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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a Chancellor's Fellow in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. I have over 15 years of experience as a biostatistician working on clinical trials, complex interventions, observational studies and linkage of routinely collected datasets, using complex statistical methods.  I have been involved in studies from conception to completion, with a key role in design, analysis and interpretation.

My work covers a wide range of disciplines in health and wellbeing.  I am particularly interested in the relationship between physical and mental health and interventions that take a holistic approach to both.  I have a specific interest in perinatal and early years research.

From a statistical point of view I am interested in methods to analyse longitudinal and spatial data.  I am particularly interested in using routinely collected data to answer important public health questions.

I am passionate about interpretation and communication of statistics, particularly to people with no background in statistics.  As a statistician I believe I have a responsibility to ensure that my work is easily intelligible and that it has an impact in the real world.

Research Interests

My interests lie in using data to answer key public health questions, particularly using spatial and longitudinal data and routinely collected datasets.  I am especially interested in the challenge of addressing physical and mental health problems holistically and in trials of complex interventions. 

I am keen to work in any area of health that has statistical challenges, but have particular interests in perinatal and early years research, physical activity interventions and the interface between physical and mental health.

Expertise & Capabilities

I have a strong record in design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials, epidemiological studies, complex interventions and record linkage studies.  I have developed and employed a broad range of complex statistical methodology for medical applications.  I have worked in a wide range of medical areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression and numerous others.  I have worked with complex, large datasets and have particular experience using nationally collected datasets, such as hospital admissions and prescriptions data.

I am the statistical expert member of an NHS Ethics Committee, which gives me great insight into the patients' views on clinical studies.  This informs my approach to study design and ensures that the studies I am involved in are fully patient-oriented.

I am one of the academic statistical experts on the Scottish Government Technical Advisory Group on Resource Allocation (TAGRA) Morbidity and Life Circumstances subgroup, which assessed the formula used to allocated funding to NHS boards in Scotland in the most recent update, and continues to review it annually.  This work had, and continues to have, enormous impact on how healthcare is distributed in Scotland, ensuring that those who need it most have the easiest access.

I am an Editorial Board Member of Nature Scientific Reports and am statistical reviewer for a number of journals.

I am passionate about communication of statistics and keen to promote understanding of statistics in any area of application.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 18 Jun 2008

Master of Mathematics and Statistics, Univ Lancaster, Dept Math & Stat

Award Date: 30 Sep 2002

Bachelor of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 11 Jul 2001


  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical Trials
  • Record linkage
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Physical activity
  • Public Health


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