Our research

Our team evaluates and develops statistical methodology for ecological research, with a focus on model-based approaches. We also explore little-known modern methods that can be applied to ecological research.

The Forest and the Trees: Measuring the Cost of Modern Development

Eco-Stats has received over $9M in Australian Research Council funding since 2007 (see Research grants for details), and have published over 100 papers in international journals, including top journals in statistics, ecology, and biology (see David's Publications on Google Scholar).

We're always on the lookout for new and interesting projects! As our expertise is at the interface between statistics and ecology, we're particularly interested in problems that straddle these two disciplines.

Research areas


Allometry is the study of how size variables scale against each other. Develop tools to infer relationships between allometric lines and continuous covariates, or to handle phylogenetic relationships between variables.

Analysis of multivariate abundances

Develop new methods for analysing multivariate abundance data in ecology - to make inferences about community-envoronment associations and to better understand relationships between species

Species distribution modelling

Develop new tools to better understand species response to climate change, urbanization, and other environmental stressors.

Research grants

2024-2026 ARC Discovery Grant ($401,287)

Hui F, Menendez P, Warton DI, Foster S & Woolley S Modern statistical methods for clustering community ecology data

2021-2023 ARC Discovery Grant ($410,000)

Warton DI & Stoklosa J "Innovative statistical methods for analysing high-dimensional counts"

2019-25 ARC Training Centre ($3,973,202)

Vervoort R, Marshall L, Ramos F, Wardle G, Tao D, Kohn R, Cripps E, Lindsay M, Webster J, Salles T, Johnson F, Chandra R, Greenville A, Jessell M, Girolami M, Korbel M, Bell J, Czarnota K, Gibson L, Symington N, Tran M, Liu T, Cleary M, Grazian C, Kay J, Pathiraja S, Robinson C, Hamilton L, Warton DI, Close J, Mukhopadhyay S, Fossilo J, Horton B. ARC Training Centre in Data Analytics for Resources and Environments (DARE)

2018-2020 ARC Discovery Grant ($371,923)

Warton DI "New insights from point event data in ecology"

2015-2018 ARC Linkage Grant ($556,256.50)

Keith D, Phinn S, Elith RJ, Warton DI, Connolly D "Advancing vegetation classification and mapping to meet conservation needs"

2015-2017 ARC Discovery Grant ($295,900)

Warton DI, "Advances in biodiversity modelling - analysis of high-dimensional counts"

2012-2016 ARC Future Fellowship ($624,856)

Warton DI, "Predicting the ecological impacts of climate change: advancing tools for the analysis of high-dimensional data in ecology"

2012-2014 ARC Discovery Project ($300,000)

Warton DI "New approaches to predictive modelling of high-dimensional count data to study climate impacts on ecological communities"

2010-2013 ARC Linkage Grant ($401,000)

Ramp D, Warton DI, Jenkins KM, Ashcroft MB, Gollan JR, Driver P "Innovative approaches to identifying regional responses of biodiversity to climate change"

2009-2011 ARC Discovery Project ($282,000)

Warton DI "Advances in statistical methods for analysing high dimensional count data"

2009-2011 ARC Discovery Project ($300,000)

Warton DI, Andrew NR & Gibb H "Predicting the effect of climate change on community structure and function: an assessment using temperate grassland invertebrates"

2008 UNSW Goldstar Award ($30,000)

Warton DI "Advances in statistical methods for analysing community abundance data in the environmental sciences"

2007-2009 ARC Linkage Project ($450,000)

Kingsford RT, Laffan SW, Warton DI, Merson JA, Bradstock RA, Mulley R, Auld TD & Chapple RS "Managing Ecosystem Change in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area"

2007 UNSW Goldstar Award ($40,000)

Warton DI "Advances in statistical methods for analysing community abundance data in the environmental sciences"

Are you interested in joining Eco-Stats?

Methodological projects will focus on developing and evaluating new methods of data analysis, and exploring their properties. Applied projects typically involve collaborating with ecologists working at UNSW and elsewhere, using modern statistical methods to address important research questions arising in ecology.

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See our publications