Massey University

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Mark Bebbington


I'm the Professor in Geostatistics, in the Statistics Group and in Volcanic Risk Solutions at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand
I moonlight as an Associate Editor for the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Statistics, Frontiers in earth Sciences, and Statistics in Volcanology, and am a past chair of the IAVCEI Commission on Statistics in Volcanology ..

My Research

I graduated with an MSc from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD from The University of Cambridge.

My research interests include:
  • stochastic modelling, especially in geophysics
  • inference and computational methods for stochastic processes
  • reliability and statistical quality control

I have a general interest in methods of stochastic operations research, including simulation and statistical analysis, and have applied these in consulting problems.

You can view a list of my publications here .

From time to time I give seminars on my work. Below you can download the slides from some of my recent presentations (in PDF - portable document format).

Current PhD students:
  • Vanesa Burgos Delgado (Nanyang Technological University), Application of volcanic analogues for short- and long-term hazard assessment at long-dormant volcanoes. Chief supervisor Dr Susanna Jenkins
  • Brenda Contla Hernadez, Statistically plausible eruption scenarios determined from geochemical data. Co-supervisor Dr Melody Whitehead
  • Michelle Gosse, A detailed examination of agent based simulation in regulation. Co-supervisor Associate Professor Jonathan Marshall
  • Duncan Grimson, Assessing dynamic value chains under cascading natural hazards. Co-supervisor Dr Garry McDonald
  • Thevaraja Mayooran, Acceptance sampling for industrial autosamplers. Chief supervisor Dr K. Govindaraju
  • Nic Mostert, A statistical model for forecasting tephra grain size deposition, and its use in hazard forecasting. Co-supervisor Dr Stuart Mead
  • Emmy Scott, Appropriate complexity of volcanic hazard models. Chief supervisor Dr Melody Whitehead
  • Maryam Tagharobi, Multi-impact operability modelling. Co-supervisor Dr David Harte
  • Alec Wild (University of Auckland) Quantitative cost-benefit-analysis (CBA) approaches for volcanic crisis management. Chief supervisor Prof Jan Lindsay
Past PhD students:
  • Ian Beale, Subset Selection Routing: Modelling and Heuristics
  • Marco Brenna, Jeju Island Volcanism. Chief supervisor Prof. Shane Cronin
  • Magret Damaschke, High precision tephrochronology: Tracking the time-varying pulse of a volcano. Chief supervisor Prof. Shane Cronin
  • Alex Dunant (University of Canterbury), Use of graph theory for cascading and multi-hazards impact assessment, Chief supervisor Prof. Tim Davies
  • Rob Dykes, The effect of iceberg calving on glacier dynamics: Tasman Glacier, New Zealand. Chief supervisor Dr Gert Lube
  • Rebecca Green, Statistical methods for assembling and incorporating volcanic records in hazard estimation.
  • Emily Kawabata, Spatio-temporal volcanic hazard estimation.
  • Gabor Kereszturi, Scoria cone morphology. Chief supervisor Dr Karoly Nemeth
  • Pip McVeagh, Site specific pasture production in New Zealand hill country. Chief supervisor Prof. Ian Yule
  • Gabriele Frigerio Porta, Statistical models for dynamic multi-hazard and risk.
  • Armando Rodado, Bayesian Approaches to Time-varying Volcanic Hazard Estimation
  • Melody Runge (University of Auckland), Improving probabilistic hazard forecasts in volcanic fields: Application to Harrat Rahat, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Chief supervisor Dr Jan Lindsay
  • Amina Shahzadi (University of Otago), Hidden Markov models with non-homogeneous transition probabilities, Chief supervisor Dr Ting Wang
  • Tim Stahl (University of Canterbury), Tectonic geomorphology and paleoseismology of the Fox Peak Fault. Chief supervisor Dr Mark Quigley
  • Sunchai Tongsuksai, Applications of stochastically weighted averages in quality control, Chief supervisor Dr K. Govindaraju
  • Ting Wang, Statistical Models for Earthquakes Incorporating Ancillary Data
  • Alanna Weir (Univesity of Canterbury), Multi-volcanic hazard impacts. Chief supervisor Prof Tom Wilson
  • Pabasara Wickramasingha, Applications of averaging functions in quality control. Chief supervisor Dr K. Govindaraju
