Biometrika Research Fellow at University of St Andrews

Understanding the SPDE approach to smoothing

The SPDE approach to smoothing can be understood within the basis-penalty GAM framework. 

Markov-Switching Generalised Additive Models

Allowing for the relationship between predictors and a response to change over time: incorporating flexible generalised additive models (GAMs) with Markov-switching. 

Open Population Spatial Capture-Recapture

Estimate abundance, survival, and recruitment over time from spatial capture-recapture data. Models are fit using maximum likelihood and are examples of hidden Markov models. R Package available: openpopscr 

About me

I am a Biometrika Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews, based in the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling.

My research focusses on stochastic processes that are latent or partially observed. This usually involves stochastic differential equations, hidden Markov models, smoothing techniques, and high-dimensional integrals. Listed below are some of my interests.

Statistical Methods
  • Stochastic (partial) differential equations
  • Hidden Markov Models
  • Path Integration: computing functional integrals efficiently
  • Stochastic Processes: Wiener process and extensions
  • Smoothing by penalization
  • Multimodel inference
Applications in Statistical Ecology
Computer Science
  • Software development in R and C++
  • Matrix Methods: Krylov subspaces, Fast-Fourier Transform, Sparse Matrices
  • Object-Orientated Programming

My PhD was about Incorporating Animal Movement with Distance Sampling and Spatial Capture-Recapture and was supervised by Stephen T. Buckland and Roland Langrock.


  • 2014 – 2018
    PhD Statistics, University of St Andrews
  • 2010 – 2014
    MMath Mathematics,
    University of Andrews, First Class


  • 2019 – present
    Biometrika Research Fellow, University of St Andrews
  • 2018 – 2019
    Research Fellow, University of St Andrews
  • 2017 – 2018
    School co-coordinator for Academic Skills Project, CAPOD
  • 2014 – 2018
    Postgraduate Tutor
    School of Mathematics & Statistics



Each published paper has a link to the published version. Submitted papers have a link to the current draft where possible.

Submitted for Review

Published Papers


Software available from my GitHub page.

  • CTMCdive: R package to fit continuous-time Markov chain model with temporaly-varying smooth transition intensities (intended to model cetacean dive and surface durations).
  • openpopscr: R package to fit open population Jolly-Seber spatial capture-recapture models by maximum likelihood.
  • SimDs: source code to simulation line transect distance sampling surveys with animals moving in 2D.


  • Open population spatial capture-recapture. (Feb 2020) Kent University and Glasgow University Statistics Seminars.
  • Modelling latent animal movement and behaviour in population abundance surveys using hidden Markov models. (Sept 2019) Royal Statistical Society Conference, Belfast.
  • Incorporating point process and occupancy modelling of citizen science multispecies records. (Jul 2019) Addressing statistical challenges of modern technological advances (NCSE) , Edinburgh.
  • Integrating continuous-time animal movement wiht spatial capture-recapture. (Oct 2018) The Wildlife Society Conference, Cleveland.
  • Continuous-time spatial capture-recapture with animal movement. (July 2018) International Statistical Ecology Conference, St Andrews.
  • Encounters between animals and detectors in wildlife abundance surveys. (Feb 2018) Royal Statistical Society Local Group, Liverpool.
  • Accounting for animal movement in distance sampling. (Aug 2017) Intermediate Distance Sampling Workshop, St Andrews.
  • Behaviour-switching animal movement with distance sampling. (Jul 2017). EURING conference, Barcelona.
  • Incoporating animal movement with distance sampling and spatial capture-recapture. (Jun 2017). Summer Meeting for the National Centre for Statistical Ecology, Canterbury.
  • Counting animals in Statistical Ecology. (Nov 2016).St Andrews Mathematics Undergraduate Society, St Andrews.
  • Modelling movement in continuous-time spatial capture-recapture. (Oct 2016). Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, St Andrews.
  • The effect of animal movement on distance sampling. (Aug 2016)Advanced Distance Sampling Workshop, St Andrews.
  • Incorporating animal movement into distance sampling. (Jul 2016). International Statistical Ecology Conference , Seattle.
  • Path integrals in Ecology. (Jan 2016). Mathematics and Statistics School Research Day, St Andrews.
  • Encounters in Ecology. (Aug 2015) 38th Research Students' Conference in Probability and Statistics
  • The Effect of Animal Movement on Line Transect Estimates of Abundance. (Jul 2013). Summer meeting for the National Centre for Statistical Ecology, Lowestoft.