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Our biostatistics people

Ō mātou tāngata

Meet the members of our Centre for Biostatistics who provide research design and research method expertise to Health Sciences researchers on Dunedin Campus at the University of Otago.

Meet the biostatistics team

Biostatistics Unit
From left: Dr Ari Samaranayaka, Mr Andrew Gray, Associate Professor Robin Turner, Dr Ella Iosua, Dr Claire Cameron, absent Dr Jill Haszard.

Associate Professor Robin Turner, Unit Director

Robin Turner thumbnailAssociate Professor Robin Turner is head of the Centre and is passionate about Biostatistical research and teaching. Her research areas of interest include patient preferences, shared decision-making, diagnostic test accuracy, screening and risk prediction.

She enjoys the challenge of applying statistical methods to health-related studies and developing novel methods. Robin currently runs the introductory biostatistics short course and teaches into Health Sciences First Year. If you are interested in developing as a biostatistician or undertaking a research degree within the Centre please contact her.


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Dr Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron thumbnailDr Claire Cameron particularly likes to be a member of a research team contributing methodological expertise to a project. This means early involvement in a project with the analysis of the data being part of the role. She can also provide advice on the design of studies, including sample size calculations, analysis of data, interpretation of results, and assistance with preparation of papers for submission to journals.

She has worked with official statistics, hospital data, and wildlife. She has also taught statistics at first and second year level. Her PhD investigated the use of open population capture-recapture models to estimate diabetes prevalence and incidence in Otago.

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Mr Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray thumbnailMr Andrew Gray has specialist skills in longitudinal data analysis, power and sample size estimation, structural equation models, item-response models and in the fields of cancer, nutrition and physical activity, and paediatrics.

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Dr Jill Haszard

Jillian Haszard thumbnailDr Jill Haszard works in the Division of Sciences as well as the Centre for Biostatistics (on contract to the Department of Medicine). Jill has a PhD in Human Nutrition so she brings that experience into her role as a biostatistician. She has particular expertise in paediatric research along with dietary assessment, feeding practices, physical activity, sleep, gut microbiota, food environment, and body composition.

Jill has experience with a variety of study designs including surveys, randomised controlled trials, cross-over trials, longitudinal observational studies, and validation projects. Jill’s personal area of research includes the development of methods for compositional data – especially 24-hour time-use and gut microbiota.

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Dr Ella Iosua

Ella Iosua ThumbnailDr Ella Iosua has substantial expertise in the field of cancer including examining mortality, services, awareness and perception, and risk factors. She also has aided investigations in longitudinal studies of children's eating behaviours.

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Dr Ari Samaranayaka

Ari Samaranayaka thumbnailDr Ari Samaranayaka is a Biostatistician (Senior Research Fellow) with research interests in a spectrum of study types involving cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, experiments with repeated measures, and correlated panel data. He has expertise in designing such studies in a wide range of health related disciplines including epidemiology, dentistry, internal medicine, surgery, physiotherapy, nephrology, and pathology. He has experience on using of administrative data from sources such as ACC, hospital discharges, police records for scientific research within limits of their pros and cons.

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Research method expertise

The Centre for Biostatistics has the goal of improving the quality of health research undertaken within the Division of Health Sciences. We provide rigorous and timely advice and support to researchers whom we work with in a collaborative and collegial manor. We have broad expertise in the application of statistics to health-related research across all aspects of the life cycle of research including study design, analysis and interpretation and writing of results.

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