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Photo by QDR

Stats and data science to sustainably feed the world

Quentin is a data scientist and ecologist. He is the Southeast Area Statistician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), where he began working in October 2021. Based on the campus of N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, he serves as a statistical and data science consultant for over four hundred scientists located all over the southeastern United States. Agriculture is facing many tough challenges to remain resilient and sustainable in the face of global change. Quentin is helping the USDA’s effort to sustainably feed the world by working on projects including genomic selection of sugarcane and orange, using hydrological models to predict soil types, predicting the spread of invasive plant pests and how to minimize the damage they cause, and developing new methods for repurposing food processing waste. He uses classical frequentist and Bayesian stats, geospatial statistics, and machine learning methods including self-organizing maps. Quentin works with researchers to help process big complex datasets, analyze them statistically, and visualize patterns in the data.

Quentin also likes playing Irish trad music on the flute, running (his favorite race is the mile), birding, and being a dad to Vinny and husband to Mary.

From 2018 to 2021, Quentin worked as a researcher and data scientist at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. As a researcher, he worked on quantifying the environmental and ecological impacts of food waste in the United States, and predicting the effectiveness of different programs that have been proposed to reduce food waste. See the Food Waste & The Environment project page to read more, or check out Quentin’s blog posts on food waste research. As a data scientist, he worked with other research groups on data science, stats, and visualization, maintained and developed features for the rslurm R package, and wrote data science lessons for SESYNC’s curriculum.

Photo by QDR

At heart Quentin is a community ecologist. He does research seeking patterns in biodiversity and species traits at many levels, from within-species variation at the local scale to variation across large scales of space and time, and exploring the implications of those patterns for how organisms and ecosystems respond to global change.

Visit the Research page to learn more about Quentin’s past, current, and future research, or the Data Science page to read about how Quentin contributes to open reproducible data science. Statistics and data science training resources developed for the Ag Research Service Southeast Area (SEA) can be found at the SEAStats page. Download his CV or a briefer résumé for more details.

Map of places Quentin has given talks

Site last updated 11 August 2023