Anthony’s Honours and Master’s study has been directly transferrable to his current work with NIWA.
Anthony’s Honours and Master’s study has been directly transferrable to his current work with NIWA, where he models New Zealand longfin and shortfin eel populations using the programming language R and package VAST. Anthony builds maps describing where in the country to find the eels, and how abundant they are.
What drew Anthony to the Statistics programme at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington was the range of subjects available. “I liked that I was able to study subjects that were both statistics heavy, such as Bayesian Statistics, but also study subjects that were more hands on, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and computational statistics,” he says.
The community within the School also proved to be an added bonus. “I was definitely impressed by how approachable the lecturers are. Most of them had an open door policy where we could come and get help when we needed it.
While completing his research, the schools tight-knit postgraduate community proved to be supportive during the research process. “Often we’d work together on tough problems we couldn’t solve individually.”
Anthony also found his supervisor Dr Nokuthaba Sibanda’s approach to supervision to be a perfect fit for his learning style. “She gave me space to work independently but was always there if I needed help with anything. This suited me well because I loved being in charge of my own research but it was good to have Nokuthaba there when I needed help.”
“For someone considering doing a Master’s thesis, I would highly recommend doing it. Doing a thesis gives you the opportunity to learn lots about a topic you are interested in. It’ll definitely be challenging but that’s how you know it’s worth doing.”
Anthony plans to continue working in the conservation of native and endemic species but hopes to return to university to work on a PhD. “The beauty of statistics is that it can be applied to a very wide range of areas. So the things you learn will help you no matter what area you plan on going into afterwards.”