- Estimation and use of variance components
- Experimental design
- Analysis and interpretation of complex data
- Health and environmental issues
Dorothy Robinson works as a consultant biometrician/geneticist at the Armidale Beef Industry Centre. She joined the DPI after working as deputy head of Stats (M4) at RAF Innsworth and previously as a consultant statistician at the Scottish Agricultural Statistics Service at the University of Edinburgh.
Dorothy’s research career includes developing one of the first general-purpose programs using REML methodology to estimate variance components and predict fixed and random effects, as well as optimising multi-stage selection systems, studies of yield variability in small-plot variety trials, experimental designs to account for spatial and temporal variability (e.g. variety trials) and also the design of complex integrated research projects to estimate numerous treatment and genetic effects over several years. Dorothy was responsible for the design of the entire series of experiments in the first Australian Beef Cattle CRC – achieving similar accuracy of sire and treatment estimates without sophisticated designs would have required 5–10% more animals costing (when all expenses and overheads are included) an additional $0.5-$1 million.
Obtaining accurate and useful results from statistical models depends on understanding the errors and biases inherent in the models. Dorothy’s research showed that, as well as errors inherent in taking scans, accreditation systems for ultrasound scanners should take account of both errors in measuring carcases and variation between the animals’ left and right sides; she also showed that estimates of the direct-maternal genetic correlation will have considerable negative bias if models do not allow for sire x environment interactions.
Dorothy has published about 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers in journals and conference proceedings (about two thirds as senior author) and 30 other papers and reports, including 14 in non-refereed conference proceedings.
- B Sc (First Class Honours)
- PhD (Statistics/Genetics)
- Experimental design and analysis of complex research projects to estimate genetic parameters or sire or genetic marker or major gene effects and several other treatment or environmental effects
- Improving the Omega-3 content of meat and eggs to enhance their nutritional qualities
- Genetic parameters for visually-assessed traits in Merino sheep
- Analysis of growth and meat quality data in tropical and temperate breed cattle
Recent / highly-cited journal publications
Robinson, D.L. (2008) Days to calving in artificially inseminated cattle: alternative models and analyses. Livestock Science (in press)
Robinson, D.L. (2008) Issues involved in designing complex research projects to estimate genetic parameters and numerous treatment effects. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture (in press)
Robinson, D.L. (2007). Days to calving in artificially inseminated beef cows: Comparison of potential traits. Livestock Science, 110, 174-180.
Robinson, D.L. (2005). Assessing the accuracy of modelling weight gain of cattle using feed efficiency data. Livestock Production Science, 95, 187-200
Robinson, D.L. (2005). Accounting for bias in regression coefficients with example from feed efficiency. Livestock Production Science 95, 155-166
Robinson, D.L., and Oddy, V.H. (2004). Genetic parameters for feed intake, feed efficiency, eating rate, number of meals, time spent eating and fatness traits in feedlot finished beef cattle. Livestock Production Science 9, 255-270.
Upton W., Burrow H.M., Dundon A., and Robinson D.L. (2001). CRC breeding program design, measurements and database: methods that underpin CRC research results. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 41, 943-952. (cited 28 times, according to Web of Knowledge)
Robinson, D.L. (1996). Estimation and Interpretation of Direct and Maternal Genetic Parameters for Weights of Australian Angus Cattle. Livestock Production Science, 45, 1-11, 1996 (cited 80 times)
Robinson, D.L. (1996). Models Which Might Explain Negative Correlations between Direct and Maternal Genetic Effects. Livestock Production Science, 45, 111-122. (cited 69 times)
Robinson, D.L., McDonald, C.A., Hammond, K. and Turner, J.W. (1992). Live animal measurement of carcass traits by ultrasound: assessment and accuracy of sonographers. Journal of Animal Science 70, 1667-1676 (cited 37 times).
Robinson, D.L., Hammond, K., McDonald, C.A. (1993). Live animal measurement of carcass traits: estimation of genetic parameters for beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 71, 1128-1135 (cited 29 times)
Robinson, D.L. (1987). Estimation and use of variance components. The Statistician, 36, 3-14. (cited 104 times).
Fields of Research
010404 Applied Statistics
Keyword/phrase list of research interests
- Error structures
- Variance components
- Experimental design
- Health and environmental impacts
|Position||Senior Research Scientist|
|Location||Armidale - Beef Centre|