ACEMS Guest Prof Marian Scott to Deliver IFE Distinguished Visitor Lecture

The Environmental Data Deluge – Sinking or Swimming?

Professor Marian Scott (University of Glasgow)

WHEN: Friday 19 June, 11.45am – 12.45pm

WHERE: P-421, Level 4, P Block, QUT Gardens Point campus

BOOKINGS: Register here



For the environment, important questions are asked in terms of “what is the condition now, in what way
has the condition changed since the previous assessment, can we attribute the changes to actions and
management?” The evidence for the answers comes from monitoring, and improvements in monitoring
have, and continue to, significantly enhance our ability to detect and attribute change (in the presence of
considerable natural variability). One area of technological development is in emerging sensor technology,
which is able to deliver enhanced dynamic detail of environmental systems at unprecedented scale.
In this talk, I will describe a number of environmental and statistical challenge areas, whose goal is to make
ecological sense from the large volumes of data – to paraphrase “Seeing IS believing” but at the same time
NOT drowning in the “data deluge”. Statistical modelling supports the chain of “data-information-
intelligence-decisions and action” and requires innovative and computationally efficient modelling to
handle the challenging aspects of quantity, high temporal resolution, spatial networks and the variety and
complexity of the data so generated.


Marian Scott has been Professor of Environmental Statistics at the University of Glasgow since 2000. She
has a BSc (Hons) in Statistics from the University of Glasgow, and her PhD was in radiometric dating (jointly
with Chemistry and Statistics). She is a chartered statistician, an elected fellow of the International
Statistical Institute and in 2005 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was until 2006,
chair of the Royal Statistical Society, Environmental Statistics Section, and is a member of the
Environmetrics Society and a trustee of Statistics in Public Resources, Utilities and Environment (SPRUCE).
She has been active in promoting the cause of interdisciplinary research particularly
with regard to Statistics within the Environmental Sciences.
Her research interests comprise environmetrics (the application of statistical and
numerical methods to the observation of the environment), and current research
projects include modelling river and sea loch water quality, the impact of climate
change on eutrophication (and in general modelling trends), the role of Statistics in
providing evidence based environmental policy, and modelling long-range transport
of atmospheric pollutants. She has published widely and has over 100 publications
including 3 books, covering topics as diverse as assessing animal welfare, migration
of Scythian populations in Eurasia, the distribution of anthropogenic radionuclides
in the oceans, promoting physical activity, assessing spatio-temporal trends in air
pollutants and modelling water quality.


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