Centre for Biometrics and Data Science for Sustainable Primary Industries

The Centre for Biometrics and Data Science for Sustainable Primary Industries (CBADS-SPI) is one of 5 key centres within NIASRA. The majority of funding comes from the Grains Research and Development Corporation through the “Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry” project, a national project across five nodes and four Australian states, with a budget of over $5m.

Director: Senior Professor Brian Cullis


Phone: +61 2 4221 5641
Location: Building 39C Room 266


The primary aim of CBADS-SPI is to ensure that researchers in the bio-sciences (with particular applications to agriculture, forestry and other sustainable primary industries) apply appropriate statistical methodologies for the design, analysis and interpretation of research activities. This will improve cost efficiency, sound inference and encourage rapid adoption of research outcomes.

We achieve this aim through collaboration with industry and research provider organisations by delivering statistical solutions to real problems. Our research themes are driven by these collaborations and we have an active and expanding training programme at both post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Major research projects

  • Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry
  • Statistics for the Australian Pork Industry
  • Pasture Variety Trial
  • Genomic Selection
  • National Variety Trials
  • Capacity Building

Our people

Senior Prof Brian Cullis
CBADS-SPI Director and Senior Professor
Email: brian_cullis@uow.edu.au

Dr David Butler
Principal​ Research Fellow
Email: david_butler@uow.edu.au

Dr Alison Smith
Principal Research Fellow
Email: alison_smith@uow.edu.au

Dr Beverly Gogel
Senior Research Fellow
Email: beverly_gogel@uow.edu.au

Chris Lisle
Honorary Research Fellow
Email: chris_lisle@uow.edu.au

Luke Mazur
Research Fellow
Email: luke_mazur@uow.edu.au

Dr Ramethaa Pirathiban
Research Fellow
Email: ramethaa_pirathiban@uow.edu.au

Nicholas Lambert
Associate Research Fellow
Email: nicholas_lambert@uow.edu.au

Aidan McGarty
Associate Research Fellow
Email: aidan_mcgarty@uow.edu.au

Jess Meza
Associate Research Fellow
Email: jess_meza@uow.edu.au

Lu Wang
Associate Research Fellow
Email: lu_wang@uow.edu.au

Professor Robin Thompson
Honorary Fellow
Dr Sue Welham
Statistical Consultant
PhD student
Email: david_hughes@uow.edu.au 
Jesse Rand
PhD student
Monique Jordan
PhD student


ASReml is a statistical software package for fitting linear mixed models using restricted maximum likelihood, a technique commonly used in plant and animal breeding and quantitative genetics as well as other fields.


MMaDE hosts several R packages:

  • ASExtras4: Utility functions for ASReml objects: diagnostic tools for the meta-analysis of a series of spatially defined field experiments.​
  • Optimal Design: The od package generates optimal experimental designs under the linear mixed model.
  • Pedicure: The pedicure package provides tools for pedigrees and genetic marker matrices.

Centre for Biometrics and Data Science for Sustainable Primary Industries will be presenting work at the following upcoming conferences: