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I joined the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh in September 2015 as the Thomas Bayes' Chair of Statistics. I was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2017; a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018; and a fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics in 2022. In 2022 I was awarded the Royal Statistical Society Barnett Award. I am an active member of the wider statistical community with current positions of responsibility including Deputy Director of the National Centre for Statistical Ecology (NCSE) (2019+). In 2017 I was one of the founding team that launched the (still running) Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Statistics: Unlocking the World of Data. I am also a co-founder of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Statistics; launched in 2017, uniting statisticians and quantitative researchers across the three colleges of the University. 


Research interests include (but not exhaustively): 

  • Bayesian inference; 
  • Analysis of capture-recapture data (including analysis of multi-state data; individual heterogeneity and random effects models; spatially explicit capture-recapture; incorporating memory; applications in ecology and epidemiology); 
  • Multiple systems estimation and their application to hidden population, including modern slavery and problem drug users; 
  • Integrated data analyses; 
  • Missing data; 
  • Hidden (semi-)Markov models/state-space models and their applications to ecology and healthcare data; 
  • Efficient model-fitting tools. 

See my publications for a list of my published papers and additional papers in submission. Many of these research areas are described in, or related to, the book "Bayesian Analysis for Population Ecology" by King, Morgan, Gimenez and Brooks. 

Brief Academic Biography

I went to Bristol University in 1995 to study for a BSc in Mathematics with Statistics. I graduated with a First Class Honours degree and was awarded the Henry Ronald Hasse Prize in 1998. I returned to the University of Bristol to study for a PhD in Bayesian Model Discrimination in the Analysis of Capture-Recapture and Related Data, under the supervision of Dr Steve Brooks and developed novel methodology for analysing both open and closed capture-recapture data for ecological and epidemiological data, respectively. Following completion of my PhD in 2001, I continued to collaborate with Steve Brooks, and began a research associateship in September 2001, at the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. This work primarily focused upon the analysis of wildlife populations in both the classical and Bayesian frameworks. From 2003-2005 I held an EPSRC postdoctoral research fellowship in Mathematics. I was appointed as a lecturer in Statistics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St. Andrews in 2003, and became a reader in 2010. I subsequently left the University of St Andrews to join the University of Edinburgh in 2015. 

I have been an active contributor to the statistics community in a number of ways. During my reseach associateship at the Statistical Laboratory, I organised the Young Statistician's Meeting 2003 (YSM2003), which was held in Cambridge, jointly between the Statistical Laboratory and MRC Biostatistics Unit. The YSM2003 was jointly organised with Angela Wood, Richard Nixon and Ken Rice at the Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge. I was a member of the organising committee for the International Statistical Ecology Conference 2008 (St Andrews); a member of the Conference Programme Committee for the Royal Statistical Society Conference 2009 (Edinburgh) and a member of the scientific committee of the 3rd Channel Network Meeting of the International Biometric Society in 2011 (Bordeaux). The 4th Channel Network Meeting took place in St Andrews from 3-5th July, 2013, where I was the chair of the local organising committee and a member of the scientific committee. I was a member of the local organising committee of The International Environmetrics Society (TIES) conference at Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh) from 18th-22nd July, 2016. I was a Committee Member of the International Biometric Society (IBS), British and Irish Region (BIR; 2004-7; 2011-15); and elected member of the IBS Council (2010-13; 2013-17), representing the British and Irish region. In addition, from 2005-2010 I was the British and Irish Biometric Bulletin Correspondent, contributing to the quarterly Biometric Bulletin detailing recent activity within the British and Irish region of the International Biometric Society. I was the President of the International Biometric Society (IBS), British and Irish Region (2019-20) (and vice-president in 2018 and 2021). Within the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) I wasa member of the Environmental Statistics Section (2005-9); a member of the Honours Committee (2016-19); and Research Section Committee (2016-19); and an elected member of the Council (2018-22). I was a Turing Fellow (2016-20) and member of the Programme Committee (2016-18) of the Alan Turing Institute.

I have been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics (JABES) (2005-10; 2012+); Biometrics (2017-19); Royal Society's Open Science (2016-19) and Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics) (2007-10); and an Applications Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE; 2014-16). I regularly review papers for a range of statistical and ecological journals. From 2008-10 I was a member of the project management committee of the National Centre for Statistical Ecology (NCSE), which represents a focus of UK research within statistical ecology and at this time was a joint venture between the Universities of St. Andrews, Kent and Cambridge. The NCSE has now expanded to include the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow and Sheffield and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. From 2010-2019 I was a member of the executive committee of the NCSE before becoming the Deputy Deirector in 2019.

Brief Personal Biography

I am originally from Pontypridd, South Wales, which is situated 12 miles north of Cardiff, the country's capital. I married, in 1999, to Stuart King, with my previous surname being Langham; and we have two sons. My husband is a Reader in Applied Mathematics and current Director of Teaching in the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh.  

Prof. Ruth King FLSW, FRSE

School of Mathematics
University of Edinburgh
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