Dr Alison Gray


Mathematics and Statistics

Personal statement

I belong to the departmental Population Modelling and Epidemiology (PME) research group and am an associate member of the Stochastic Analysis group. I lecture in statistics, currently multivariate statistics and introductory probability and statistics. For many years I taught mathematical statistics and survey design and analysis, and also regression modelling.

My research interests cover pattern recognition and machine learning, image analysis, applied epidemiology, SDE models for epidemics, and applications of statistics for honey bee research.   I am a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, and a former long term member of the British Machine Vision Association.

 I run an annual spring survey of beekeepers in Scotland, collecting questionnaire data to study colony losses over winter and other aspects of beekeeping practice and experience, together with a retired beekeeper colleague. We began this in 2006 and recently carried out our 11th survey. Since 2010 I have been involved in the COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes); www.coloss.org) honey bee colony loss international research association and have been co-chair of its colony loss monitoring group since September 2014. This group co-ordinates colony loss surveys in more than 30 countries across Europe and beyond. I have been data co-ordinator/analyst of the same group since February 2016.

I was involved in the COLOSS CSI (Citizen Science Investigator) Pollen project for study of pollen diversity across Europe over the 2014 and 2015 foraging seasons, established this project in Scotland, acted as UK co-ordinator, and also as international co-ordinator for a one-year continuation of CSI Pollen in 2016.  

In addition to the above a current project is examining bee race across Scotland, using wing morphometry and multivariate statistics, as well as DNA analysis.


Multi-country loss rates of honey bee colonies during winter 2016/17 from the COLOSS survey
Brodschneider Robert, Gray Alison, Adjlane Noureddine, Ballis Alexis , Brusbardis Valters , Charrière Jean-Daniel , Chlebo Robert , Coffey Mary F, Dahle Bjørn , de Graaf Dirk C, Dražić Maria Maja , Evans Garth , Fedoriak Mariia , Forsythe Ivan , Gregorc Aleš, Grzęda Urszula , Hetzroni Amots , Kauko Lassi , Kristiansen Preben , Martikkala Maritta , Martín-Hernández Raquel , Medina-Flores Carlos Aurelio, Mutinelli Franco, Raudmets Aivar , Ryzhikov Vladimir A, Simon-Delso Noa , Stevanovic Jevrosima , Uzunov Aleksandar , Vejsnæs Flemming , Wöhl Saskia , Zammit-Mangion Marion , Danihlík Jiří
Journal of Apicultural Research Vol 57, pp. 452-457 (2018)
10 years of coordinated study of honey bee colony loss rates – presentation of a COLOSS core project
Brodschneider Robert, Gray Alison,
EurBee 8, 8th Congress of Apidology (2018)
Some issues arising in the 2017 survey and looking forwards to the 2018 survey
Gray Alison, Brodschneider Robert
COLOSS Monitoring Group Workshop, Nitra, Slovakia (2018)
An update on progress of a wing morphometry study of honey bee race in Scotland
Gray Alison
95 (2018)
"The Bees' needs" : using molecular analysis of bee collected pollen to understand which plants play an important role in honey bee forage
Highet F, Toteva G, Downie M, Peterson M, Gray AJ, Reid A
The Dundee Conference CPNB 2018: The Dundee Conference "Environmental Management & Crop Production" (2018)
About the SBA/COLOSS Survey 2017
Gray Alison, Peterson Magnus
94 (2017)

more publications

Professional activities

Honey bee colony losses, surveys in Scotland, and some international results
COLOSS Monitoring Group Workshop, Nitra, Slovakia
COLOSS B-rap Workshop, Nitra, Slovakia
Mapping bee race across Scotland.
13th International COLOSS Conference, Athens, Greece, 2-3 November 2017.
Some findings from the monitoring group data 2017.

