SECS Representatives


National Representative

I'm delighted to serve as your National Representative for the Students and Early Career Statistician Network.

My journey into the world of statistics began with a master’s in mathematics, where I delved into the intricacies of numbers and problem-solving. This passion led me to a brief but rewarding stint as a school teacher, where I had the privilege of igniting curiosity and fostering a love for learning in young minds. Presently, I am immersed in the dynamic realm of statistical analysis at Stats NZ, focusing on household surveys and data integration.

In my capacity as National Representative, I'm committed to creating engaging events and opportunities for students and early career statisticians. From workshops to networking sessions, my aim is to provide platforms for learning, collaboration, and professional growth.

I'm eager to connect with each of you and work together.

Rory Ellis

National Representative

Hi, my name is Rory. At the start of 2016 I obtained my Master’s in Statistics from the University of Canterbury. From there, I was offered the opportunity to be an intern at Tait Communications as a Junior Design Engineer for six months. During this time, my work deviated away from the Statistics side, and more towards the Computer Sciences. However I felt that this gave me more of an interest in the Data Sciences. I believe my interest in statistics was first realised when I noticed its importance in sports, which I am very passionate about. From there, I continued to find applications in many other fields which interested me. Weighing up a future in Mathematics, Geography, or Statistics, I decided that Statistics was the career that I desired the most.

After travelling through Europe for three months, I eventually was given the opportunity (given to me through this group) to pursue a PhD in Statistics, using Bayesian Networks in forecasting grape yield, with collaboration from Lincoln Agritech, as well as other partners in Blenheim, and also Australia.

I am looking forward to being one of the national reps for this group, as it will give me an opportunity to get to know others who have similar interests with me in this area. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I will be sure to help you in whichever way I can.

Michael Walker

Auckland Student and Early Career Representative

My name is Michael Walker a third-year university student from Auckland. I'm pursuing a double major in Biology and Statistics, something I am very excited about! I have a passion for all things biology and love to uncover hidden information and trends using the power of statistical analysis. I am excited to represent my fellow early career statisticians and hope that I can help them connect to each other and to exciting opportunities.

Louise McMillan

Wellington Student and Early Career Representative

I completed a Bachelors degree and Masters in Mathematics at Cambridge University in 2006, avoiding statistics as much as humanly possible. I then worked for five years as a technical consultant, working on a very wide range of projects for industries including oil & gas, space, defence and medtech, and during this time I discovered the delights of Bayesian statistics, which won me over to statistics in general. I then decided to study for a Masters in Statistics, and simultaneously to emigrate from the UK, choosing New Zealand for a more easygoing life and easy access to large areas of wilderness.

In the end, the Masters in Statistics led to a PhD, both at the University of Auckland, and during the PhD I also had the opportunity to do some lecturing. Since it turns out I enjoy research, and teaching, and also consulting (which I'm still doing via the UoA Statistical Consulting Centre), I'm planning to stay in academia. I completed my PhD in 2019 and have been a Lecturer in Computational Statistics at Victoria University of Wellington since March 2020. My research is primarily on animal population genetics methodology and model-based clustering.

Tiana Whitehead

Canterbury Student and Early Career Representative

I am a recent graduate (2022) from the University of Canterbury where I obtained a Bachelor of Science. I have since started a role with StatsNZ and have the pleasure of working with a large variety of data. I have always been very handy with numbers, mathematics being my strength growing up. However, statistics turned my head when I realized the huge amount of opportunities it provides (especially since I was studying during the COVID-19 pandemic). I am a very curious person so I love the way we can source a lot of information from data. I am really excited to grow our statistics community in Canterbury.

Anna Redmond

Otago Student and Early Career Representative

Hi, I’m Anna, and I’m the Otago representative.

I completed my BSc majoring in Mathematics and Statistics and minoring in Computer Science at the University of Otago in 2018. I then decided to continue with statistics for my honours and now PhD study at Otago.

Long before I learnt about statistics, I often found myself looking at spatial patterns and trying to make sense of them, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised I am now doing that more formally using spatial statistics. My research is focussed on the spatial distribution of different types of muscle fibres, with an aim to describe changes related to age or disease, in order to better understand the biological drivers of these phenomena.