Dr. Laura Cowen
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Victoria
P.O. Box 3060 STN CSC
Victoria, B.C. V8W 3R4

EMAIL: lcowen (a t) uvic.ca
PHONE: (250) 721-6152
OFFICE: David Turpin Building A446
FAX: (250) 721-8962

Research Interests
I am a statistical ecologist with a research focus in mark-recapture methods and applications.  In particular I am interested in tag loss and how it can be incorporated into models directly. I work on real world problems, mainly pertaining to fishery studies.

I am also involved in the Population Research Group at the University of Victoria.  Here I have been involved in several projects that investigated needle sharing behaviour of people who use injection drugs in Victoria, B.C. and in estimating the number of injection drug users in Victoria.  

Graduate Students
If you are interested in becoming a graduate student at UVic and you are interested in ecological statistics then please contact me!
Status/ Year Graduated
Yuan Xu
MSc- Statistics
Rock lobseter abundance estimation using the Jolly-Seber-Tag-Loss model with group heterogeneity
Ryan Stone
MSc- Statistics
Modeling Victoria's injection drug users.
Ahmed Hoque
PhD- Economics and Statistics
Estimating variances for Gini indices with complex surveys
Paul van dam Bates
MSc- Statistics
Movement and containment of the California sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus) in relation to organically-enrished areas beneath aquaculture sites
Lu Wang
MSc- Statistics
Exploring goodness-of-fit for closed population models
Yu Wang
MSc- Statistics
The Jolly-Seber-tag-loss model: a state-space formulation
Emily Malcolm
MSc- Statistics
Investigating the effect of recyled individuals in tag loss models
Youngfei Mao
MSc- Statistics


Undergraduate Students
If you are interested in becoming an undergraduate research student then please contact me!
Selina Gonzalez
BSc- Economics and Statistics
The Jolly-Seber-Tag-Loss model with group heterogeneity.
Dean Koch
BSc- Math/Stat and Biology
Comparing growth rates of Cassin's Auklet chicks on Frederick and Triangle Island, BC.
Dean Koch
BSc- Math/Stat and Biology
Comparing the wiggliness of two spline models.
Stephanie Yurchak
BSc- Math/Stat
Parameter redundancy in tag-loss models.
Robin Spillettre
BSc- Math/Stat

Articles Submitted
Rigby, P.C., D. M. German, L. Cowen, M.-A. Storey. Peer review on open source software projects: Parameters, statistical models, and theory. ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems, Accepted June 2014.

Articles Published

Cowen, L.L.E., P. Besbeas, B.J.T. Morgan, C.J. Schwarz. 2014. A comparison of abundance estimates from extended batch-marking and Jolly-Seber type experiments. Ecology and Evoluation. 4, 210-218.

Cowen, L.L.E., W.O. Challenger, and C.J. Schwarz. 2014. What do salmon and injection drug users have in common? Statistical Society of Canada's special issue in Statistics in Action: A Canadian Outlook. J.F. Lawless editor. Chapman and Hall/CRC Press. 269-288.

Xu, Y., L.L.E. Cowen, and C. Gardner. 2014. Group Heterogeneity in the Jolly-Seber-Tag-Loss Model. Statistical Methodology. 17, 3-16.

Smith, B.C., Simpson, Y., Morshed, M., Cowen, L.L.E., Hof, R., Wetherell, C. Boulanger, M.J., Cameron, C.E. Syphilis diagnosis – new proteins for a new perspective. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 51, 105-111.

Gonzalex, S. and L. Cowen. 2010. The Jolly-Seber-Tag-Loss Model with group heterogeneity. The Arbutus Review, 1, 30-42.

Exner, H., E.K. Gibson, R. Stone, J. Lindquist, L. Cowen and E.A. Roth, 2010. A mixed methods approach to delineating and understanding injection practices among clientele of a Victoria, British Columbia needle exchange program. Drug Alcohol Rev., 30, 360-365. DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00219.x

Blight, L.K, T. D. Williams, D. F. Bertram, and L. Cowen.   Interannual variation in egg neglect and incubation routine of the Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca Monocerata) during the 1998-1999 El Nino/ La Nina events.  Marine Ornithology. 38, 11-15.

Eshghi, A., P. A. Cullen, L. Cowen, and C. E. Cameron. 2009.   Global proteome analysis of Leptospira interrogans cultured in vivo-like media.  J Proteome Research. Published online August 10.

Exner, H., E.K. Gibson, R. Stone, J. Lindquist, L. Cowen and E.A. Roth. 2009.  Worry as a window into the lives of people who use injection drugs: A factor analysis approach.   Harm Reduction J. 6-20.

Cowen, L., S. J. Walsh, C. J. Schwarz, N. Cadigan and J. Morgan. 2009.  Estimating exploitation rates of a migrating population of yellowtail flounders using multi-state mark-recapture methods incorporating tag-loss and variable reporting rates.  Can. J. Fish. Aquatic Sc. 66, 1245-1273.

Cowen, L., N. Trouton, and R. E. Bailey.  2007. Effects of angling on Chinook salmon for the Nicola River, British Columbia, 1996-2002.  N. Am. J. Fish Manage. 27, 256-267.

Cowen, L. and C. J. Schwarz. 2006.  The Jolly-Seber model with tag loss.  Biometric. 62, 699-705.

Cowen, L. and C. J. Schwarz. 2005. Capture-recapture studies using radio telemetry with premature radio-tag failure. Biometrics. 61, 657-664.

Fraser, G. S., I. L. Jones, F. M. Hunter, and L. Cowen. 2004. Mate switching patterns in Crested Auklets (Aethia Cristatella): The role of breeding success and ornametation. Bird Behavior. 16, 1-6.

Cowen, L. and W. F. Bobier. 2003.  Defining the astigmatism in a pre-school population using the Retinomx Plus autorefractor. Invest. Ophth. Vis Sci. 44, 4593-4600.

Hedd, A., J. L. Ryder, L. Cowen, and D. F. Bertram. 2002. Inter-annual variation in the diet, provisioning, and growth of Cassin's Auklet at Triangle Island, British Coumbia: Resonses to variation in ocean climate? Mar. Ecol-Prog. Ser. 229, 221-232.

Bertram, D. F., L. Cowen, and A. Burger. 1999. Use of radar for monitoring colonial burrow nesting seabirds. J. Field Ornithol. 70, 145-157.