Science communication

Dr Leanda thoroughly enjoys discussing all land critters, but especially trapdoor spiders. Should you wish to book her for a speaking event, please send a message with relevant details through the Contact area and she will respond with a quote. Dr Leanda has been teaching Science Communication at universities in Perth for a decade. A list of her practical experience events is below.



  • Radio interview with Great Southern ABC Radio ‘Social Spiders in Possum Nest Boxes’ [4th December]
  • Quoted in The New York Times special The Lives They Lived ‘Barbara York Main, the Australian Lady of the Spiders’ by Alan Burdick [23rd December]:
  • Quoted in ABC Off Track ‘Barbara York Main – Australia’s Spider Woman’ by Ann Jones [25th May]: https://www
  • Quoted in ABC Science ‘Barbara York Main, Australia’s spider woman and Wheatbelt advocate, author and poet’ by Ann Jones [25th May]:
  • Interviewed in podcast ‘Every Little Thing’ by Annette Heist [28th June]:
  • Interviewed in CSIRO Publishing Journals ‘In-Spidering Research: Dr Leanda Mason and the world-famous Trapdoor Spider’ [27th June]:
  • Radio interview with ABC Radio ‘Trap Door Spiders, Number 16 and Barbara York Main’ by Andrea Gibbs [24th May]
  • Q&A Panel, and radio interviews with RTR, Curtin 100.1, and ABC Radio for promotional event screening of ‘Sixteen Legs’ with Neil Doran in Perth [throughout May]
  • Interviewed by PBS Newshour ‘New genus and several species of mygalomorph spiders in Columbia’ by Vicky Stein [12th March]
  • Public talk for Royal Society of Western Australia ‘Trapdoor spiders of Perth’ at Kings Park [18th March]
  • Public talk for Noranda Rotary Club ‘Trapdoor spiders of Perth’ at Noranda Recreation Centre [25th February]
  • Expert consultant for a play called ‘#16 work in progress’ by Finn O’Branagain [22nd Feb]


  • Public talk for Western Australian Insect Study Society ‘What makes a species newsworthy?’ [18th December]
  • Interview for Nine Entertainment ‘Thirsty male trapdoor spiders face fierce predators to look for females who refuse to leave their burrows’ by Danielle Maguire [22nd August]:
  • Presentation at Perth Science Festival ‘Trapdoor spiders of Perth’ [18th August]
  • Invited speaker at Australian Science Festival opening gala Perth ‘World’s oldest spider’ [10th August 2018]
  • Interviewed for Curtin News story ‘Perth’s trapdoor spiders living on ‘burrowed’ time’ by Zoe Taylor [20th June]:(
  • Podcast ‘How old was the world’s oldest spider’: [June]
  • Radio interview with 4ZZZ CSA On-Air Discussion: ‘43 Year old WA Trapdoor spider passes on’ [10th May]
  • Public talk for Urban Bushland Council ‘The Effects of Urbanisation on Trapdoor Spiders in Perth’ [10th May]
  • Radio interview with Radio New Zealand (RNZ): ‘Studying the world’s oldest spider’ by Jesse Mulligan [3rd May]:
  • Radio interview with Evenings with Christine Anu on ABC Radio Sydney ‘World’s oldest spider’ [April]
  • Radio interview with Curtin 100.1 FM ‘Seasonal predation of trapdoor spiders’ [April]
  • RTR ‘Trapdoor spiders in Perth’ and ‘Intense fires threaten conservation-significant trapdoor spiders [April]
  • Radio interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio ‘The world’s oldest spider was killed by a parasitic wasp’ [30th April]:
  • Interviewed for Curtin Instagram story ‘curtinlifeaustralia: Leanda Mason’
  • Interviewed for Particle (SciTech publication): ‘Trapdoor spiders of Perth’ by Michelle Wheeler [24th April]:
  • Phone interview with Alan Burdick, a journalist from The New Yorker published ‘Elegy for the world’s oldest spider’ [5th May]:
  • Phone interview with Avi Selk, a journalist from The Washington Post who published ‘The extraordinary life and death of the world’s oldest known spider’ on [1st May]:
  • Follow-up interview with Rebecca Boyle [18th July] for article ‘Avi Selk eulogizes the long life and too-soon death of Spider 16, and what she taught us’: eulogizes-the-long-life-and-too-soon-death-of-spider-16-and-what-she-taught-us/
  • Vaguely Accurate: #013 The Urbanisation of Trapdoor Spiders [27th January 2018]


  • Guest speaker at Byford Senior Highschool
  • Public talk for Friends of the Porongurups
  • Public talk for Western Australian Insect Study Society Public talk for Kings Park festival of science seminar
  • Public talk for Friends of Star Swamp and Trigg Bushland


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