Statistical Solutions to Environmental Problems

News & Updates

Australian COVID-19 Analysis
April 5, 2020 
State-by-state predictions.

Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission slams CSIRO
January 30, 2019 
Commissioner of the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission, Bret Walker SC, has released his report into the Murray Darling Basin Authority. CSIRO's lack of interaction with the Royal Commission has drawn heavy criticism.

Revised Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality Released!
After 5.5 years, the "Revised method for deriving Australian and New Zealand water quality guideline values for toxicants" has finally been released.

Adelaide Coastal Waters Study - South Australia's illegitimate child.
December 15, 2016 
It's almost a decade since the completion of the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study. Project Director, Prof. David Fox shares some insights into how the study and the final report were managed.

Vale Brian White
21 October, 2016 
One of the country's best mathematics educators recently passed away.

Time to shut down tabloid journals and Academic Doping
19 August, 2016 
The academic and research communities are being swamped under a tsunami of junk journal invitations promising rapid publication in their "prestigious" publications.

Ten Simple Rules
June 21, 2016 

Statistics may be everywhere, but they aren't always understood, calculated, or communicated effectively. After a suggestion from the ASA, a group of leading statisticians penned "Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice"  to help researchers avoid pitfalls of misrepresenting data or formulating hypotheses based on faulty statistical reasoning.

Joe Gani on CSIRO
June 10, 2016 
Professor Joe Gani was a distinguished mathematical statistician and was Chief of CSIRO's Division of Mathematics and Statistics between 1974 and 1981. In a 2008 interview he reflected upon his CSIRO years. What's extraordinary is how very little has changed with respect to CSIRO's penchant for change!

As we've long been advocating - it's time this endless, unproductive cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction ceased (or at least had a longer return period).

If you think all the current rhetoric about CSIRO needing to become more relevant, more commercially focused and 'customer' driven is new, reflect for a moment on Professor Gani's experience more than 40 years ago.

Climate Science on the Skids
May 30 2016 
CSIRO CEO, Dr. Larry Marshall makes another extraordinary claim.

New paper published
May 25, 2016 
Professors David Fox (Environmetrics Australia / University of Melbourne) and Wayne Landis (Western Washington University) respond to renewed calls to retain the NOEC in ecotoxicology.

Larry Marshall - Same dog, different leg action
April 11, 2016 
Although CSIRO has a new CEO in Larry Marshall, the 'innovation' rhetoric and restructuring is not. You'd think that with the passage of 10 years, the organisation (indeed any organisation) would be reaping the benifits of structural change. Regrettably, CSIRO never got off the slash and burn treadmill.

CSIRO suffers the bends after Deep Dive
April 08, 2016 
CSIRO in the spot-light again - for all the wrong reasons (again)

Hey Larry - it's not either / or
February 12, 2016 
CSIRO's boss, Larry Marshall takes the axe to climate research

Statisticians and (eco)Toxicologists Unite!
January 5, 2016 
As debates about the legitimacy of NOECs and NOELs continue unabated, we believe it's well and truly time to establish a sub-discipline of Statistical (eco)toxicology.

Revised ANZECC Guidelines officially released!
22 December, 2015 
It's been a long process, but the Revised ANZECC Water Quality Guidelines for Toxicants has been officially released.


SETAC Australasia - Nelson NZ
27 August, 2015 
"Toxicant guideline values for the protection of aquatic ecosystems -  an improved derivation method and overview of priority toxicants."

Rick van Dam, Graeme Batley, Michael Warne Jenny Stauber, David Fox, Chris Hickey,  John Chapman

Is data scientist sexiest job of the century?
19 April, 2015 
A few years ago, The Harvard Business Review hailed the burgeoning role

of data scientist  "The sexiest job of the 21st century" . With big
data technology driving the change, how does the new role stack up?

Social 'Science' - Science No More!
18 March, 2015 
This is not a bad dream - the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology has banned the use of statistical inference!

CSIRO and the Gutting of Wisdom
21 December, 2014 
Read Bridie Smith's story about the impact of funding cuts to the CSIRO.

