Macdonald, Peter

Emeritus Professor , D.Phil. (Oxford)

macdonaldDept. of Mathematics & Statistics, McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada L8S 4K1
905-525-9140, ext. 23423
905-522-0935 (fax)


Website: http://www.math.mcmaster.ca/peter/

Research Area: Probability & Statistics

Research Profile:  Statistics, biological applications, Mixture Distributions, computing
New applications demand new statistical methods. Statisticians must ensure that new methodology is available to those who need it in the form of reliable, well-documented computer software, especially when the methods involve intensive computation.

While my interests in statistical applications are very general, much of my recent research has been in collaboration with fisheries biologists: enumerating migrating populations of juvenile Pacific salmon and determining the age structure of populations from length-frequency data. For the latter problem I use computer graphics and non-linear estimation methods to resolve age groups from overlapping peaks in the length- frequency distribution. This is called mixture distribution analysis and software developed at McMaster is now used world-wide. With the assistance of graduate students, I have been implementing this methodology as a package in the R environment. Future work will explore interactive computer graphics as a tool for fitting non-linear data.

I am currently serving on Scientific Advisory Panels for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, evaluating models to estimate human uptake of pesticide residues.

Go Back
McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Math & Stats