Within Queensland University of Technology, Professor Kerrie Mengersen has grown a group of around thirty postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers on statistical methodology and its applications, and has maintained this Bayesian Research and Applications Group (BRAG) group for around fifteen years.
This group is arguably the largest in Bayesian Statistics in Australia under a single researcher. It includes students of different nationalities who have progressed through traditional routes to postgraduate research; those who have come from other professions to train or retrain in statistics, thus expanding their expertise and that of the whole group; and both international and off-campus students. Substantial portions of the cohort are women who are returning to research after career breaks.
BRAG aims to foster frontier research in Bayesian methodology and computation, and the application of these approaches to real world problems. Most of the researchers in the BRAG group are funded by collaborative grants and have collaborators in academia, government and industry, thus facilitating the translation of research to practice.
Current areas of methodological focus include:
- complex systems modelling via Bayesian networks,
- hierarchical and mixture models,
- elicitation and representation of expert opinion as prior information and
- spatio-temporal modelling.
Current industry-partnered projects are targeted to problems in the fields of environment, health, industry and genetics.
Her commitment to training the next generation of researchers is reflected by 30 postgraduate researchers in statistics completed under her direct supervision and over 22 further graduate students completed at Australian and International Universities (Malaysia, France) under her associated supervision.
She is currently the primary supervisor for 12 PhD and 2 Research Masters students, and associate supervisor for 5 PhD students.