Stuart Burrell
Carnegie PhD Scholar in Statistics and Computer Science

Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling
School of Mathematics and Statistics
The Observatory, Buchanan Gardens
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
Fife, KY16 9LZ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 1334 46 1844

Research interests
  • Wildlife Speaker Recognition
  • Unsupervised Machine Learning Techniques
  • Statistical Ecology (Spatial Capture-Recapture Methodology)


I am a doctoral researcher in statistics and computer science at the University of St Andrews, funded by a Scholarship from the Carnegie Trust.

In 2016, I graduated from the University of St Andrews with a first class master's degree in pure mathematics. My current research, supervised by Professor David Borchers and Dr Juan Ye, seeks to exploit machine learning techniques to enable individual identification in acoustic data. An ecological application of this research is the improvement of acoustic spatial capture-recapture methods.

A short CV is available here.

Conferences and Talks
  • Introduction to Trace Contrast Methods, Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data, South Africa, January 2017 (delivered)
  • Trace Contrast Methods in Acoustic Space, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, South Africa, January 2017, slides, (delivered)
  • SMSTC Symposium, Perth, 2016 (attended)
  • ODSC Machine Learning and Deep Learning Conference, London, 2016 (attended)
  • Sequential Monte Carlo in Population Dynamics, Master's Thesis Presentation, slides, 2016 (delivered)

  • Estimating Animal Abundance and Density using Acoustic Data, University of Cape Town, South Africa, January 2017.
  • PAMTech Advanced PAMGuard, Edinburgh, 2016 (attended)
  • CoDiMa Software Carpentry, International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Edinburgh, 2016 (attended)
  • Spatial Capture-Recapture Methods, CREEM, St Andrews, 2016 (attended)

Academic and Professional Development

Teaching and Responsibilities
  • MT2508 Statistical Inference, Tutor, Semester 2 2016/17
  • MT1003 Pure and Applied Mathematics, Tutor, Semester 2 2016/17
  • MT2000 Python Workshop, Tutor, Semester 1 2016/17.
  • MT2504 Combinatorics and Probability, Tutor, Semester 1 2016/17.
  • Academic Tutor for the Centre for Academic and Professional Development, St Andrews
  • SMSTC Council Student Representative

Master's Theses

Software Contributions
  • GAP Semigroups package [1][2] : implemented methods for a decision algorithm for the order problem of natural and tropical matrix semigroups. [4][5][6][7][8]
  • GAP Digraphs package [1][3]: implementated methods including Johnson's algorithm for the computation of the simple circuits of a digraph (credit to Wilf Wilson for contributions). [4][9]

Awards and Scholarships
  • Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) Scholarship, London 2016
  • 2016 Institute of Mathematics Graduate Prize Winner
  • Carnegie PhD Scholarship, Tenure 2016-2020
  • Sanderson Prize, University of St Andrews, 2016
  • Arthur Hinton Read Memorial Prize, University of St Andrews, 2016
  • The Deans' List, University of St Andrews, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Duncan Prize, University of St Andrews, 2016
  • Medal (Mathematics M.Math, Fourth/Fifth Level), University of St Andrews, 2016
  • The Principal's Scholarship for Academic Excellence, University of St Andrews, 2015
  • The University Scholarship for Research and Leadership, University of St Andrews, 2015
  • Laidlaw Scholar in Research and Leadership, 2015
  • [1] The GAP Group. GAP -- Groups, Algorithms, and Programming, Version 4.8.3, 2016.
  • [2] J.D. Mitchell et al. Semigroups - GAP package, version 2.7.4, 2016. http://www.
  • [3] J. De Beule, J. JonuĊĦas, J. D. Mitchell, M. Torpey, and W. Wilson. Digraphs - GAP package, Version 0.5, March 2016.
  • [4] I. Simon A. Mandel. On Finite Semigroups of Matrices. Theoretical Computer Science, 5:101--111, 1977.
  • [5] S. Gaubert. On the Burnside problem for Semigroups of Matrices over the (max, +) Algebra. Semigroup Forum, 52:271--292, 1996.
  • [6] K.G. Farlow. Max-Plus Algebra, Master's thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States, 2009.
  • [7] I. Simon. Limited subsets of the free monoid. Proc. of the 19th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science, pages 143--150, 1978. IEEE.
  • [8] S.A. Burrell. The Order Problem for Natural and Tropical Matrix Semigroups in GAP, Master's thesis, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom, 2016.
  • [9] D.B. Johnson. Finding all the elementary circuits of a directed graph. SIAM J. Comput., 4(1):77--84, 1975.