Canberra Branch meetings

Please see below for details of our next branch meeting, which includes the AGM. Note due to complications with venue booking, the meeting will take place on a Monday. 

Date: Monday 25 March


5.15pm Refreshments. Near lecture theatre 1, College of Business and Economics, ANU (Map).

5.30pm Annual General Meeting (and continuation of refreshments) in LT1

6.00pm El-presidente talk in LT1 

7.30pm After the talk, there will be a dinner at Golden Drum1/14 Childers St, Canberra (Restaurant).

Please RSVP Francis Hui (SSA Canberra or reply to this email directly) by Sunday 24 March if you would like to attend the dinner. 


Details of Annual General Meeting:

The quorum for the meeting is 15 members. Hope you can make it!

The following documents are or will become available on Google drive (AGM documents) shortly:

- SSA Canberra Branch AGM agenda
- SSA Canberra Branch AGM proxy nomination form
- SSA Canberra Branch council nomination form
- SSA Canberra Branch proposed rule amendment (a separate email was sent out for this earlier as well)
- SSA Canberra Branch AGM minutes 2018
- SSA Canberra Branch budget 2019
- SSA Canberra Branch financial report 2018
- SSA Canberra Branch annual report 2018
- SSA Canberra Branch membership report 2018

The proxy and nomination forms must be handed to the Secretary before the meeting starts. Also, the number of hard copies of documents available at the meeting will be limited. 

We are seeking new members to join the Canberra council, and to promote diversity we strongly encourage higher degree students, early to mid-career statisticians, and female statisticians to join!  


Speaker: Warren Muller, CSIRO

Topic: Variable selection in ecology: A case study of recruitment of juvenile Eucalypts


Clearing of Eucalypt trees for pasture has reduced abundance of native flora and fauna and had negative effects on soil, such as increased salinity. Land management practices and environmental variables influence natural regeneration in disturbed areas. In 2001 and 2002, recruitment of seedlings of Eucalyptus species in pastures, roadsides and areas of remnant native vegetation was determined at 325 sites in a large study area in the southern tablelands of NSW. At each site the number of adult and juvenile Eucalypt trees of each species present was recorded.

The primary objective was to identify management and environmental variables that influence recruitment success of the Eucalyptus species. At each site 28 variables describing the management, vegetation, landscape type, soil type and landscape functionality were recorded. These variables were a mixture of measured characteristics and classification of attributes into categories. Examination of relationships between variables reduced the final set to 19, some of which were composites of original variables.

Using forward stepwise generalized linear regression, models were developed for data pooled over all species and for the more abundant species to determine which site variables influenced both the presence and number of juvenile trees. The variable reduction and model fitting processes are described.

Validation of the variable selection was undertaken by refitting models to subsets of sites selected randomly without replacement from the total number of sites. This has been described as a ‘delete-d jackknife’ and is compared to bootstrap methods by Bin et al. (Biometrics 72, 2016). Validation confirmed the importance of the variables selected in the models. 

This project is joint with Ken Hodgkinson, CSIRO Land & Water, Canberra, and Yanhua Zhang, College of Life Sciences, Shaoxing University, Zhejiang, China.


Warren Muller has spent the whole of his career at CSIRO as an applied statistician, with over 40 years employed in variously named divisions and units employing mathematicians and statisticians. After formal retirement, for the past six years he has been an Honorary Fellow, currently in CSIRO Land & Water.

Warren’s role has been as a statistical consultant specialising in the application of statistical methodology in the biological and environmental sciences. He has collaborated with a large number of CSIRO scientists, mostly in Land & Water and Agriculture, and has also undertaken a diverse range of consultancies for clients outside CSIRO. His work has resulted in around 100 scientific publications, primarily in application discipline journals as a joint author, and 40 client reports.

Warren has also been active in professional societies. He has been on the Council of the SSA Canberra Branch since 2010, two years as treasurer, five years as secretary and two years as president. He has been treasurer of the International Biometric Society Australasian Region since 2000, represented the region on the IBS Regional Council for two years and has served on the IBS Communications Committee and IBS Finance Committee.

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