Short biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne since 2017. I am also an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical & Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS).

Between 2015 and 2019 I was a research fellow on an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), and during that period I was also holding a part-time position as a Scientist in the Chair of Statistics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL, until October 2018).

I obtained a PhD in Mathematics from the Universite libre de Bruxelles in October 2009.

My fields of research are applied probability and stochastic modelling with a particular focus on branching processes, matrix analytic methods, epidemic models, and queueing models. I am particularly interested in applications in population biology and ecology.

Some current research projects

My work is motivated by real-world problems arising in population biology, ecology, and epidemiology. My research focuses primarily on branching processes, which are a flexible class of probabilistic models well suited to the study of populations that evolve randomly over time.

Analysing the probability of extinction of complex populations.

The survival or extinction of a population is subject to random events. The establishment of a population depends on several features including the reproductive fitness of individuals and environmental factors. I am characterising the probability of extinction of various models which incorporate a number of these features. I am motivated by the practical use of these models, so my research also involves developing efficient computational methods to evaluate the probability of extinction.

Stochastic models applied to conservation biology.

I am particularly interested in developing Markov models for endangered populations. One example is the Chatham Islands black robin, which was saved from the brink of extinction in the early 1980's. I am developing statistical methods to estimate model parameters, and I am deriving techniques that enable us to use the fitted models to analyse population viability and design conservation strategies.