Dr Brendon James Brewer

BSc (Hons), PhD

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Senior Lecturer


I studied physics and astrophysics at The University of Sydney, graduating with an honours degree in 2004 and a PhD in 2008. After a short time at UNSW, I moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara for a postdoc in astrophysics between 2009 and 2012.

In 2012 I joined the Department of Statistics here in Auckland as a lecturer. My research interests include astrostatistics (statistics applied to astronomical problems), Bayesian inference, and computational methods such as Nested Sampling. See my homepage for more details: https://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~brewer/

Research | Current

See my homepage at https://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~brewer/ for research details.

Teaching | Current

Semester 1: STATS 220 (Data Technologies)

Semester 2: STATS 331 (Introduction to Bayesian Statistics)

Postgraduate supervision

Current students:

Past students:

  • Patricio Maturana Russel, PhD, 2013–2017
  • Syarafana Abdul Rahman, BSc (Honours), 2017
  • Tim Chen, MSc, 2016–2017
  • Oliver Stevenson, MSc, 2016
  • John Wilcox, MA, 2015–2016
  • Yilin Guo, BSc (Honours), 2015
  • Anna Pancoast, PhD, 2009–2015, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Courtney Donovan, BSc (Honours), 2014
  • Tom Elliott, BSc (Honours), 2013
  • Ryan Feyter, summer scholar, 2012/2013
  • Tim White, 2009, Honours, The University of Sydney


2013 – 2016, Primary Investigator, Marsden Fast Start Grant, Royal Society of New Zealand
2016, Teaching commendation from Dean of Science, The University of Auckland
2016 – present, Member, Heterodox Academy
2015 – present, Member, New Zealand Statistical Association
2015 – 2017, Member of editorial board, Entropy journal
2014, Finalist, The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize
2009, Charlene Heisler Prize for best PhD thesis, Astronomical Society of Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Astrostatistics
  • Bayesian Inference
  • Nested Sampling

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Brewer, B. (2017). Computing Entropies with Nested Sampling. Entropy, 19 (8), 422-422. 10.3390/e19080422
  • Brewer, B. J., Foreman-Mackey, D., & Hogg, D. W. (2013). Probabilistic Catalogs for Crowded Stellar Fields. The Astronomical Journal, 146 (1), 7-7. 10.1088/0004-6256/146/1/7
  • Pancoast, A., Brewer, B. J., & Treu, T. (2011). Geometric and Dynamical Models of Reverberation Mapping Data. The Astrophysical Journal, 730 (2), 139-139. 10.1088/0004-637X/730/2/139

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 331
New Zealand

Social links

Web links