Research Interests Over the Years
Statistical Theory and Methods
One common critique of Bayesian statistics is its subjectivity,
which arises through the necessity of specifying a prior distribution.
In response to this critique, Bayesian statisticians sometimes analyze
the sensitivity of their conclusions to the choice of prior. But
conclusions can also be sensitive to the choice of sampling model.
That was the subject of my Ph.D. dissertation.
A few years after my Ph.D., Bill Sudderth introduced me to Polya
trees. I spent several years investigating their properties and their
utility for Bayesian nonparametric modelling.
My next research interest was Markov random fields. I used them for
density estimation and for investigating climate change in the ocean.
I also studied the connections between Markov random fields and
dynamic state-space models.
Ecology and Environment
I have had many fruitful and rewarding collaborations with
ecologists and environmental scientists. Among them were
- a project to model the mortality of tree seedlings,
- the FACE experiment at Duke, and
- a long standing collaboration with Susan Lozier, an oceanographer,
to investigate climate change in the ocean.
I have been working with neurobiology to colleages to model
- spike trains, and the dependence among them, and
- optical images of the brain surface
I have run a statistical consulting service for mony years.
I enjoy working with the many people and projects that come through