Hello 2015. Goodby Linkedin
January 2, 2015 
Have you stopped to think about the actual value YOU derive from having a Linkedin account?

Statistical Janitorial Services
December 31, 2014 
We've written about BIG data before and while some reckon it's sexy, you better roll up your sleeves because you'll invariably need to do a lot of 'janitorial' (a.k.a. shit) work first!

The problems of very small n
December 4, 2014 
Professors Murray Aitkin and David Fox are invited speakers at the Australian Applied Statistics Conference (AASC) 2014.

BIG data is watching you
November 6, 2014 
Ron Sandland recently wrote about the new phenomenon of 'big data' - weighing up the benefits and concerns. Terry Speed reflected on the same issue in a talk earlier this year in Gothenburg, Sweeden noting that this is nothing new to statisticians. So what's all the fuss about?
Here's another take on the 'big data' bandwagon.

New Method for Water Quality Guideline Calculations
Sep 15, 2014 
The ANZECC (2000) Guidelines are currently being reviewed.

The Explosive Growth of R
Sept 3, 2014 
Have no doubts - R reigns supreme!!

R - the Wikepedia of statistical software?
August 20, 2014 
The R computing environment is feature-rich, incredibly powerful, and best of all - free! But to what extent can we trust user-contributed packages?

Let there be light!
May 22, 2014 
New Industry Standard for managing seagrasses during dredging projects.

Statistical Accreditation
May 20, 2014 
Make sure you're dealing with someone who knows their stuff!

Job losses at CSIRO bigger than expected
May 15, 2014 
Confirmed in a message yesterday from CSIRO Chief Executive, Megan Clark:

Australian Science takes a hit
May 15, 2014 
Joe Hockey's budget has not been kind to science

Information-gap decision theory creates a gap in ecological applications and then fills it
May 14, 2014 
You may not of heard of Info Gap Decision Theory (IGDT) but don't worry, not many people have.

Probability Weighted Indicies for Improved Ecosystem Report Card Scoring
May 09, 2014 
A new way for calculating an environmental index is described in an upcoming paper "Probability Weighted Indices for improved ecosystem report card scoring" has been published in Environmetrics. Click here.

New Report on Ecosystem Report Cards
April 4, 2014 
'Report Cards' and their associated scoring techniques are widely used to convey a measure of overall ecosystem health to a wide audience. However, as with most things, developing, testing and validating these metrics is not straightforward.

Revision of Australian Water Quality Guidelines
March 27, 2014 
The long-awaited review of the ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000) Water Quality Guidelines is now well under way!

Turbidity Monitoring clouded by dubious science
February 17, 2014 
Regulators and industry around the country are using a potentially flawed method to set environmental limits on water column turbidity.

Breaking down the team barrier
21 January, 2014 
New research suggests that team effectiveness may actually benefit from tension and hostility.

Mathematics of Planet Earth
May 30, 2013 
Local and international experts come together to discuss how mathematical and related scientific disciplines can be utilised to better understand the world around us.

Canadian Environmental Science and Regulation under threat
12 April 2013 
The Canadian Federal Government is making drastic reductions in the reach and capabilities of its environmental science departments.  Read Peter Wells's Marine Pollution Bulletin article.

High Impact
15 March 2013 
The peer-reviewed journal "Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management" (IEAM) lists Fox (2012) as one of its most accessed articles in 2012.

New Predictive Capability for Dredging projects
29 November 2012 
Environmetrics Australia has developed a unique water column turbidity and benthic light forecasting system.


Taking the Stick (yet again) to CSIRO
May 07, 2014 
Times are tough and about to get a lot tougher in the country's premier research agency.

My mission is to have no vision statement!
15 April 2013 
Twenty or so years down the track and the vision and mission thing is still as popular as ever in corporate Australia. Why?

Deja vu: CSIRO (still) in deep trouble?
15 April 2013 
More than 7 years ago, former divisional chief, Max Whitten wrote about a "crisis in confidence" in CSIRO. It makes for interesting reading in light of the flurry of similar articles which have appeared more recently in the media.

