SECS Representatives

Jie Kang

National Representative

Jie is completing his PhD in quantitative genetics at the University of Otago and working as the genetic evaluation specialist at Beef and Lamb New Zealand. Jie is always passionate about building a strong community of young statisticians, and looking forward to working with our students and early career researchers.

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.

Devendra Oak

Auckland Student and Early Career Representative

I graduated in Computer Science Engineering in 2009 after which I did consulting with Capgemini for nearly 5 years. Working on a business process optimization project for a retail client in Finland, I realized the potential of analytics. I came to New Zealand for my Masters in Analytics with AUT. During my studies, I took part in MINZ as well as NZSA events. I found them to be particularly useful for networking. I finished my masters in 2016. Later I worked in number of optimization and operations research roles with Fonterra, Air New Zealand, Auckland District Health Board and EnviroNZ. During this time, I worked on broad spectrum of business areas including people analytics, stock projection, product mix optimization, demand forecasting, revenue optimization and business performance.

Currently I am working with Qrious as a Senior Data Consultant. After working closely in business on optimization roles, my current role is more towards data engineering and visualization.

As Auckland representative, I am looking forward to building a good young statisticians’ network, where we can collaborate and learn from each other! Feel free to email me at

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.

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.