Miss Rishika Chopara

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I completed a BSc majoring in Statistics, and a BSc (Hons) degree in Statistics (first class) at the University of Auckland before joining the Department of Statistics as a PhD student in 2021, under the supervision of Dr Ben Stevenson and Professor Rachel Fewster. 

Research | Current

Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models are used to estimate both the abundance and spatial distribution of animals in a given area by gathering information on when an where animals were detected during wildlife surveys. These models are widely used to inform wildlife managers and policymakers.

Goodness-of-fit tests are an essential tool in statistical analysis, without which we cannot be confident that the inferences drawn are reliable. They allow for a comparison between a set of observed data with data expected under a given model. If the data expected under a given model are similar to our observed data, any conclusions we draw using the model are valid, as the model is likely to provide an accurate representation of the random process that generated our observed data. Conversely, models that do not fit our observed data well may provide misleading inference.

Established goodness-of-fit tests do not currently exist for SCR models, leaving it difficult and sometimes impossible to assess the reliability of results and conclusions drawn from a model. With my research, I aim to develop new and accessible goodness-of-fit tests for SCR models. 

Postgraduate supervision

Main Supervisor: Dr Ben Stevenson 

Co-supervisor: Professor Rachel Fewster 

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 395
New Zealand