Researchers at UCD


Andrew Parnell

Associate Professor

School of Mathematics & Statistics
Room S0.102, Science South, School of Mathematics and Statistics

Tel: +353 1 7162422


I am a Chartered Statistician and Associate Professor with over 10 years experience. I enjoy working with big, messy data sets which have hidden relationships that only statistical methods can uncover. My main expertise is in:

  • Feature/variable selection
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Stochastic processes and time series analysis
  • Bayesian inference
  • Spatial and spatio-temporal modelling
  • Computational statistics

I have applied such methods in a diverse range of fields including:
  • Climate change (estimating past changes in climate from pollen, estimating changes in extreme for Ireland's future, estimating worldwide rates of sea level change)
  • Bioinformatics (biomarker discovering and validation for prostate cancer, visualising gene ontology signatures, predicting elite animal performance from single nucleotide polymorphisms)
  • Archaeology (radiocarbon dating, age-depth model building, astrochronology for the Devonian)
  • Quantitative ecology (stable isotope mixing models to estimate animal diets, monitoring fisheries discard rates in the Irish Sea)
  • Text mining (Maximum entropy models for hierarchical data classification)
  • Manufacturing analytics (Tool wear prediction for computerised numerical control machines, real time anomaly detection for multivariate time series)


Honours and Awards

Year: 2017.
Title: UCD Impact Research Award
Year: 2017.
Title: UCD Venture Launch Winner
Year: 2014.
Title: Chartered Statistician


Association: Past Earth Network, Function/Role: Head of the Data Working group
Association: Royal Statistical Society, Function/Role: Fellow
Association: International Society for Bayesian Analysis, Function/Role: Member
Association: SUPRAnet: Studying Uncertainty in Palaeoclimate Reconstructions, Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

Andrew C Parnell (2014) [Conference Organising Committee Member], European Study Group with Industry 102, University College Dublin , 30-JUN-14 - 04-JUL-14.
Andrew C Parnell (2015) [Conference Organising Committee Member], Mathematical Methods in Systems Biology, UCD , 15-JUN-15 - 18-JUN-15.
Andrew C Parnell (2016) [Conference Organising Committee Member], European Study Group with Industry 118, UCD , 04-JUL-16 - 08-JUL-16.
Andrew C Parnell (2010) 5-day conference on Statistical extreme value modelling of environmental events. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Extreme Environmental Events, Cambridge UK , 13-DEC-10 - 17-DEC-10.
Andrew C Parnell (2011) World Statistics Congress 2011. [Conference Organising Committee Member], World Statistics Congress 2011, Dublin Convention Centre , 21-AUG-11 - 26-AUG-11.
Davis, S.R., Warren, G. and Parnell, A.; (2010) An international conference discussing issues of dating in archaeology and palaeoecology. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], UCD Chronology Day, UCD , 06-AUG-10 - 06-AUG-10.


Committee : Royal Irish Academy Committee for Climate Change Sciences
Committee : UCD Assessment Appeals committees


Employer: TNS-BMRB
Position: Statistician


Year 1999 Institution: University of Kent
Qualification: BSc Subject: Mathematics and Management Science
Year 2000 Institution: University of Kent
Qualification: MSc Subject: Statistics
Year 2006 Institution: University of Sheffield
Qualification: PhD Subject: Statistical Analysis of Former Sea Level


Client: Marine Institute of Ireland

Outreach Activities

External Examiner QUB MSc in Data Analytics
External Examiner TCD Statistics (2012 - 2016)
Maths week event 2012: speaker
Public lecture on 'How fast can climate change' UCD Earth Institute, 2009
Interview by Pat Kenny on RTE1  

Journals Edited

Journal Of The Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics): Reviewer.
Journal Of Environmental Statistics: Reviewer.
Methods In Ecology And Evolution: Reviewer.
The Holocene: Reviewer.
Biology Letters: Reviewer.
Journal Of Animal Ecology: Reviewer.
Ecology: Reviewer.
Climate Of The Past: Reviewer.
Journal Of The American Statistical Association: Reviewer.
Endangered Species Research: Editorial Board member.



