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Personal profile

Research interests

My current research activities are focused on a range of areas of applied statistics. One main topic of interest is the development of Bayesian methods for model fitting and testing in epidemiology. Current and recent collaborators on this topic include Chris Gilligan and co-workers in the mathematical biology group in Plant Sciences, Cambridge U, George Streftaris (MACS), Alex Cook (National University of Singapore, and ex-Heriot-Watt) and John Starr (NHS Lothian & Edinburgh University). A more recent, and more theoretical area of area of research for me concerns the application of Bayesian approaches such as data augmentation and Markov chain methods to extend the range of scenarios in which fiducial inference and functional modelling can be applied, and to develop new approaches to the construction of ignorance priors. My work on this topic is collaborative with Stan Zachary (MACS) and George Streftaris. I am also working with colleagues from the School of the Built Environment (SBE) on EPSRC-funded project (2009-12) to predict the impact of climate change on the performance of buildings. Work on this topic is collaborative with Sandhya Patidar (MACS), Phil Banfill, Dave Jenkins, Gill Menzies and Mehreen Gul (all SBE).


Following the completion of my BSc in Mathematics from Edinburgh in 1982 I worked briefly as a maths teacher in Spain before returning to Edinburgh to begin a PhD in pure mathematics. After completing this in 1986 I spent a year as a visiting faculty member in the mathematics department at the University of Virginia. In 1987 I joined Edinburgh University as a research associate in electrical engineering, before a spell working in industry with Plessey Research from 1990-91. In 1991, I returned to Edinburgh to take up a post as a research scientist with Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS), becoming Deputy Director in 1996. I joined Heriot-Watt as Professor of Statistics in 2000.

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Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1991 2019

Model diagnostics and refinement for phylodynamic models

Lau, M. S. Y., Grenfell, B. T., Worby, C. J. & Gibson, G. J., 5 Apr 2019, In : PLOS Computational Biology. 15, 4, e1006955.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Disease Outbreaks

Permutation testing in analyzing the changes in the intensity of hypoglycaemic episodes occuring within 24 hours from previous episodes

Zulkafli, H. S., Steftaris, G., Gibson, G. J. & Zammitt, N. N., 21 Aug 2019, The 4th Innovation and Analytics Conference and Exhibition (IACE 2019). AIP Publishing, 030041. (AIP Conference Proceedings; vol. 2138).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

signs and symptoms (animals and humans)

Comparison and Assessment of Epidemic Models

Gibson, G. J., Streftaris, G. & Thong, D., 2 Feb 2018, In : Statistical Science. 33, 1, p. 19-33 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Epidemic Model
Stochastic Epidemic Models
Stochastic Representation
Partial Observation
Individual-based Model

A mechanistic spatio-temporal framework for modelling individual-to-individual transmission—With an application to the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola outbreak

Lau, M. S. Y., Gibson, G. J., Adrakey, H., McClelland, A., Riley, S., Zelner, J., Streftaris, G., Funk, S., Metcalf, J., Dalziel, B. D. & Grenfell, B. T., 30 Oct 2017, In : PLOS Computational Biology. 13, 10, e1005798.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Western Africa
Disease Outbreaks
Population Density
Equipment and Supplies

Evidence-based controls for epidemics using spatio-temporal stochastic models in a Bayesian framework

Adrakey, H., Streftaris, G., Cunniffe, N. J., Gottwald, T. R., Gilligan, C. A. & Gibson, G. J., 29 Nov 2017, In : Interface. 14, 136, 20170386.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
ecological modeling
infectious disease