Alison Parton

About Me

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of Dr Dylan Childs and Prof Paul Blackwell. I work in the field of statistical ecology. Currently, I am working on applying ABC methodology to a dynamic energy budget model for the Soay sheep population. My PhD involved developing continuous-time statistical models for carrying out inference on animal movement data obtained by GPS telemetry.
Access my CV.



  • Patterson, T.A., Parton, A., Langrock, R., Blackwell, P.G., Thomas, L. and King, R. (2017)Statistical Modelling of Individual Animal Movement: An Overview of Key Methods and a Discussion of Practical Challenges. Advances in Statistical Analysis.
    Access here.
  • Parton, A., Blackwell, P.G. (2017) Bayesian Inference for Multistate 'Step and Turn' Animal Movement in Continuous Time. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics.
    Access here.
  • Parton A., Blackwell P.G. and Skarin A. (2017) Bayesian Inference for Continuous Time Animal Movement Based on Steps and Turns. In: Argiento R., Lanzarone E., Antoniano Villalobos I., Mattei A. (eds) Bayesian Statistics in Action. BAYSM 2016. Springer Proceedings in Mathematics and Statistics, vol 194. Springer, Cham.
    Access here. Available at arXiv:1608.05583 [stap.AP].


  • Best presentation award for applications. BAYSM, 2016.
  • Wendy Wright prize in probability and statistics. University of Sheffield, 2014.



  • Inferring animal movement and behaviour in continuous time from irregular and noisy GPS observations. Spatial ecology seminar series, Glasgow, December 2017.
  • Inferring animal movement and behaviour in continuous time from irregular and noisy GPS observations. EURING, Barcelona, July 2017.


  • Inferring animal movement and behaviour in continuous time from irregular and noisy GPS observations. BLS6, Constance, September 2017 and NCSE Summer Meeting, Kent, June 2017.
  • A hybrid MCMC sampler for inferring animal movements and behaviours from GPS observations. Statistics research group, Sheffield, October 2016 and PiNE, Sheffield, January 2017.
  • Bayesian inference for continuous time animal movement based on steps and turns. ISEC, Seattle, July 2016 and BAYSM, Florence, June 2016.
  • The 'step and turn' animal movement model in continuous time. Moving 2 Gather, Nantes, December 2015 and NCSE Summer Meeting, Falmouth, June 2015.


  • Regression for classification. Machine learning reading group, Sheffield, May 2017.
  • Can you trust the humble statistician? An intro to unit testing in R. Sheffield R, Sheffield, September 2016.
  • Some good practices for code writing. Probability and Statistics student seminar, Sheffield, August 2016.


I'm currently assisting with teaching in both the Mathematics and the Computer Science departments. I've previously lectured and assessed:

  • Probability and the law, a short course at level 2.
  • Bayesian statistics, at levels 3, 4, MSc. (lecture cover for 5 lectures).

I've previously assisted in tutorials and carried out marking for:

  • Probability and statistics courses across levels 1, 2, 3 and Msc.
  • Mathematics at level 1 for Chemists.
  • Programming in R and LaTeX at level 1 and Msc.
  • Programming in Python at level 2 for Engineers.