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Professor Paul Blackwell

Professor Paul Blackwell


University of Sheffield


Statistics, particularly from a Bayesian perspective; probability modelling; ecological and environmental applications

I am a statistician and modeller, based in the School of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Sheffield. My background is in mathematics and I have worked on ecological and environmental applications throughout my career. I am particularly interested in Bayesian methodology, in methods of inference for spatio-temporal or other complex models - often requiring computer-intensive simulation-based techniques such as Markov chain Monte Carlo - and in modelling and simulation in ecology generally.  Specific examples include continuous-time modelling of wildlife movement, spatial patterns of biodiversity, inference for individual-based population models, automated counting and uncertainty analysis for annual layers in ice cores, and using ecological models to incorporate prior information in analysis of remote sensing data. I have collaborative links with the Marine Spatial Ecology Lab (Queensland), British Antarctic Survey, the Food & Environment Research Agency as well as the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, and I am on the executive committee of the EPSRC/NERC-funded National Centre for Statistical Ecology.

Selected Publications

Harris, K. J., Blackwell, P. G (2013) Flexible continuous-time modelling for heterogeneous animal movement. Ecological Modelling, 255, 29-37.

Wheatley, J. J., Blackwell, P. G., Abram, N. J., McConnell, J. R., Thomas, E. R., and Wolff, E. W. (2012) Automated ice-core layer-counting with strong univariate signals. Climate of the Past, 8, 1881-1895.

Blackwell P. G. (2007) Heterogeneity, Patchiness and Correlation of Resources. Ecological Modelling, 207,349-345.

Mumby, P. J., Harborne, A. R., Williams, J., Kappel, C. V., Brumbaugh, D. R., Micheli, F., Holmes, K. E., Dahlgren, C. P., Paris, C. B. and Blackwell P. G. (2007) Trophic cascade facilitates coral recruitment in a marine reserve. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 8362-8367.

Harborne, A. R., Mumby, P. J., ┼╗ychaluk, K., Hedley, J. D. and Blackwell P. G. (2006) Modeling the beta diversity of coral reefs. Ecology, 87, 2871-2881.

Useful links

Profile on University of Sheffield website