  • David Woods, Modular Local Search: A Framework for Self-Adaptive Meta Heuristics. Co-supervisor Dr John Giffin (University of Canterbury).
Some co-authors: Research funding:
  • Marsden Fund: $330,000 for 1997-9, "Nonlinear Modelling of Fracture Mechanisms" (AI, with D. Vere-Jones and D. Harte, Victoria University of Wellington).
  • ARC (Australian Research Council): AUS$150,000 for 1997-9, "Analytical and computational methods for assessing the performance of telecommunications networks" (AI, principal researcher P.K. Pollett, University of Queensland).
  • Marsden Fund: $321,000 for 2001-3, "Statistical Models for the Approach to Criticality in Earthquake Occurrence" (AI, with D. Vere-Jones and D. Harte, Statistics Research Associates, R. Robinson, IGNS).
  • Massey University Research Fund: $94,376 for 2002-03, "Quality for Correlated Deviations" (co-PI, with C. Lai and K. Govindaraju).
  • FRST PGST grant, $4,248,000 for 2004-9, "Learning to live with volcanic risk" (one of eleven-member team).
  • Marsden Fund: $529,400 for 2005-7, "Hidden Markov Models for Earthquake Processes with Ancillary Measurements" (AI, with D. Vere-Jones and D. Harte, Statistics Research Associates, R. Robinson, IGNS).
  • Committee member (one of 6) for NZIMA 2005 programme “Hidden Markov Models and Complex Systems”, total budget $393,000.
  • EQC grant, $36,000 for 2007-10, “Volcanic Hazard Forecasting Models” (PI)
  • EQC Time Varying Hazard grant, $50,000 for 2008, “Building a geochemically-constrained time-varying eruption hazard forecasting model for Mt Taranaki” (co-PI, with S. Cronin and M. Turner, INR-Massey).
  • FRST/IIOF grant, $966,210 for 2009-12, “Facing the Challenge of Auckland’s Volcanism” (one of eight member team).
  • EQC/DEVORA grant, $60,000 for 2009-12, “Bayesian approaches to volcanic hazard forcasting” (PI, with S. Cronin and A. Noble).
  • FRST Natural Hazards Platform grant, $188,160 for 2010-11, “Robust estimates of geophysical hazard” (PI).
  • FRST Natural Hazards Platform grant, $180,275 for 2010-11, “Probabilistic mass-flow hazard modelling” (AI, principal investigator G. Lube, INR-Massey).
  • The Actuarial Foundation (USA), US$17494 for 2010, “A Mathematical Model for Late-Life Mortality” (PI)
  • EQC, $30,000 for 2010-11, “Stochastic Modelling of Geophysical Hazard” (PI)
  • FRST Natural Hazards Platform 2010- (Key researcher, $50,000-$60,000 p.a.)
  • VORiSA (“Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia”) 2012- (Key researcher, $27,000 p.a.)
  • MSI Natural Hazards Research Platform, $250,000 for 2012-15, Simulating socio-economic impacts of the rebuild phase following a volcanic event using multi-regional and dynamic computable general equilibrium” (AI).
  • EQC Biennial Grant, $56,187for 2014-15, “Automated objective identification of seismic phases” (AI, principal investigator T. Wang, U. Otago).
  • Natural Hazards Research Platform contestable grant, $289,639 for 2015-17, “First steps to a national volcano hazard model: Estimation of time varying hazard from New Zealand volcanoes through expert elicitation and Bayesian analogues” (PI).
  • National Science Challenge, $1,062,500 for 2015-19, “Resilience to Nature’s Challenges” Hazards Toolbox (Program leader and key researcher).
  • Natural Hazards Research Platform Grant, $2,355,000 for 2015-19, “Quantifying exposure to specific and multiple volcanic hazards” (Science leader and key researcher).
  • Massey University Research Fund, $10,000 for 2016, “What happens next? Modeling the eruption pattern of monogenetic volcanoes” (co-PI)
  • EQC Biennial Grant, $62,850 for 2017-19, “A new model of volcanic surge for New Zealand” (AI /Mentor)
  • MBIE Endeavour Fund, $8,246,225 for 2017-22, "Understanding and being resilient to supervolcanoes" (AI )
  • National Science Challenge, $4,034,987 for 2019-24, “Resilience to Nature’s Challenges” Volcano programme (Key researcher).
  • National Science Challenge, $4,499,776 for 2019-24, “Resilience to Nature’s Challenges” Multihazard Risk methodology programme (Programme leader and key researcher).
  • MBIE Endeavour Fund 2019, $13,676,785 for 2019-2024, “Transitioning Taranaki to a Volcanic Future” (Research Aim leader and key researcher).


Semester 1, 2022
Semester 2, 2022

Things elsewhere...

Contact Me

  • email:
  • tel: +64 6 951 7641
  • fax: +64 6 350 5632
  • postal address: School of Fundamental Sciences - Statistics, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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