Alison Parton

About Me

I am a PhD student in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of Prof Paul Blackwell. I work in the field of statistical ecology, and in particular, animal movement modelling. Currently, I am working on developing continuous-time statistical models for making inference on animal movement data obtained by telemetry.



  • 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].

Under submission:

  • Patterson, T.A., Parton, A., Langrock, R., Blackwell, P.G., Thomas, L. and King, R. Statistical Modelling of Individual Animal Movement: An Overview of Key Methods and a Discussion of Practical Challenges. arXiv:1603.07511 [stat.AP].


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



  • 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.

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.