PhD Candidate


Sam Mason (University of NSW)

Bachelor of Science (Computer Science)
Master of Information Technology (Autonomous Systems)
Master of Statistics

Sam is a DARE PhD candidate at UNSW having worked in the Australian technology industry for over two decades in software engineering and data science. Over the last five years he has worked professionally at Nearmap – an Australian aerial imagery company which started his interest in geographic information systems and geospatial statistics.

As part of his academic journey in statistics, his master’s thesis in 2020 focused on tree canopy research using Nearmap’s visible spectrum imagery and AI datasets. This triggered an interest in ecology and environmental science and he is now part of the Eco-Stats Research Group at UNSW.

His PhD centres on using and developing robust spatio-temporal species distribution models to assess the impact of climate change on species diversity and distributions. In particular, how we can do this in the face of increasingly available (but noisy) environmental and geographic predictors, combined with the large amounts of (opportunistic) observation data coming from the rise of citizen science as well as systematic surveys.