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(BSc, MSc (Alaska Fairbanks), PhD Otago)Headshot Peter Dillingham

Senior Lecturer
Director of Studies for 200- and 300-level Statistics
Coastal People: Southern Skies Centre of Research Excellence (Theme Leader)

Office: Science III, room 516
Tel +64 3 479 5971


Originally from southern California, I moved to the far north where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Mathematics, followed by an MSc in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After five years as a researcher at the University of Washington, and a year as a stay-at-home Dad in Dublin, I moved to the far south for my PhD (Population modelling of seabirds) at the University of Otago. Following stints at Clark University (Massachusetts) and leading the Statistics group at the University of New England (New South Wales), I returned to Otago in 2017.

Teaching responsibilities

Teaching responsibilities include:

  • STAT 210 Applied Statistics (Course Coordinator)
  • STAT 371 Bayesian Data Analysis (Course Coordinator)
  • STAT 441 Topic in Advanced Statistics (Official Statistics, Local Coordinator)
  • MARI 401 Advanced Methods in Marine Science

Research Interests

Ecological, Environmental, and Bayesian Statistics. Much of my work brings quantitative methods to the study of marine systems, and trying to understand and address humankind's impact on them. This includes designing multi-factor experiments for studying ocean global change, developing tools to help manage impact on marine megafauna from fisheries, and developing statistical models for chemical sensors used for environmental monitoring. I maintain a secondary interest in health applications, particularly health outcomes research.


Wang, T., Griffin, J. D., Brenna, M., Fletcher, D., Zeng, J., Stirling, M., Dillingham, P. W., & Kang, J. (2024). Earthquake forecasting from paleoseismic records. Nature Communications, 15, 1944. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-46258-z Journal - Research Article

Chen, W.-H., Armstrong, E., Dillingham, P. W., Moratti, S. C., Ennis, C., & McGraw, C. M. (2023). Dual-lifetime referencing (t-DLR) optical fiber fluorescent pH sensor for microenvironments. Sensors, 23, 8865. doi: 10.3390/s23218865 Journal - Research Article

Rahimi, S., Moore, A. B., Whigham, P. A., & Dillingham, P. (2023). Counterfactual reasoning in space and time: Integrating graphical causal models in computational movement analysis. Transactions in GIS. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/tgis.13100 Journal - Research Article

Wickman, L., Rayment, W., Dillingham, P., Dawson, S., & Slooten, L. (2023). Updated estimates of survival rate for Hector's dolphins at Banks Peninsula. Proceedings of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) Annual Meeting. (pp. 174). [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Fletcher, D., Dillingham, P. W., & Parry, M. (2023). A simple and robust approach to Bayesian modelling of overdispersed data. Environmental & Ecological Statistics, 30, 289-308. doi: 10.1007/s10651-023-00567-6 Journal - Research Article

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