"People Do Science"*

*quote by Professor Willam A Lester, Jr, UC Berkeley

The B.E.E.S. group believes in the motto "people do science". This means we put people first and believe that research advances best in an environment of support and encouragement. Meet the team below:

Dr. Vianey Leos Barajas (she/her/ella)

I am an Assistant Professor, cross-appointed between the Department of Statistical Sciences (51%) and School of the Environment (49%) at the University of Toronto. I am primarily interested in working in the areas of statistical ecology, time series modeling, Bayesian statistics and, more recently, spatial modeling of environmental data.

I am also currently a faculty affiliate at the Vector Institute and a faculty member of the Centre for Global Change Science at the University of Toronto.

Collaborative projects bring me loads of joy. So, while I am formally trained in mathematics and statistics, I’m likely to be working closely with ecologists (esp. those who work with sharks) often and on many projects.

PhD Students

Sofia Ruiz Suarez

Sofia is a fifth-year PhD student in Statistics at the National University of Rosario in Argentina.

Research Interests: hidden Markov models, time series, point processes

Co-supervisor: Juan Manuel Morales

Robert Zimmerman

Robert is a fourth-year PhD student in Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Research Interests: Bayesian computation, probability theory, extreme value theory, mathematical finance

Co-supervisor: Radu Craiu


Yunyi Shen

Yunyi is a first-year PhD student in Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto.


Website: https://yunyishen.ml

Student Researchers

PhD Students:

Juan Pablo Diaz Martinez

Project: A Continuous-Time Movement Model for Acoustic Telemetry Data

PhD candidate in Health Services Research

Website: https://juandiazmart.com

Undergraduate Students:

Jessica Long

Project: Multi-scale modeling of time series data for classification of shark behavior

Major: Mathematics, Statistical Sciences

Recipient of NSERC USRA + SURA award by Department of Statistical Sciences

Simone Collier

Project: Modeling the interaction between behavior and thermoregulation in lizards

Major: Mathematics, Environmental Sciences

Internship through the Centre for Global Change Science

Sophie Berkowitz

Project: Modeling the interaction between behavior and thermoregulation in lizards

Major: Environmental Sciences

Partial scholarship through School of Environment

Vinky Wang

Project: A spatio-temporal point process model to identify the drivers of leopard shark aggregation

Major: Statistical Sciences

Yun-Hsiang Chan

Project: Modeling basketball movement data with hidden Markov models.

Major: Statistical Sciences, Computer Science

Recipient of SURA award by Department of Statistical Sciences.