Book Chapters

Andrew C. Parnell and W. Roland Gehrels (2014) 'Using chronological models in late holocene sea level reconstructions from salt marsh sediments' In: I. Shennan, B.P. Horton, and A.J. Long (eds). Handbook of Sea Level Research. Chichester: Wiley. [Details]
L. STAUNTON, T. CLANCY, C. TONRY, S. ADEMOWO, M. DHARSEE,c B. HERNA ́NDEZ, K. EVANS, R.W. WATSON, A.C. PARNELL AND S.R. PENNINGTON (2013) 'Protein Quantification by MRM for Biomarker Validation' In: Claire Eyers and Simon Gaskell (eds). Quantitative Proteomics. London: Royal Society of Chemistry. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

PM Franke, B Huntley, AC Parnell (2018) 'Frequency selection in paleoclimate time series: A model‐based approach incorporating possible time uncertainty'. Environmetrics, . [DOI] [Details]
Wendy S Wolbach, Joanne P Ballard, Paul A Mayewski, Andrew C Parnell, Niamh Cahill, Victor Adedeji, Ted E Bunch, Gabriela Domínguez-Vázquez, Jon M Erlandson, Richard B Firestone, Timothy A French, George Howard, Isabel Israde-Alcántara, John R Johnson, David Kimbel, Charles R Kinzie, Andrei Kurbatov, Gunther Kletetschka, Malcolm A LeCompte, William C Mahaney, Adrian L Melott, Siddhartha Mitra, Abigail Maiorana-Boutilier, Christopher R Moore, William M Napier, Jennifer Parlier, Kenneth B Tankersley, Brian C Thomas, James H Wittke, Allen West, James P Kennett (2018) 'Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 2. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments'. Journal of Geology, 126 . [DOI] [Details]
Howard, E., Meehan, M., and Parnell, A. (2018) 'Contrasting prediction methods for early warning systems at undergraduate level'. Internet and Higher Education, 37 :66-75. Available Online [Details]
Emma Howard, Maria Meehan, Andrew Parnell (2017) 'Live lectures or online videos: students¿ resource choices in a first-year university mathematics module'. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, :1-24. [Details]
Tina Dura, Benjamin P Horton, Marco Cisternas, Lisa L Ely, Isabel Hong, Alan R Nelson, Robert L Wesson, Jessica E Pilarczyk, Andrew C Parnell, Daria Nikitina (2017) 'Subduction zone slip variability during the last millennium, south-central Chile'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 175 :112-137. [Details]
WK Soh, IJ Wright, KL Bacon, TI Lenz, Margret Steinthorsdottir, AC Parnell, JC McElwain (2017) 'Palaeo leaf economics reveal a shift in ecosystem function associated with the end-Triassic mass extinction event'. Nature Plants, :17104. [Details]
CM Rubin, BP Horton, K Sieh, JE Pilarczyk, P Daly, N Ismail, AC Parnell (2017) 'Highly variable recurrence of tsunamis in the 7,400 years before the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami'. Nature Communications, 8 . [Details]
B Hernandez, AE Raftery, SR Pennington, AC Parnell (2017) 'Bayesian Additive Regression Trees using Bayesian model averaging'. Statistics and Computing, :1-22. [Details]
Hoffman, Jeremy S and Clark, Peter U and Parnell, Andrew C and He, Feng (2017) 'Regional and global sea-surface temperatures during the last interglaciation'. Science AAAS, 355 (6322):276-279. [Details]
Alexander J Wright, Robin J Edwards, Orson van de Plassche, Maarten Blaauw, Andrew C Parnell, Klaas van der Borg, Arie FM de Jong, Helen M Roe, Katherine Selby, Stuart Black (2017) 'Reconstructing the accumulation history of a saltmarsh sediment core: Which age-depth model is best?'. Quaternary Geochronology, 39 :36-67. [DOI] [Details]
McParland, D.; Baron, S.; O'Rourke, S.; Dowling, D.; Ahearne, E.; Parnell, A. (2017) 'Prediction of tool-wear in turning of medical grade cobalt chromium molybdenum alloy (ASTM F75) using non-parametric Bayesian models'. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, :1-12. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Andrew C Kemp, Troy D Hill, Christopher H Vane, Niamh Cahill, Philip M Orton, Stefan A Talke, Andrew C Parnell, Kelsey Sanborn, Ellen K Hartig (2017) 'Relative sea-level trends in New York City during the past 1500 years'. Holocene, . [DOI] [Details]
J Clowry, J Sheridan, R Healy, S Deady, D Keegan, K Byrne, G Cullen, H Mulcahy, H Comber, AC Parnell, G Doherty, A Lally (2017) 'Increased non‐melanoma skin cancer risk in young patients with inflammatory bowel disease on immunomodulatory therapy: a retrospective single centre cohort study'. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, . [DOI] [Details]