More bad news for CSIRO
April 13 2013 
Another blow to our science agency.

International Year of Statistics
06 February 2013 
2013 is the International Year of Statistics

New Learned Discourse
11 July 2011 
David Fox and Elise Billoir comment on the important distinction between population effects and individual effects in concentration-response modelling.

ASE Keynote address
18 April 2011 
Prof. David Fox gave a Keynote address at the recent Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology conference held in Darwin.

Psst...Wanna win the lottery? Here's how.
11 Feb 2011 
Statistician cracks the code to scratch lotto tickets!
Canadian geological statistician, Mohan Srivastava has hit the internet headlines this week after working out how to decode instant win scratch lottery tickets.

The Geeks strike back!
21 Jan 2011 
Want a good job? Become a statistician! The latest survey of top jobs (in the US) sees statisticians, actuaries, and mathematicians in the top 10!

New professional accreditation
05 Jan 2011 
Company Director, Prof. David Fox, has been awarded 'pstat' status by the American Statistical Association.

De-Sal Dilemma
07 July 2010 
There has been a frenzied rush to construct desalination plants in Australia. Not only have the business cases been questioned, and in some cases severely criticised, new doubts have been raised about the science underpinning components of the environmental studies.

CSIRO gags on the truth?
3 July 2010 
An article in the Age newspaper again raises doubts about the openness and transparency of Australia's leading scientific agency, the CSIRO.

Statistical Ecotoxicology
06 April 2010 
A commentary on the role of statistical science in ecotoxicology.

Challenges for the Statistics Profession
06 April 2010 
The American Statistician has made available free of charge articles appearing in the Special Section: Opportunities and Challenges for the Discipline published in the February 2010 edition of the Journal.

Statistician hits the wrong note
April 3 2010 
A letter published in the February 2010 edition of RSS News (a publication of the Royal Statistical Society) by John Flynn provides another example of how not to help promote the cause of statistics and statisticians.

Numeracy in decline? - let me count the ways.
17 March 2010 
A report (click here to download a copy) just released by the Group of Eight (Go8) Australian universities concludes that we're going backwards with respect to numeracy.

De-sal de-lay
March 09, 2010 
The Queensland government has announced that it is looking at delaying construction of its proposed desalination plant as storage levels peak at 94%.

Statistics and Biosecurity
March 04, 2010 
An article written by Prof. David Fox on the role of statistics in biosecurity surveillance and monitoring has just been published in the latest edition of Issues.

The statistics of climate change
February 15, 2010 
So who do you believe when it comes to climate change?

The Future of Statistics and Statisticians
13 February 2010 
Ever had a need to consult a statistician? Many who have complain that the experience was not entirely pleasant and/or constructive. So what's wrong?

NOECs, LOECs, ECx - Opinion
November 23, 2009 
The latest edition of the Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology has two opinion pieces on the role of NOECs (and other statistical measures) used in ecotoxicology.

New Workshop - Bayesian Ecotoxicology
04 November 2009 
We are pleased to announce a new 1-day workshop on Bayesian methods for ecotoxicology.

New Journal Article on Bayesian Ecotoxicology!
20 October 2009 
A new paper titled "A Bayesian approach for determining the no effect concentration and hazardous concentration in ecotoxicology" has just been published in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

New reports Added!
9 September 2009 
Visit our Download page (click the tab above) and check out the new reports added.

Wonthaggi De-salination Plant - And the winner is...
July 31, 2009 
The Victorian Government today announced the winning bid to build and operate Australia's largest desalination plant at Wonthaggi.

Crisis in the Ivory Tower!
July 31, 2009 
The University of Melbourne recently announced that it would be laying off 220 staff.

New Report on Biosurveillance
July 16, 2009 
The Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis at the University of Melbourne has released the final report for Project 0605 (Statistical Methods for Biosecurity).

July 16, 2009 
The 18th. IMACS/MODSIM conference is being held this week in Cairns, Australia.

Office or Home Artwork?
Is your home or office in need of some artwork?

