Photograph of a man standing in front of a historic steam locomotive.

Jia Le Tan

University of Warwick


Inference of ecological and environmental models


  • Dr Richard Everitt (University of Warwick)
  • Dr Nicola Walker (CEFAS) 

PhD Summary

Fisheries modelling is in a constant state of progression. Presently, key areas of focus in the field encompass individual fish movement, the influence of environmental drivers, food-web dynamics, and interactions within mixed-fishery settings. These elements are stimulating the advancement of intricate and innovative fisheries models. Nevertheless, for these models to be deemed reliable for informing decision-making processes, it’s imperative to have a clear comprehension of how they align with data, along with an awareness of associated uncertainties. 

Approximate Bayesian algorithms present a noteworthy solution, offering a mechanism for statistical inference applicable to models with extensive complexity. More importantly, these algorithms furnish a structured method to gauge the degree of support that empirical data lends to specific models. The objective of my PhD research is to refine and expand upon these Bayesian techniques, tailoring them for use with computationally intensive multi-parameter fisheries models. By achieving this, the goal is to enhance the transparency and rigour of both parameterization and uncertainty quantification processes, thereby augmenting the applicability and relevance of these models in guiding decision-making. 

Previous activity

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Warwick (2017-2020), after which I gained two years of experience in industry. My interest in an academic career led me to pursue a Master of Science in Advanced Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Following this, I commenced my doctoral studies at the University of Warwick. 

Why did you choose doctoral research?

I decided to undertake Doctoral Research because of my strong interest in mathematical and statistical sciences. My goal is not just to deepen my knowledge in these areas, but also to apply what I learn to real-world challenges. Through doctoral studies, I have the opportunity to explore these subjects in depth and use my findings to make a practical impact. This blend of theoretical understanding and practical application is what motivates me to pursue this path. 

Why did you choose CENTA?

The CENTA studentship offers an ideal environment for conducting Doctoral Research, enriched by its expansive network of academic and industry connections, as well as its comprehensive training opportunities. This program equips me not only with the technical expertise required for advanced research, but also with the essential soft skills that are crucial for a successful career in academia. 

Future plans

My long-term aspiration is to establish a fulfilling career in academia, with a specific focus on applied mathematics and statistics. Enrolling in the CENTA program represents a significant step towards realizing this ambition. CENTA’s rigorous curriculum and comprehensive training approach are designed to provide a solid foundation in both technical proficiency and soft skills, essential for success in academic circles. Additionally, the program offers the opportunity to expand my professional network, connecting me with leading experts and peers in the field. This network will not only enrich my educational experience but also open doors to collaborative research opportunities and potential future engagements in academia. Ultimately, studying with CENTA is a pivotal move in laying the groundwork for achieving my career objectives and contributing meaningfully to the field of applied mathematics and statistics.