Avril Hegarty, Gerry Stanley, Eugene Kashdan, Jim Hodgson and Andrew C. Parnell (2017) 'Repeatability analysis of airborne electromagnetic surveys'. Journal of Mathematics in Industry, 7 (6). Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Colm Clancy, John O'Sullivan, Conor Sweeney, Frédéric Dias, Andrew C. Parnell (2016) 'Spatial Bayesian hierarchical modelling of extreme sea states'. Ocean Modelling, . [DOI] [Details]
McMahon, B.J., Purvis, G., Sheridan, S., Siriwardena, G. & Parnell, A. (2017) 'A novel method for quantifying overdispersion in count data with application to farmland birds'. Ibis, 159 (2):406-414. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Rue-Albrecht, K\'evin and McGettigan, Paul A and Hern\'andez, Belinda and Nalpas, Nicolas C and Magee, David A and Parnell, Andrew C and Gordon, Stephen V and MacHugh, David E (2016) 'GOexpress: an R/Bioconductor package for the identification and visualisation of robust gene ontology signatures through supervised learning of gene expression data'. BMC Bioinformatics, 17 (1):1. [Details]
Andrew C Parnell, John Haslett, James Sweeney, Thinh K. Doan, Judy R.M. Allen, Brian Huntley (2016) 'Joint palaeoclimate reconstruction from pollen data via forward models and climate histories'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 151 :111-126. [Details]
AC Parnell (2016) 'Discussion of: A Bayesian multinomial regression model for paleoclimate reconstruction with time uncertainty'. Environmetrics, 27 (7):431-433. [Details]
Osman, Mugtaba and Parnell, Andrew C and Haley, Clifford (2016) 'Suicide shall cease to be a crime: suicide and undetermined death trends 1970--2000 before and after the decriminalization of suicide in Ireland 1993'. Irish Journal of Medical Science, :1-5. [Details]
Cahill, Niamh and Kemp, Andrew C and Horton, Benjamin P and Parnell, Andrew C (2016) 'A Bayesian hierarchical model for reconstructing relative sea level: from raw data to rates of change'. Climate of the Past, 12 (2):525-542. Link to full text [Details]
Parnell, Andrew C and Sweeney, James and Doan, Thinh K and Salter-Townshend, Michael and Allen, Judy RM and Huntley, Brian and Haslett, John (2015) 'Bayesian inference for palaeoclimate with time uncertainty and stochastic volatility'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series C: Applied Statistics, 64 (1):115-138. [Details]
Osman, Mugtaba and Parnell, Andrew C. (2015) 'Effect of the First World War on suicide rates in Ireland: an investigation of the 1864-1921 suicide trends'. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1 (2):164-165. Link to full text [Details]
Hern\'andez, Belinda and Pennington, Stephen R and Parnell, Andrew C (2015) 'Bayesian methods for proteomic biomarker development'. EuPA Open Proteomics, . Link to full text [Details]
Kemp, Andrew C and Hawkes, Andrea D and Donnelly, Jeffrey P and Vane, Christopher H and Horton, Benjamin P and Hill, Troy D and Anisfeld, Shimon C and Parnell, Andrew C and Cahill, Niamh (2015) 'Relative sea-level change in Connecticut (USA) during the last 2200 yrs'. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 428 :217-229. [Details]
Cahill, Niamh and Rahmstorf, Stefan and Parnell, Andrew C (2015) 'Change points of global temperature'. Environmental Research Letters, 10 (8):084002. Link to full text [Details]
Doan, Thinh K. and Haslett, J and Parnell, A.C. (2015) 'Joint inference of misaligned irregular time series with application to Greenland ice core data'. Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography, 1 (1):15-27. Link to full text [Details]
Cahill, Niamh and Kemp, Andrew C and Horton, Benjamin P and Parnell, Andrew C. (2015) 'Modeling sea-level change using errors-in-variables integrated Gaussian processes'. Annals of Applied Statistics, 9 (2):547-571. Link to full text [Details]
Brain, Matthew J and Kemp, Andrew C and Horton, Benjamin P and Culver, Stephen J and Parnell, Andrew C and Cahill, Niamh (2015) 'Quantifying the contribution of sediment compaction to late Holocene salt-marsh sea-level reconstructions, North Carolina, USA'. Quaternary Research, 83 (1):41-51. [Details]
B Hernández, A Parnell, SR Pennington (2014) 'Why have so few proteomic biomarkers ¿survived¿ validation?(Sample size and independent validation considerations)'. Proteomics, 14 (13-14):1587-1592. [DOI] [Details]
O'Connell, C and Parnell, A and Hannan, M and Keogh, B and O'Callaghan, DS (2014) '70 Early diagnostic yield of mycobacterial testing in patients at risk of lung cancer'. Lung Cancer, 83 :S26. [Details]
