Dr Beatrix Jones staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43591

Dr Beatrix Jones

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences


Contact details

  • Location: 3.03, IIMS
    Campus: Albany

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Statistical inference for highly multivariate data.


Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Mathematical Sciences (010000): Statistics (010400)

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 3
Team Member 1 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Optimising cognitive function: the role of dietary and lifestyle patterns

The New Zealand population is ageing, with 21% of the population expected to be over 65 years by 2031. Age related cognitive decline is one of the most serious health issues faced as the world’s population ages. The preservation of optimal cognitive function for as long as possible is critical in ensuring successful ageing. The role of dietary and lifestyle factors are increasingly recognised in preventing cognitive decline. However, most studies have focussed on single nutrients (eg. omega 3) and foods (eg. fish). This has several limitations as people do not consume foods and nutrients in isolation but as combinations of foods and nutrients. In contrast, ‘dietary patterns’ (a relatively new approach to assessing dietary intake) capture the overall food matrix and complexity of the diet. Dietary patterns have been linked with a range of health outcomes, and more recently cognitive function in research from overseas. Few studies however have considered dietary patterns in the context of genetics and other lifestyle factors (eg. physical activity). Dietary patterns differ between countries therefore it is critical to gain an understanding of older New Zealander’s dietary patterns and their impact on cognition and metabolic health in the context of genetic and lifestyle factors.
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Date Range: 2017 - 2020

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Completed Projects

Project Title: Moving genes in genome structure and memory

We can now sequence entire genomes within days. Moreover, it is possible to synthesize a genome and insert it into donor cells to form 'synthetic' organisms. Despite these advances we have little understanding of the inter-relationships between genome structure and function. This is exemplified by our awareness that yeast cells have a position-based genetic memory, yet we remain unsure how this system relates to overall yeast genome structure. Our objective is to use Baker's and fission yeast to investigate this inter-relationship and answer fundamental questions about the formation and inheritance of genome structure. We will integrate cutting-edge molecular and microscopic techniques to determine genome structure in synchronized yeast strains containing loci whose positions have been artificially constrained. Moreover, mutations within the fission yeast cell cycle and RNAi pathways will be used to resolve how chromatin organization is inherited. Our unique approach will shift the conceptual framework within which we consider three-dimensional genome structure and gene regulation. This will impact on a wide range of endeavours including our ability to predict how genetic modifications affect genome function in biotechnological and therapeutic applications. New Zealand will benefit through the development and repatriation of novel molecular, microscopic, bioinformatic and biophysical techniques.
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Date Range: 2010 - 2013

Funding Body: Marsden Fund - Full

Project Team:

Supervision and Teaching

Courses Coordinated

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Insha Ullah - Doctor of Philosophy
    Contributions to high-dimensional data analysis: some applications of regularized covariance matrices
  • 2012 - Anne Fitch - Doctor of Philosophy
    Computationally tractable fitting of graphical models: the cost and benefits of decomposable Bayesian and penalized likelihood approaches

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