Leesa Sidhu

Deputy Head of School (Education)
Senior Lecturer

PhD Study Opportunities

Are you interested in Graduate Research?  Explore some of the PhD Study Opportunities at UNSW Canberra.  We offer a diverse range of Scholarships Opportunities to domestic and international students to suit you and your situation.

Scholarships of $35,000 (AUD) are available for PhD applicants who achieved H1 (High Distinction) in their undergraduate program and/or have completed a Masters by Research.

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


Conference Papers
Tran TP; Sidhu L; Tran D, 2021, 'A Framework for Navigating and Enhancing the Use of Digital Assessment', in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, ACM, pp. 1 - 6, presented at ICSET 2021: 2021 5th International Conference on E-Society, E-Education and E-Technology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3485768.3485803
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
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, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000410535400037&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
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
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
Journal articles
Quill R; Sharples JJ; Sidhu LA, 2020, 'A Statistical Approach to Understanding Canopy Winds over Complex Terrain', Environmental Modeling and Assessment, vol. 25, pp. 231 - 250, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10666-019-09674-w
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, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmech.2019.00005
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, vol. 55, pp. 1 - 19, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10694-018-0794-z
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
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
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
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, vol. 60, pp. 1 - 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-015-1119-2
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
Hao Z; Drake A; Sidhu L; Taylor JR, 2014, 'Investigating wind effects on insect migration', ANZIAM Journal, vol. 56, pp. 399 - 415, http://dx.doi.org/10.21914/anziamj.v56i0.9349
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, vol. 71, pp. 1220 - 1228, http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2013-0325
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
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 L, 2011, 'The effect of directional wind components on survival of Little Penguins Eudyptula minor', The ANZIAM Journal, vol. 52, pp. C1012 - C1030, http://journal.austms.org.au/ojs/index.php/ANZIAMJ/article/view/3956
Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2011, 'Modelling banding effect and tag loss for Little Penguins Eudyptula minor', The ANZIAM Journal, vol. 52, pp. C206 - C221, http://anziamj.austms.org.au/ojs/index.php/ANZIAMJ/article/view/3941
Sidhu LA; Catchpole EA; Dann P, 2007, 'Mark-Recapture-Recovery Modeling and Age-Related Survival in Little Penguins (Eudyptula Minor)', The 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
Theses / Dissertations
Hao Z, 2016, Testing ideas about Australian insect migration using entomological radar observations and a regional scale meteorological model, UNSW, UNSW Canberra
Waters EK, 2014, Modelling Crowding Effects in Infectious Disease Transmission, UNSW Canberra
Sidhu LA, 2007, Analysis of recovery-recapture data for little penguins
Organisational units
lensSchool of Science
Sub Theme
lensApplied & Industrial Mathematics