Matthew J Brain, Andrew C Kemp, Benjamin P Horton, Stephen J Culver, Andrew C Parnell, Niamh Cahill (2014) 'Quantifying the contribution of sediment compaction to late Holocene salt-marsh sea-level reconstructions, North Carolina, USA'. Quaternary International, . [DOI] [Details]
Donald L Phillips, Richard Inger, Stuart Bearhop, Andrew L Jackson, Jonathan W Moore, Andrew C Parnell, Brice X Semmens, Eric J Ward (2014) 'Best practices for use of stable isotope mixing models in food web studies'. Canadian Journal of Zoology, . Available Online [Details]
Andrew C Kemp, Christopher E Bernhardt, Benjamin P Horton, Robert E Kopp, Christopher H Vane, W Richard Peltier, Andrea D Hawkes, Jeffrey P Donnelly, Andrew C Parnell, Niamh Cahill (2014) 'Late Holocene sea-and land-level change on the US southeastern Atlantic coast'. MARINE GEOLOGY, 357 (1):90-100. [DOI] [Details]
D De Vleeschouwer, AC Parnell (2014) 'Reducing time-scale uncertainty for the Devonian by integrating astrochronology and Bayesian statistics'. Geology, 42 (6):491-494. [DOI] [Details]
Valentina Franco-Trecu, Massimiliano Drago, Federico G Riet-Sapriza, Andrew Parnell, Rosina Frau, Pablo Inchausti (2013) 'Bias in Diet Determination: Incorporating Traditional Methods in Bayesian Mixing Models'. PLoS ONE, 8 (11):e80019. [Details]
Andrew C Kemp, Benjamin P Horton, Christopher H Vane, Christopher E Bernhardt, D Reide Corbett, Simon E Engelhart, Shimon C Anisfeld, Andrew C Parnell, Niamh Cahill (2013) 'Sea-level change during the last 2500 years in New Jersey, USA'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 81 :90-104. [Details]
Andrew C. Parnell, Donald L. Phillips, Stuart Bearhop, Brice X. Semmens, Eric J. Ward, Jonathan W. Moore, Andrew L. Jackson, Richard Inger (2013) 'Bayesian stable isotope mixing models'. Environmetrics, 24 (6):387-399. [Details]
Mafalda Viana, Andrew L. Jackson, Norman Graham and Andrew C. Parnell (2012) 'Disentangling spatio-temporal processes in a hierarchical system: a case study in fisheries discards'. Ecography, 36 (5):569-578. [Details]
Matthew J. Brain, Antony J. Long, Sarah A. Woodroffe, David N. Petley, David G. Milledge, Andrew C. Parnell (2012) 'Modelling the effects of sediment compaction on salt marsh reconstructions of recent sea-level rise'. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 345-358 :180-193. [Details]
Andrew C Parnell, Caitlin E Buck, Thinh K Doan; (2011) 'A review of statistical chronology model for high-resolution, proxy-based, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30 (21-22):2948-2960. [DOI] [Details]
Andrew L Jackson, Richard Inger, Andrew C Parnell, Stuart Bearhop; (2011) 'Comparing isotopic niche widths among and within communities: Siber - stable isotope bayesian ellipses in R'. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80 :595-602. [Details]
A C Parnell, R I Inger, S Bearhop, and A L Jackson; (2010) 'Source partitioning using stable isotopes: coping with too much variation'. PLoS ONE, 5 . [Details]
Inger, R,McDonald, RA,Rogowski, D,Jackson, AL,Parnell, A,Preston, SJ,Harrod, C,Goodwin, C,Griffiths, D,Dick, JTA,Elwood, RW,Newton, J,Bearhop, S; (2009) 'Do non-native invasive fish support elevated lamprey populations?'. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47 :121-129. [DOI] [Details]
Kemp, AC,Horton, BP,Culver, SJ,Corbett, DR,van de Plassche, O,Gehrels, WR,Douglas, BC,Parnell, AC; (2009) 'Timing and magnitude of recent accelerated sea-level rise (North Carolina, United States)'. Journal of Geology, 37 :1035-1038. [DOI] [Details]
Parnell, AC,Haslett, J,Allen, JRM,Buck, CE,Huntley, B; (2008) 'A flexible approach to assessing synchroneity of past events using Bayesian reconstructions of sedimentation history'. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 :1872-1885. [DOI] [Details]
Haslett, J and Parnell, A.C.; (2008) 'A simple monotone process with application to radiocarbon-dateddepth chronologies'. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), 57 (4):399-418. [DOI] [Details]
Haslett, J and Parnell, A.C.; (2008) 'Comment on article by Blackwell and Buck'. Bayesian Analysis, 3 (2):249-254. [DOI] [Details]
Jackson, A. et al; (2008) 'Erroneous behaviour of MixSIR, a recently published Bayesian isotope mixing model: a discussion of Moore & Semmens, Ecology Letters, 2008'. Ecology Letters, . [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

