European GenStat Applied Statistics Conference 2008

AFBI, Belfast, 21 – 22 July 2008

Organising Committee: Alan Gordon (Local Organiser), Roger Payne (Programme Organiser), Ian Channing, Allen Green, Darren Murray.


This Conference will focus on recent developments in the theory and practice of statistics in the context of the GenStat statistical system. The programme will cover a wide range of application areas as well as the development of new methodology. It will provide the opportunity for statistics users with varied backgrounds to share experiences and to explore applications and advances in statistics. It will also bring current and potential GenStat users into direct contact with the developers of GenStat from VSN International, and enable them to influence future developments.


The Conference will be held at the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Belfast on Monday 21st July 2008. AFBI was created on 1st April 2006 as an amalgamation of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Science Service and the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ARINI). It is a DARD Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) that carries out high technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DARD and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies in the areas of agriculture, animal health, food, environment and biosciences. AFBI is based at seven sites across Northern Ireland, with its headquarters at Newforge Lane, Belfast, about 3 miles from the city centre.

Belfast is an attractive city that has been transformed over the last few years with a whole generation of fantastic new visitor attractions, bars, hotels and restaurants. These along with its fascinating cultural heritage make the city a great place to visit. For more information please visit Go To Belfast.


Key themes for the Conference include:

  • new statistical methodology in GenStat
  • statistical applications and consultancy
  • visualisation and graphics

but contributions on any statistical area are welcome. All submited a talks or posters, can be viewed in the Abstracts (pdf).

Conference Programme

08.45 – 09.15: Registration

09.15 – 09.30: Welcome Alan Gordon & Roger Payne

09.30 – 11.00: Session 1

  • David Baird: Microarray analysis in GenStat
  • Steve Langton: The analysis of complex surveys in GenStat
  • Darren Murray: GenStat in ecology and the environment

11.30 – 13.00: Session 2

  • Graham Hepworth: Prevalence of salmonella in animal feed mills
  • Phil Brain: An introduction to microneurography
  • Robert Forrester & Luke Pinner: Fire severity – a burning issue

14.00 – 15.30: Session 3

  • Roger Payne: Hierarchical generalized nonlinear models
  • Jackie Potts & Sarah Wanless: Fitting generalized linear mixed models with correlated random effects
  • Peter Lane: Visualization and interpretation of meta-analyses, particularly of rare events

16.00 – 17.30: Session 4

  • Duncan Soutar: Graphics environments and customization
  • Alex Glaser: Canonical analysis, biplots and triplots
  • Simon Harding: Running the NAG Library from GenStat


The Conference will be followed by a workshop on Advanced Linear Models on Tuesday 22nd July, also at AFBI. This will explain and demonstrate recent developments, including:

  • extensions to generalized linear models such as GLMMs and HGLMs
  • REML modelling of spatial and temporal variation
  • new methods for design and sample-size calculation

There will be practical sessions, and opportunities for participants to try the methods with their own data.


Conference registration (which includes lunch, tea and coffee) will cost £30 + VAT before 31st May 2008 and £40 + VAT thereafter.
Registration for the Workshop will cost £75 + VAT before 31st May 2008 and £100 + VAT thereafter.
Early registration is encouraged for the Workshop as places are limited.


You can register on-line through our Webstore


The 4* Ramada Belfast, situated in the picturesque Lagan Valley Regional Park, is the closest hotel to AFBI headquarters (about 15-20 min walk). Prices range from £109 per night.

The 3* Travelodge Belfast is a city centre budget hotel and is an ideal base whilst working or visiting Belfast, with the train and bus stations across the road. It is approximately 6 miles from AFBI Headquarters. Prices are from £49 per night.

A useful website for booking Belfast hotels is – Belfast

Alternatively, for other Hotels and B & B, try


Please contact Support if you need further information.