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Professor Jonathan Rougier

Professor Jonathan Rougier

Professor Jonathan Rougier
B.Sc., Ph.D. (Dunelm.)

Professor of Statistical Science

Area of research

Uncertainty assessment for complex systems

Office Maths Building, Room 4.12
University Walk,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TW
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 7782


My research concerns uncertainty and risk assessment for things that have the potential to cause substantial harm ('hazards').

  • One part of my research focuses on particular hazards, like volcanoes, avalanches, or floods. For example: predicting future events, combining historical observations, expertise, and modelling.

  • Another part focuses on general methods that are applicable across hazards, and across the full range of people connected with the hazard. This is mainly for strategic planning.

  • Then there is the tricky question of how to work within an organisation to improve risk assessment, possibly by reducing ambiguity, possibly by introducing new tools, or new ways of interpreting existing practices.

  • Finally, I have found that—as a practising statistician—it is important to have a sound grasp of the theoretical and philosophical fundamentals of Statistics, and also of the history of our subject.

PhD projects

A range of applied statistics projects looking at uncertainty and risk assessment in natural hazards, such as: volcanoes, earthquakes and landslides, extreme weather and floods, space weather.  Projects in these areas are typically characterised by limited and poor-quality observations, and often also by a limited understanding of the underlying processes.  Mathematical technique is important, but clarity of thought is essential -- including on important foundational questions like "How does Statistics help people to make better choices when managing risk?"  This is about addressing the right question, achieving a defensible answer, and communicating the results.



  1. Department of Mathematics, University of Bristol (since 2007)
  2. Department of Mathematics, University of Durham (1997-2006)
  3. Department of Economics, University of Durham (1990-1997)
  4. Prudential Portfolio Managers (economist), (1988-1990)
  5. BSc in Economics, University of Durham (1985-1988)




  1. APTS module Statistical Inference.
  2. Financial Risk Management, 20cp module at level 3.

Previously at Bristol

  1. Theory of Inference, 10cp module at level 3/4.
  2. Bayesian Modelling B, 10cp module at level 3/4.
  3. Statistics 2, 20cp module at level 2.
  4. Multivariate Analysis, 10cp module at level 3/4.



  • Foundations of inference
  • uncertainty quantification
  • physical/statistical modelling.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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