Eugene Kashdan, Dominique Duncan, Andrew Parnell and Heinz Schättler (2016) 'Mathematical methods in systems biology' Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering 13 (6) :i-ii. Available Online [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

Hill, E. W., McGivney, B. A., Wiencko, H. L., Parnell, A. C., Farries, G., Bryan, K., Katz, L. M., MacHugh, D. E., Weiser, M. (2017) Predictive genetic markers for racing durability and the identification of an exercise-mediating behavioural response gene Cell Symposium on Exercise Metabolism Gothenburg, Sweden, [Details]
MJ Brain, AJ Long, S Woodroffe, DN Petley, AC Parnell (2011) Compression of low energy intertidal sediments: controls, effects and solutions American Geophysical Union [Details]
AC Parnell, J Haslett, J Sweeney, CE Buck, TK Doan, B Huntley, JR Allen (2011) Bayesian Palaeoclimate Reconstruction with Marginal Mixture Posteriors and Predictive Processes American Geophysical Union [Details]
N Cahill, AC Parnell, B Horton, A Kemp (2013) Statistical modelling of sea level rates ensuring the appropriate inclusion of uncertainties American Geophysical Union [Details]
N Cahill, AC Parnell, A Kemp, B Horton (2014) Accounting for Multiple Sources of Uncertainty in the Statistical Analysis of Holocene Sea Levels American Geophysical Union [Details]
Khan, N.; Horton, B.; Ashe, E.; Kopp, R. E.; Austermann, J.; Baranskaya, A.; Barlow, N.; Bentley, M.; Bradley, S. L.; Carlson, A. E.; Clark, J.; Clark, P. U.; Dutton, A.; Edwards, R.; Engelhart, S. E.; Garcia-Artola, A.; Hallmann, N.; Hay, C.; Hijma, M.; Lorscheid, T.; Mann, T.; Milne, G. A.; Parnell, A. C.; Romanchev, F.; Rovere, A.; Shaw, T.; Shennan, I.; Steponaitis, E.; Switzer, A.; Tarasov, L.; Tornqvist, T. E.; Toth, L. T.; Vacchi, M.; Whitehouse, P. L.; Woodroffe, S. A.; Zong, Y. (2016) A global synthesis of Holocene sea-level data to determine its rates, mechanisms and geographic variability American Geophysical Union [Details]
N Cahill, A Kemp, B Horton, AC Parnell (2015) A Bayesian Hierarchical Model for Reconstructing Sea Level from the Common Era: From Raw Data to Rates of Change American Geophysical Union Available Online [Details]
JS Hoffman, PU Clark, F He, AC Parnell (2015) Reconstructing Variations of Global Sea-Surface Temperature during the Last Interglaciation American Geophysical Union Available Online [Details]
Rue-Albrecht, K., McGettigan, P. A., Hernandez, B., Parnell, A. C., Gordon, S. V., Hill, E. W., MacHugh, D. E. (2015) GOexpress: analysis and visualisation of gene expression data using gene ontology annotations 11th Dororthy Russell Havemeyer Foundation - International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop Leonardo Hotel, Hannover, Germany, [Details]
Rue-Albrecht, K., McGettigan, P. A., Hernandez, B., Magee, D. A., Nalpas, N. C., Parnell, A. C., Gordon, S. V., MacHugh, D. E. (2015) GOexpress: An R/Bioconductor package for the identification and visualisation of robust gene ontology signatures through supervised learning of gene expression data 6th International Symposium on Animal Functional Genomics Universita Cattolica del Sacre Cuore, Piacenza, Italy, [Details]
Hill, E. W., McGettigan, P. A., Parnell, A. C., Ryan, D., MacHugh, D. E. (2015) Development of genomic prediction methods for elite racing performance in Thoroughbred racehorses 11th Dororthy Russell Havemeyer Foundation - International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop Leonardo Hotel, Hannover, Germany, [Details]
Andrew C. Parnell, James Sweeney, Thinh K. Doan, Michael Salter-Townshend, Judy R.M. Allen, Brian Huntley, John Haslett (2013) Bayesian palaeoclimate inference from pollen in Southern Italy 59th ISI World Statistics Congress Available Online [Details]
J. Haslett, A. Parnell and M. Salter-Townshend; (2006) Modelling Temporal Uncertainty in Palaeoclimate Reconstructions International Workshop on Statistical Modelling [Details]


