Daniel Lawson, Bristol.

This is the homepage of Daniel Lawson, Research Associate in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Bristol. My research is highly interdisciplinary. Using methods from statistics, modelling, game theory, dynamical systems, data mining and statistical physics I've worked on genetics, evolution, historical dynamics and energy markets. For a (non-technical) description of this work see the research, page, with the papers referenced over in publications.

Some details of my teaching are available, as is further information about me, and my contact details. You can look me up on Google Scholar.

My current application area is genetics, with a serious amount of work devoted to ChromoPainter/FineSTRUCTURE, for which we've produced a usable, flexible and powerful set of tools. I'm currently working on statistical and data-mining techniques to scale this analysis up to "all the genomes of all people", an ambitious goal that requires some new statistical and data mining methodology.

A second, long-term (in progress for several years) development is the maturing of work with Neeraj Oak on modelling the collapse of historical states. It turns out that a simple dynamic game-theory model for the internal politics of a state can robustly lead to periodic collapse events that occur when states appear at their most powerful and stable. This has interesting (and of course speculative) implications for modern states.


March 2014: "A general decision framework for structuring computation using Data Directional Scaling to process massive similarity matrices", with Niall Adams was submitted to arXiv. (preprint)

December 2013: "Apparent strength conceals instability in a model for the collapse of historical states" with Neeraj Oak has been submitted to PLoS One (preprint).

August 2013: "Apparent strength conceals instability in a model for the collapse of historical states" with Neeraj Oak has been submitted to J. Roy. Soc. Interface (preprint).

2013: "Performance comparison of renewable incentive schemes using optimal control" with Neeraj Oak and Alan Champneys has been submitted to Energy.

January 2013: A paper from my time in Aberdeen, Past acidification and recovery of surface waters, soils and ecology in the United Kingdom: Prospects for the future under current deposition and land use protocols, has been accepted at Ecological Indicators.

September 2012: What is a Population? In statistical genetics modelling and inference has been submitted as a book chapter, and a pre-print is available.

April 2012: Our review similarity matrices in genetics has been accepted and is to appear soon.

March 2012: Our review of similarity matrices in genetics has been submitted to the Annual Review of Human Genomics.

Jan 2012: The fineSTRUCTURE and ChromPainter paper has been published in PLoS genetics.

Dec 2011: The fineSTRUCTURE and ChromPainter paper has been accepted by PLoS Genetics and will appear online before too long. We have several users of the software.

July 2011: The PaintMyChromosomes.com website is going live! It is still in the very early stages at the moment, but the content will be completely usable. Get in touch if you are interested!

July 2011: We submitted our paper "Inference of population structure using dense haplotype data" to PLoS Genetics. See the fineSTRUCTURE page.

Feb 2011: Our paper "Bayesian analysis of non-linear differential equation models with application to a gut microbial ecosystem" was provisionally accepted by the Biometrical Journal. See publications

Feb 2011: A description of using Approximate Bayesian Computation for model selection was published, titled "Likelihood-free estimation of model evidence". See publications

2010: Our paper titled "Inference of Homologous Recombination in Bacteria Using Whole Genome Sequences" was published. See publications

March 2009: A new applications note in Bioinformatics was published titled "SimMLST: simulation of multi-locus sequence typing data under a neutral model". See publications