Dr Alison Smith

Principal Research Fellow, Dr. Alison Smith

Dr. Alison Smith
School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
Field of Study: Statistics and biometrics.
Building 39C Room 261
Phone: 0242215164 or 0417947115
Email: alismith@uow.edu.au
Research Publication List (sourced via UOW Database)
Institutional Repository Link

Biography

Alison Smith did her undergraduate studies at the University of Adelaide, completing a BSc (Hons) with a major in Mathematical Statistics in 1981. She then commenced her career as a biometrician within the then South Australian Department of Agriculture. During this time she developed an interest in the analysis of data from crop improvement programs. This led to her undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Adelaide, completing in 2000. The focus of her PhD was the analysis of yield data from multi-environment trials (METs). The method she developed involved the use of a factor analytic variance structure within a linear mixed model framework. This method is now used in all major plant breeding programs in Australia and has resulted in significant genetic gains for the Australian grains industry.

Whilst studying her PhD, Alison moved to the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute where she worked as a Senior Research Scientist until 2011. She continued to collaborate with scientists involved in plant breeding and quantitative genetics. A key research focus during this period was the design and analysis for plant quality traits derived from multi-phase experiments.

In 2011 Alison joined the University of Wollongong as a Principal Research Fellow. She now works on the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) Project, ‘Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry (SAGI)’, which is a major national project with UOW as the lead organisation. Her key role in this project is to continue research into statistical methods for improving the efficiency of Australian plant breeding and crop evaluation programs. A major current focus is the development of a new MET analysis for the National Variety Trials (NVT) system which is a national program of comparative crop variety testing. NVT is a major initiative of the GRDC and is the means by which Australian farmers are provided with information on existing commercial and new crop varieties.

Dr. Smith has published over 45 refereed journal articles and has been invited to present her research at a number of national and international statistical and scientific conferences. She has active links with industry, including most private and public plant breeding programs in Australia.

Areas of Expertise

Linear mixed models, with particular application to the analysis of crop improvement data.

Recent Publications

•  C. H. Hunt, A. B. Smith, D. R. Jordan, and B. R. Cullis. Predicting additive and non-additive genetic effects from trials where traits are affected by interplot competition. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics. In press.

•  A. Ganesalingam, A.B. Smith, C.P. Beeck, W.A. Cowling, R.Thompson and B. R. Cullis. A bivariate mixed model approach for the analysis of plant survival data. Euphytica. In press.

•  Cowley, R., Ash, G., Harper, J., Smith, A. B., Cullis, B. R. & Luckett, D. (2012). Application of multi-phase experiments in plant pathology to identify genetic resistance to Diaporthe toxica in Lupinus albus. Euphytica, 186 (3), 655-669.

•  A. B. Smith, R. Thompson, D. G. Butler, and B. R. Cullis. The analysis of variety trials using mixtures of composite and individual plot samples. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C, 60:437–455, 2011.

•  C. Beeck, W. A. Cowling, A. B. Smith, and B. R. Cullis. Analysis of yield and oil from a series of canola breeding trials. Part I: Fitting factor analytic models with pedigree information. Genome, 53:992–1001, 2010.

•  B. R. Cullis, A. B. Smith, C. Beeck, and W. A. Cowling. Analysis of yield and oil from a series of canola breeding trials. Part II: Exploring VxE using factor analysis. Genome, 53:1002–1016, 2010.

•  S.J. Welham, B. Gogel, A.B. Smith, R. Thompson, and B.R. Cullis. A comparison of analysis methods for late-stage variety evaluation trials. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, 52:125–149, 2010.

•  K. T. Stefanova, A. B. Smith, and B. R. Cullis. Enhanced diagnostics for the spatial analysis of field trials. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics, 14:392–410, 2009.

Top Publications:

•  A. B. Smith, B. R. Cullis, and R. Thompson. Analyzing variety by environment data using multiplicative mixed models and adjustments for spatial field trend. Biometrics, 57:1138–1147, 2001.

•  A. B. Smith, B. R. Cullis, and A.R. Gilmour. The analysis of crop variety evaluation data in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, 43:129–145, 2001.

•  A. B. Smith, B. R. Cullis, and R. Thompson. The analysis of crop cultivar breeding and evaluation trials: an overview of current mixed model approaches. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge, 143:449–462, 2005.

•  A.B. Smith, P. Lim, and B. R. Cullis. The design and analysis of multi-phase plant breeding experiments. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge, 144:393–409, 2006

•  B. R. Cullis, A. B. Smith, and N. E. Coombes. On the design of early genera­tion variety trials with correlated data. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics., 11:381–393, 2006.

•  C. Beeck, W. A. Cowling, A. B. Smith, and B. R. Cullis. Analysis of yield and oil from a series of canola breeding trials. Part I: Fitting factor analytic models with pedigree information. Genome, 53:992–1001, 2010.

•  B. R. Cullis, A. B. Smith, C. Beeck, and W. A. Cowling. Analysis of yield and oil from a series of canola breeding trials. Part II: Exploring VxE using factor analysis. Genome, 53:1002–1016, 2010.

•  A. B. Smith, R. Thompson, D. G. Butler, and B. R. Cullis. The analysis of variety trials using mixtures of composite and individual plot samples. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C, 60:437–455, 2011. 

Last reviewed: 4 March, 2014

Upcoming Events

The Questionnaire Revealed, Dr. Pamela Campanelli
1 - 3 November 2017

Past Events

International Conference on Robust Statistics, July 2017