Andrew Parnell, Thinh Doan and James Sweeney (2014) Bclim: Bayesian Palaeoclimate Reconstruction from Pollen. Software Available Online [Details]
Andrew Parnell and Andrew Jackson (2010) siar: Stable Isotope Analysis in R. Software Available Online [Details]
Andrew C Parnell (2008) Bchron: Radiocarbon dating, age-depth modelling, relative sea level rate estimation, and non-parametric phase modelling. Software Available Online [Details]

Book Reviews

Andrew Parnell (2012) Review of 'Climate Time Series Analysis' by Manfred Mudelsee. Book Reviews [Details]


Research Interests

Text mining
As PI of the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Automatic Dynamic Product Classification I work on Bayesian methods for classification of textual data. We are currently applying these approaches to very large data sets provided by Clavis Insight Ltd concerning product classifications for online shopping websites

As PI of the Environmental Protection Agency funded project Extreme Events in Calibrated Climate Models: Impacts for Ireland I work on adapting extreme value distributions to spatio-temporal, multivariate scenarios. I was also the chair of the 2010 European Science Foundation high-level conference on Extreme Environmental Events

Palaeoclimate modelling
My main field of research for the last 10 years has been the statistical reconstruction of palaeoclimate from proxy data. This has produced numerous PhD projects, concerning Multivariate misaligned time series for ice core and pollen records, Estimating worldwide rates of relative sea level change, and Identifying frequency behaviour of palaeoclimate records using Bayesian variable selection methods. This research involves a substantial computing element, and combines ideas in stochastic processes, state-space modelling, and long-tailed probability distributions. I have recently been appointed the leader of the ¿Data¿ working group of the Past Earth Network

Quantitative ecology
My interest in statistical ecology concerns Bayesian compositional modelling of data from stable isotope experiments on ecosystems. Through this research we have developed the widely-used R computer package SIAR (>700 citations since 2010)

