Erandi Nanayakkara

PhD graduate Erandi is looking at a bright future working with the biostatistics of lung cancer.

Erandi Nanayakkara, with her arms folded, standing in front of her relection in glass.

Erandi Nanayakkara has recently completed her PhD, taking a Bayesian approach to the modelling of lung cancer history, screening, and treatment in New Zealand to monitor and improve health outcomes.

“It was a pleasure working with my supervisor, Nokuthaba Sibanda, and my colleagues in the lab. Learning about lung cancer in New Zealand and the mathematical and statistical concepts behind it was especially interesting to me.”

Now that she has finished her thesis, Erandi has big plans for her work in the intersection of healthcare and statistics.

“My goal as an academic is to expand my research career further in Biostatistics, especially in the field of lung cancer, to be a part of Aotearoa’s development strategy.”

I believe the key to solving real-world problems that everyone faces is a good understanding of statistics.”

At Victoria University of Wellington, Erandi has participated in conferences, worked as a tutor, and engaged with other postgraduate students on campus and through events. She is grateful to have been awarded the Wellington Doctoral Scholarship for three years of PhD research, which enabled her to come to New Zealand and pursue this field.

Moving to Wellington from Sri Lanka was a big change for Erandi, but she embraced the opportunity.

“The cold breezes in Wellington and smelling the hot coffee in the city are still a pleasure to me, since this is my first time overseas.”