Gavin Gibson FRSE                                                                    

Professor Gavin J Gibson


Professor of Statistics
Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics

Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS)
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS

tel: (+44) 131 451 3205
fax: (+44) 131 451 3249

Research interests

My current research activities are focussed on a range of areas of applied statistics.  One main topic of interest is the development of Bayesian methods for model fitting and testing in epidemiology.  Current and past  collaborators on this topic include Chris Gilligan and co-workers in the mathematical biology group in Plant Sciences, Cambridge U, George Streftaris (MACS, HWU), Alex Cook (National University of Singapore, and ex-Heriot-Watt), John Starr (NHS Lothian & Edinburgh University), Hola Adrakey and Max Lau (ex-HWU).

Before joining Heriot-Watt in 2000 I was deputy director of Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland and have continued collaborations with BioSS researchers, particularly Glenn Marion in recent years.

A more theoretical area of research for me concerns the application of Bayesian approaches such as data augmentation and Markov chain methods to extend the range of scenarios in which fiducial inference and functional modelling can be applied, and to develop new approaches to the construction of ignorance priors.  My work on this topic is collaborative with Stan Zachary (MACS) and George Streftaris. Recent, related work on the topic has been in collaboration with Ben Hambly (Oxford).

I have worked with colleagues from HWU's, School of the Built Environment (SBE) on EPSRC-funded project (2009-12) to predict the impact of climate change on the performance of buildings. Work on this topic is collaborative with Sandhya Patidar (MACS, now SBE), Phil Banfill, Dave Jenkins, Gill Menzies and Mehreen Gul (all SBE).  The group’s work was recognised by two Best Paper awards at the World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC11) in Sweden.

From 2013-16 I was part of a consortium (with Institute of Occupational Medicine, BioSS, U. Copenhagen) that reviewed and adapted mathematical models for animal pathogens under a project funded by the European Food Safety Authority.  The project report can be found here.


In this academic year (2018-19) I am teaching F71AH/PT Financial Economics/Portfolio Theory and F79BI:  Bayesian Inference and Computational Methods in semester 2.

Other professional activities/responsibilities include

In my spare time I play the guitar and co-write music for Edinburgh indie-pop band Dancing Mice.

In 2012 I climbed Kilimanjaro – you can read about my experience here.

List of publications