Statistical Issues in Ecotoxicology
July 02, 2009 
It is becoming increasingly common practice in ecotoxicology to use ECx data rather than NOECs. In a recent 'Learned Discourse', David Fox argues that this is unsound and fraught with difficulties.

Victorian Government says NO to ETP re-use
June 30, 2009 
Victorian Water Minister, Tim Holding, announced on Friday June 26 that the Government has ruled out two major projects to re-use a significant portion of the Eastern Treatment Plant's effluent. This decision comes at a time when the ETP's treatment process is being upgraded to produce a Class A effluent.

Fantastic Rental Property in Woodend!
Apr 23, 2009 
Be quick - this one won't last!

Secluded, raised position, looks out to Mount Macedon, highly sought-after location. Country living at its best and only 50 minutes to the city of Melbourne!

April 01, 2009 
Need to make a decision under extreme uncertainty? Click here to find out more.

New: Encyclopedia of Quantitative Risk Analysis and Assessment
October 02, 2008 
Wiley have just published a new 2000+ page book on Risk Assessment.

Channel Deepening - Weekly Turbidity Results
11 september 2008 
Latest results to September 3 2008 now available.

Gippsland Lakes Environmental Audit
September 04, 2008 
1998 CSIRO Audit report by Harris et al. available from our download page.

De-salination & Water Re-use
June 17, 2008 
A new podcast has been added!

It's snowing in Woodend!!
May 17, 2008 
Posted at 11:00am Saturday May 17.

Podcasts now available!
May 13, 2008 
We've added podcasts to our download page.

Channel Deepening - Weekly Turbidity Results now on-line
April 12, 2008 
Click here to go to our Channel Deepening Page ....

Handling of ACWS report questioned.
February 25, 2008 
South Australian Greens member of the Legislative Council, Mark Parnell has slammed the government's handling of the release of the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study Report.

Adelaide Coastal Waters Study Released!
February 22, 2008 
After much delay, Volume 1 of the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study Final report was released today by Minister Gail Gago.
Go to our
document repository to download a copy now! Related link (ABC News). Related Link (SA EPA). Related Link (CSIRO) Related Link (CSIRO Flagship) Related Link (CSIRO Land and Water) Related Link (Independent Weekly)

Garrett gives go-ahead!
February 06, 2008 
Federal environment minister, Peter Garrett yesterday approved the Port of Melbourne's EMP for the chaennel deepening project.

The Bay's Guardian Angels announced
February 01, 2008 
The Victorian Government has announced the members of The Office of the Environmental Monitor which will oversee the environmental monitoring associated with the Channel Deepening Project.

This sucks! Dredge Queen Arrives
January 29, 2008 

The giant dredge Queen of the Netherlands arrived at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay around 7:30am AEST today.

Channel Deepening EMP - Missing, InAction
January 27, 2008 
Four days to go before dredging commences and still no release of the Environmental Monitoring Plan.

Baillieu's Bill
January 19, 2008 
Opposition leader Ted Baillieu wants more transparency in Bay dredging moniotoring results.

Something fishy going on?
January 18, 2008 
Fish with lesions in Port Phillip Bay - so should we dredge?

Blue Wedges last ditch bid fails.
January 15, 2008 
The blue wedges coalition lost it federal Court challenge to halt the Port Phillip Bay channel deepening project (CDP).

Young Environmental Photographer
January 10, 2008 
A new, Perth-based photographer Dylan Fox has just launched himself on the web. Follow this link to see some awesome photos: www.dylanfox.com.au

Wonthaggi de-sal EES announced
December 28, 2007 
The proposed de-salination plant for Wonthaggi is now to undergo an EES.

Garrett digs himself a channel!
December 20, 2007 
Federeal environment Minister approves Channel Deepenig Project.

Channel Deepening moves a step closer
December 14 2007 
Almost a done deal!

Channel Deepening Approved
Go to our Channel Deepening web page for more info

The Problem with Adelaide's Coastal Waters
SA Water and Penrice Soda - big contributors to nitrogen loads

Treated Effluent, Desalination, and Greenhouse gases