As part of the SFI/SBI/IRCSET-funded Bioinformatics PhD scheme, I am involved in a project developing model-based machine learning methods for biomarker discovery. The methods enable better prediction of the occurrence and severity of prostate cancers. We have recently filed an invention disclosure for this work and will shortly be submitting a patent
Manufacturing analytics
As co-PI of the recently funded Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership 'Real-time tool analytics wear analytics for medical device manufacturing' I have recently started a collaboration with DePuy Synthes (part of the Johnson & Johnson group) applying machine learning techniques to data sources from machines which manufacture medical implants. This project (in collaboration with the UCD School of Engineering) will appoint two post-docs and a PhD student. 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
DePuy Ireland
Title : Real-time tool wear analytics for medical device manufacturing
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-16 / 31-MAY-19
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Horizon 2020 Transport Information Day and brokerage event, 28th September, Brussels
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-16 / 07-JAN-17
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Clavis Technology Ltd
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-14 / 01-JUN-16
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Statistical Consultancy with University of Exeter
Start Date / End Date : 02-OCT-13 / 31-DEC-15
Sponsor : Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Title : Extreme Events in Calibrated Climate Models: Impacts for Ireland
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-13 / 30-NOV-16
Sponsor : Marine Institute
Title : Consultancy with Marine Institue measuring escapement and production of Silver Eels
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-09 / 30-APR-12
Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : PRTLI 5: SimSci - Split Accounts School of Mathematical Sciences
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-11 / 31-DEC-16

Recent Postgraduates

August 2010-March 2015, Thinh Doan, Bayesian Inference for Misaligned Irregular Time Series
with Application to Palaeoclimate Reconstruction
January 2011-June 2015, Belinda Hernandez, Bayesian variable selection methods for prostate biomarker discovery and validation
September 2011- August 2015, Niamh Cahill, Estimating worldwide rates and accelerations of sea level change 

Current Postgraduate Students

Peter Max Franke, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Emma Howard, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor


Teaching Philosophy


Enhancement of Teaching

I am co-leading a project using statistics and machine learning to analyse data from the UCD Blackboard system which should allow us to identify students learning types earlier in the semester and so focus the teaching material on their specific needs. I would like to see this rolled out across UCD.

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

I have participated fully in the recent curriculum review for all of the Data Analytics programmes and their exit strategies.

Developing as a Teacher

I have pioneered the use of blended and online teaching in the School of Mathematical Sciences since setting up the UCD Online Professional Diploma (and now MSc) in Data Analytics in 2012. These new degrees revolve around new teaching technologies through which we can provide professional quality pre-recorded material to students through Blackboard. This material is created via collaboration with UCD Audio Visual Services, UCD Teaching and Learning, and UCD online. The technologies allow us to combine live-action views of the lecturer, presentation materials, and handwritten content, essential for teaching mathematical techniques. These new ideas have been extended to our undergraduate modules to create blended teaching materials where student can access lecture material in their own time, allowing more contact time to work on problems in class.

Innovation & Leadership


Internal Collaborators

Steve Pennington (Medicine and Medical Science)
Barry McMahon (Agriculture)
James Sweeney (Business)
Conor Sweeney (Climatology)
Belinda Hernandez (Statistics)
Denis Dowling (Engineering)
Eamonn Ahearne (Engineering)
David MacHugh (Agriculture & Food Science)
Stephen Gordon (Veterinary Medicine)
Emmeline Hill (Agriculture & Food Science)
Lisa Katz (Veterinary Medicine)
Olaf Schmidt (Agriculture & Food Science)
Eugene Kashdan (Mathematics)

External Collaborators

John Haslett (TCD, Ireland)
Andrew Jackson (TCD, Ireland)
Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter, UK)
Ben Horton (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Caitlin Buck (University of Sheffield, UK)
Brian Huntley (University of Durham)
Judy Allen (University of Durham)
Don Philips (EPA, USA) 
Jonathan Moore (Simon Fraser, USA)
Richard Inger (University of Exeter)
Brice Semmens (UC San Diego, USA) 
Michael Salter-Townshend (University of Oxford)
Eric Ward (NOAA, USA)
Sarah Woodroffe (University of Durham)
Matt Brain (University of Durham)
Mafalda Viana (University of Glasgow)
Simon Engelhart (University of Rhode Island) 
Adrian Raftery (University of Washington, Seattle)
Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam University)
Andrew Kemp (Tufts University)
W. Roland Gehrels (York University)
Thinh Doan (University of Warwick)
Avril Hegarty (University of Limerick) 
Robin Edwards (Trinity College Dublin)