Ms Leesa Sidhu

Ms Leesa Sidhu

Senior Lecturer
UNSW Canberra
School of Science

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
+61 2 5114 5051
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
  • Journal articles | 2020
    Quill R; Sharples JJ; Sidhu LA, 2020, 'A Statistical Approach to Understanding Canopy Winds over Complex Terrain', Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 25, pp. 231 - 250,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Quill R; Sharples JJ; Wagenbrenner NS; Sidhu LA; Forthofer JM, 2019, 'Modeling Wind Direction Distributions Using a Diagnostic Model in the Context of Probabilistic Fire Spread Prediction', Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, 5,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Phelps H; Watt S; Sidhu H; Sidhu L, 2018, 'Using phase change materials and air gaps in designing fire fighting suits: a mathematical investigation', Fire Technology, 55, pp. 1 - 19,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Chambers MS; Sidhu LA; O'Neill B; Sibanda N, 2017, 'Evidence of separate subgroups of juvenile southern bluefin tuna', Ecology and Evolution, 7, pp. 9818 - 9844,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Chambers MS; Sidhu LA; O'Neill B; Sibanda N, 2017, 'Flexible von Bertalanffy growth models incorporating Bayesian splines', Ecological Modelling, 355, pp. 1 - 11,
    Journal articles | 2017
    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, 61, pp. 2073 - 2084,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Waters EK; Hamilton AJ; Sidhu HS; Sidhu LA; Dunbar M, 2016, 'Zoonotic Transmission of Waterborne Disease: A Mathematical Model', Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 78, pp. 169 - 183,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Chambers MS; O'Neill B; Sidhu LA, 2015, 'Frailty models for the estimation of tag shedding rates with tagger effects', Fisheries Research, 161, pp. 303 - 311,
    Journal articles | 2015
    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,
    Journal articles | 2015
    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, 297, pp. 187 - 195,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Chambers M; Sidhu L; 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, 71, pp. 1220 - 1228,
    Journal articles | 2014
    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, 156, pp. 73 - 83,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Hao Z; Drake A; Sidhu L; Taylor JR, 2014, 'Investigating wind effects on insect migration', ANZIAM Journal, 56, pp. 399 - 415,
    Journal articles | 2012
    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, 454, pp. 263 - 272,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Ganendran LB; Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P; Chambers L, 2011, 'The effect of directional wind components on survival of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor', The ANZIAM Journal, 52, pp. C1012 - C1030,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2011, 'Modelling banding effect and tag loss for Little Penguins Eudyptula minor', The ANZIAM Journal, 52, pp. C206 - C221,
    Journal articles | 2007
    Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2007, 'Mark-Recapture-Recovery Modeling and Age-Related Survival in Little Penguins (Eudyptula Minor)', The Auk, 124, pp. 815 - 827
    Journal articles | 2000
    Sidhu LA; Carss M, 2000, 'Dynamics modelling activites', Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 14, pp. 15 - 25
    Journal articles | 1999
    Sidhu LA; Carss M, 1999, 'The Use of practical modelling activities and technology in Queensland senior mathematics', Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 13, pp. 21 - 32
  • Conference Papers | 2021
    Tran TP; Sidhu L; Tran D, 2021, 'A Framework for Navigating and Enhancing the Use of Digital Assessment', in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, pp. 1 - 6,
    Conference Papers | 2020
    Fraser PR; Sidhu LA; Jovanoski Z; Hutchison WD; Tran TP; Arnold J, 2020, 'Teaching university physics to students from different school systems: Australia's state-based education', in Journal of Physics: Conference Series
    Theses / Dissertations | 2016
    Hao Z, 2016, Testing ideas about Australian insect migration using entomological radar observations and a regional scale meteorological model, UNSW, UNSW Canberra
    Conference Papers | 2015
    Quill RE; Sharples JJ; Sidhu LA, 2015, 'Effects of post-fire vegetation regrowth in wind fields over complex terrain', in Weber T; McPhee MJ; Anderssen RS (eds.), MODSIM2015, 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation., Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, Broadbeach, Qld, pp. 277 - 283, presented at The 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM2015), Broadbeach, Qld, 29 November 2015 - 04 December 2015
    Conference Papers | 2014
    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 2014 - 01 October 2014
    Theses / Dissertations | 2014
    Waters EK, 2014, Modelling Crowding Effects in Infectious Disease Transmission, UNSW Canberra
    Theses / Dissertations | 2007
    Sidhu LA, 2007, Analysis of recovery-recapture data for little penguins
    Conference Papers | 1999
    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 December 1999 - 10 December 1999