News item:

PhD Opportunities in Statistics at St Andrews, 2016-17

Applications are welcomed for students wishing to undertake a PhD in Statistics at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  Full funding is available for well-qualified applicants; in addition, students may qualify for an enhanced stipend of an additional £1000 per annum over the standard UK research council stipend.  UK, EU and other overseas students are all encouraged to apply.

Members of the Statistics Division at St Andrews are particularly active in the fields of statistical ecology.  Other research topics include Bayesian statistical inference, computer-intensive inference, datamining, data smoothing, latent state models and statistical genetics.  General applications from potential students interested in these areas are welcome.  In addition, we are looking for candidates for the following specific projects; more details of these, the PhD environment and the application process are at the following web site: (pdf document; full address

Specific projects (supervisor in brackets):

- Inferring the impact of varying boundary conditions based on spatial statistics and inverse modelling  (Janine Illian)
- Point pattern analysis of tropical tree populations to test theories of species coexistence and controls on flowering (Janine Illian)
- Developing flexible spatial models with complex boundary structures (Janine Illian)
- Sequential mark-recapture and plant-capture  (Ian Goudie)
- Spatially adaptive tiling (Monique Mackenzie)
- Spatially explicit capture-recapture methods development (David Borchers and Janine Illian)
- Methods for Ecological Surveys with Detection Observation Error (David Borchers and Steve Buckland)
- Distributed systems and algorithms for Monte Carlo inference in statistical ecology (Len Thomas)
- Efficient methods for fitting nonlinear non-Gaussian state-space models of wildlife population dynamics  (Len Thomas and Steve Buckland)
- Strategies for detecting high probability linear models (Michail Papathomas)

In addition, we are offering the following projects in collaboration with other Schools within the Centre for Biological Diversity. Primary supervision may be within these other schools.  These projects may, therefore, suit applicants with some background in these disciplines.

- Quantifying temporal turnover in biodiversity, and how it varies spatially (Steve Buckland with Anne Magurran, Biology)
- Visualizing movement interaction for biodiversity (Janine Illian, with Urška Demšar and Jed Long, Geography and Geosciences)
- The influence of body condition on functional behavioural decisions of animals (Len Thomas, with Nathan Bailey and Patrick Miller, Biology)

For informal discussion about any aspect of the above, contact Dr. Len Thomas <>.

contact: Dr Len Thomas

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publish: 09-11-2015 to 28-02-2017