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Tjanpi award for Best Student Paper in Environmental Statistics

The Tjanpi Award is an annual student prize we award for the best student paper in environmental statistics.  To be eligible a student must be:

  • An author of a paper that has been accepted in the previous 12 months, having made a substantial contribution to the work
  • A student as of June 30 of the year of award
  • A current member of the SSA and the Environmental Statistics Section

The winner will receive a cash prize and will be asked to present in an invited session on environmental statistics at the next annual stats conference.

Central Australian landscape dominated by Tjanpi, photo by Sara Winter

Tjanpi is the Pitjantjatjara word for Triodia, a spiny tussock-forming grass that dominates the vegetation across more than 20% of Australia’s land mass.  It is a long-lived plant that makes deep roots and can withstand the hardiest of conditions.  It can grow over decades into characteristic ring formations three metres in diameter.  As a source of food and shelter, Tjanpi is fundamental to life in some of Australia’s most extreme conditions, being central to highly diverse ecosystems dominated by termites and ants, as well as reptiles, birds and small mammals.  It has also been traditionally used by Indigenous people for a range of purposes, including building shelters, making an adhesive resin, basket weaving, fishing and using its seeds as a food source. 

Tjanpi is an analogy for the Environmental Statistics student award – because the development and application of appropriate statistical techniques is fundamental to good environmental research, and our hope is that the recipient of this award will grow over the coming decades to become central to a diverse range of interesting research endeavours!

Past winners:

2021: Quan Vu (Wollongong) for his paper in Statistica Sinica (honorary mention: Md Javad Davoudabadi)

2022: Sarah Vollert for her paper at at Environmental Modelling and Software (honorary mention: Laura Cartwright)

2023: Matthew Sainsbury-Dale for his paper in the American Statistician (honorary mention: Ben Maslen

The next round will be announced at the end of 2024.

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