more professional activities


Citizen Science Investigation for Pesticides in Apicultural Products (INSIGNIA)
Gray, Alison (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2021
Pollen collection for assessing forage diversity for honey bees in Britain and Ireland
Gray, Alison (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 31-Jan-2017
Industrial Case Account 2012 | Young, Andrew
Marshall, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Gray, Alison (Co-investigator) Young, Andrew (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 25-Jan-2017
Nanoscale characterisation of nitride semiconductor thin films using EBSD, ECCI, CL and EBIC.
Trager-Cowan, Carol (Principal Investigator) Gray, Alison (Co-investigator) Hourahine, Ben (Co-investigator)
"The aim of this project is to produce a step change in the performance of the scanning electron microscopy techniques of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), and electron channelling contrast imaging (ECCI), and exploit these relatively new techniques together with cathodoluminescence imaging (CL) and electron beam induced current (EBIC) for the characterisation and hence the improvement of nitride semiconductor thin films. Such materials are used in the manufacture of UV/blue laser diodes, UV/visible LEDs and white LEDs. Nitride laser diodes are presently dictating the development of next generation DVDs and developments in printing and colour copying. Present applications of nitride LEDs extend from street lighting, to back lighting in mobile phones, to traffic lights. Future use of nitride-based LEDs promises to revolutionise lighting in the home and office. Nitrides are also being developed for the production of high frequency, high power electronic devices. EBSD is an attractive technique with which to interrogate the crystallographic properties of materials because it can provide information on crystal orientation, polytype and strain with a resolution of tens of nanometres. In EBSD an electron beam is incident on a sample which is tilted at an angle of typically 70 degs. The impinging electrons are scattered inelastically through high angles forming a diverging source of electrons that can be diffracted. A simple description for the formation of an electron backscatter diffraction pattern (EBSP) presumes that electrons that satisfy the Bragg condition for a given plane emanate in diffraction cones from both the upper and lower surfaces of that plane. When these cones intersect a phosphor screen Kikuchi lines are observed. An EBSP consists of a large number of overlapping Kikuchi bands and is a 2-D projection of the crystal structure. Rotation of a crystal will produce a rotation of the EBSP; a tilt of a crystal will produce a shift in the EBSP, strain will produce distortion of the EBSP. EBSPs acquired from a mesh of points on a sample will produce a map of tilt, rotations or strain in that sample. In the course of our research we aim to attain much improved levels of sensitivity (less than 1 part in 10,000) to changes in tilt, rotation and strain to obtain detailed high resolution information on the crystallographic texture and strain distribution in nitride semiconductors. ECCI can be used to reveal single crystallographic defects such as dislocations in semiconductor thin films. In ECCI the intensity of electrons backscattered from a suitably oriented sample depends on the relative orientation of planes in a crystal. Changes in crystallographic orientation or changes in lattice constant due to strain are revealed by changes in grey scale of an image constructed by monitoring the intensity of backscattered electrons as an electron beam is scanned over the sample. Defects are imaged due to lattice plane tilting and strain they produce. Our aim is develop the ECCI technique so that it may be used to fully characterise all defects present in our films. We plan to apply these powerful techniques to optimise the quality of nitride semiconductor thin films, including: (i) non-polar and semi-polar nitride thin films, (ii) epitaxially overgrown nitride thin films and nitride thin films grown on native substrates, (iii) high aluminium content nitride thin films (including films grown on silicon), (iv) high indium content nitride thin films, and (v) zinc blende nitride thin films. Such novel nitride semiconductor structures will allow the production of higher power LEDs and extend their wavelength range to the red and infrared. They will also open up new applications for nitride-based devices - solar cells for example. Throughout the project we will also establish with industrial partners the best routes for development and commercialisation of new instrumentation, and nitride thin film growth processes."
01-Jan-2012 - 30-Jan-2016
Aquaculture Sampling Approaches for Detection of Veterinary Residues
Gettinby, George (Principal Investigator) Gray, Alison (Co-investigator)
05-Jan-2011 - 31-Jan-2012

more projects


Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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