Professor Jennifer Brown Dr. Jennifer Brown

Professor of Statistics

School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND

I am a Professor of Statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

I am Associate Director of the Biomathematics Research Centre and researcher in the NZ Health Ageing Research Group.

I have an undergraduate degree in Forestry B.For.Sc.Hons from Canterbury University. I worked for the Forest Research Institute, Rotorua, New Zealand, undertaking research on silviculture of improved breeds of radiata pine. I then worked for eight years for the Department of Conservation, first in Westport as an ecological manager, and then in Christchurch in the Canterbury Conservancy as the Coastal and Marine Manager. During my time with Department of Conservation I undertook extramural study in statistics through Massey University, and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in science. I completed a PhD in statistics supervised by Prof. Bryan Manly at Otago University. I maintain an on-going collaboration with Professor Manly. I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership, and a Diploma in Health and Wellbeing.

I am (or have been) an Associate Editor of Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics, the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, Environmental and Ecological Statistics, the International Journal of Ecological Economics & Statistics, and the Journal of Biowar and Defence.

I am past President of the New Zealand Statistics Association.

See my research profile for more information on my research.


I am an applied statistician with expertise in survey design, environmental monitoring, and analysis and detection of changes in populations over time. My interest in is using statistics to help address the environmental question. I am currently involved in research programmes on:

  • Detection and monitoring of invasive species (plant weed and pest species),
  • Detection and monitoring of rare and endangered species,
  • Development of adaptive sampling designs,
  • Integration of GIS in environmental science,
  • Analysis and detection of trends in environmental-indicators, and
  • Health and wellbeing.

I am happy to provide advice on designing long term monitoring programmes. Please contact me by email.

Current Projects

  1. Methods for monitoring low density, or sparse, populations of animals and plants.
  2. Measures of spatial patchiness.
  3. Adaptive sampling designs.
  4. Detecting trends and change in ecological systems.
  5. Improving understanding of health and aging.