Application of statistical methods to predictive biology

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted


The application of an appropriate statistical method is key to extracting maximum information from a data set to answer biological questions and predict system behaviour and its associated uncertainty. Biological systems always show variability, and statistical methods can be used to identify and quantify this variability and separate it from systematic trend. This project improves the use of applied statistics to answer biological questions via data from designed experiments and observational studies. The approaches taken will include the adoption and evaluation of new statistical methods, as well as the adaptation of existing techniques into new areas of science.

Areas to be investigated include: modelling of genotype x environment interaction at both the phenotypic and genotypic levels, with evaluation of field-based designs; use of analysis of distance procedures for quantification of differences in complex multivariate data (eg. PLFA); evaluation of smoothing splines and non-linear mixed models for responses from field and laboratory data; estimation of parameters within general process models; model validation, particularly stochastic simulation models; detection of data outliers within complex linear models.
Description This project has delivered many different statistical analyses to Rothamsted projects and a cross section are referred to in the publications.
Exploitation Route The research has been taken forward by other scientists and occasionally who also occasionally interact with industry.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

Description A wide range of statistical approaches have been applied to problems emerging in the analysis and interpretation of experiments at Rothamsted research. Many of these relate to agro-ecology and crop and fungal pathogen research.
First Year Of Impact 2006
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description Plant & Animal Genome XXIV Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a poster presentation at the major international conference where willow genomics is presented and discussed. P0266
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016