Murdoch McAllister

Associate Professor
Quantitative Modeling Group
Canada Research Chair in Fisheries Assessment, UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

Contact Information

Office phone: 604-822-3693
Website: Ecosystems Dynamics and Management Investigations Group (ECODIGM)
Publications: view

Research Interests

Professional Associations

  • Scientific Adviser to Deepwater Fisheries Working Group, Namibia 1997-2000
  • Member of US scientific delegation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 1999-2007, and Canadian Delegation starting in 2008
  • Member of the ICES scientific working group on Baltic salmon and sea trout 2002-3
  • Member of the US National Marine Fisheries Service Shark Evaluation Workshop 1998, 2002
  • Member of the ICES Scientific Working Group on Methods of Stock Assessment 2004
  • Member of the US SEDAR Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Stock Assessment Workshop Panel 2004

Research and Teaching
Developing and applying Bayesian statistical methods for fisheries risk assessment, estimation, decision analysis and management strategy evaluation. Applying Bayesian methods to fisheries stock assessment and providing quantitative decision support to non-governmental organizations, corporate clients, intergovernmental organizations, and government agencies.  Complex population dynamics and fisheries dynamics modeling. Statistical evaluation of model uncertainty in models fitted to data. Lectures and workshops at the postgraduate level in applying conventional and Bayesian statistical methods and quantitative decision analysis methods to fisheries management, ecological, environmental, and other related environmental and resource management problems. Current supervision of three PhD students, Rachel Louton, Tom Porteus and Shannon Obradovich and one post doctoral researcher, Dr Tom Carruthers at the UBC Fisheries Centre and past supervision and co-supervision of fourteen successfully graduated PhD students.


  • 2006-present Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Fisheries Assessment and Statistics, University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre
  • 2002-2006 Senior Lecturer in Statistical Risk Assessment, Division of Biology, Imperial College
  • 1997 -2002 Lecturer in Statistical Risk Assessment, Dept of Env. Science and Technology, Imperial College
  • 1995-1997 Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Environmental Technology, Imperial College

Two decades of quantitative statistical modeling. Served as a fisheries stock assessment expert for the National Marine Fisheries Service in stock assessments of large coastal sharks on the U.S. east coast (1998, 2002) and Atlantic swordfish and bluefin tuna from 1999-2008; the ICES Group on Baltic salmon 2002,3; the New Zealand Fishing Industry Board on hoki in New Zealand (1991-1994); the Namibian Government on orange roughy in Namibia (1997-2000); and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, scientists, on Pacific Cod and rockfish in British Columbia (1994-1995, 2007-2009). Provided expert advice to Argentinian Government scientists to help design an acoustic survey of southern blue whiting in Argentina (1996). Served as a fisheries science and management expert for the U.S. Government on a panel to review fishery management plans for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (1997). Served as statistical reviewer for EC fisheries science research project reports 1999-2001.  Served as stock assessment expert in reviews of US stock assessments of Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and eastern tropical Pacific dolphins (March, April, August 2002) and the New England groundfish trawl survey and stock assessment February 2003.  Applications of Bayesian and other statistical methods also to B.C. pink salmon, yellowfin sole in the eastern Bering Sea, North Sea plaice, and white marlin, and multi-species fisheries in Italy.

Current and Recent Teaching

  • FISH 506A Bayesian data analysis for fisheries stock assessment at UBC, 2007-2008.
  • FISH 506B Bayesian decision analysis for fisheries at UBC, 2008-2009.
  • Three-day Workshops on Introduction to Bayesian Data Analysis Using WinBUGS: Santa Cruz, CA May 2006; Lowestoft, UK May 2006; Shimizu, Japan April 2006; UBC and PBS, Nanaimo, B.C. October 2005, Cardiff, Wales, March 2008.