca 14 Processing Excellence: Powering Our Future, Perth, Western Australia, 28 September - 01 October 2014

Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Cullen JM, 1999, 'Analysis of recovery/recapture data for the Little Penguins of Phillip Island', in SEEM3: Statistics in ecology and evironmental monitoring, SEEM3: Statistics in ecology and evironmental monitoring, Otago, New Zealand, presented at SEEM3: Statistics in ecology and evironmental monitoring, Otago, New Zealand, 06 - 10 December 1999

Theses / Dissertations

Hao Z, 2016, Testing ideas about Australian insect migration using entomological radar observations and a regional scale meteorological model, thesis, UNSW, UNSW Canberra

Waters EK, 2014, Modelling Crowding Effects in Infectious Disease Transmission, thesis, UNSW Canberra

Sidhu LA, 2007, Analysis of recovery-recapture data for little penguins, thesis