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Prof Zoe Kelson

Associate Professor


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I am a mathematician, statistician, and data scientist with a particlar interest in the applications of medicine, health, and forensic science.


My research applies mathematical and statistical methods to solve real-world problems, with expertise in:

  • optimisation
  • mathematical modelling
  • epidemiology
  • meta-analysis and sysematic reviews
  • clinical trials
  • medical statistics
  • image analysis
  • AI

As a statistical reviewer and mathematical advisor, I work with academia, industry and Government.


I am a STEM Ambassador, assessor for the L’Oreal and UNESCO Women in Science International award, and Fellow and Chartered Mathematician of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.


  • 2024-current  Associate Professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department, University of Exeter
  • 2021-current  Statistical Reviewer, Mathematical Advisor, and Editor for Academic Journals and Research Councils
  • 2012-2021  Business Development Manager and Consultant Mathematician at the Smith Institute, Oxford
  • 2011-2012  Lecturer at the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
  • 2008-2011  Research Associate and Medical Statistician at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University
  • 2005-2008  Senior Decision Science Analyst at HBOS Personal Lending
  • 2002-2005  PhD in Mathematical modelling of Treatment Effects in the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
  • 2002-2003  Postgraduate Diploma, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
  • 1999-2002  BSc in Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics – First Class Honors, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University



  • PhD scholarship from the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
  • Winner of Best Talk at the Young Statisticians Meeting (YSM) of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) 
  • Invited speaker at the RSS conference
  • Grant winner from the William Morgan Thomas (WMT) fund
  • Principal Investigator of DePICA, funded by the Children and Young Persons Research Network (CYPRN)
  • Elected Member of Council at the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
  • Committee Member of the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC) at IMA
  • Fellow (FIMA) and Chartered Mathematician (CMath) of the IMA
  • Committee Member of the Business and Industry Section (BIS) of the RSS
  • Chartered Statistician (CStat) of the RSS
  • Invited speaker for the RSS, Business and Industry Section
  • Invited speaker for the IMA
  • STEM Ambassador
  • Guest speaker at the Young Talent Consultancy Camp in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)



  • Evans S, Baylis S, Carabott R, Jones M, Kelson Z et al (2014) Guidelines for photography of cutaneous marks and injuries: a multi-professional perspective. Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine, May 2014, Vol. 37, No. 1-2 , Pages 3-12
  • Evans S, Baylis S, Carabott R, Jones M, Lawson Z et al (2014) Focussing on the Future: Survey Results on the Image Capture of Patterned Cutaneous Injuries. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, Feb 2014
  • Kemp A, Jones S, Lawson Z et al (2014) Patterns of burns and scalds in children. Arch Dis Child 2014; 99:316-321. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-304991
  • Verey F, Lyttle MD, Lawson Z et al (2014) When do children get burnt? Burns 2014 Feb 7. S0305- 4179(14)00023-0. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.01.010
  • Amphlett B, Lawson Z, Abdulrahman GO Jr et al (2013). Recent trends in the incidence, geographical distribution, and survival from thyroid cancer in Wales, 1985-2010. Thyroid 2013 Nov; 23(11):1470-8.
  • Evans S, Noorbhai S, Lawson Z et al. (2013) Contrast enhancement of bite mark images using the greyscale mixer in ACR in Photoshop® J Forensic Sci. 2013 May; 58(3):804-10.
  • Maguire S, Watts S, Kwok T, Talabani B, Mann M, Wiener JJ, Lawson Z et al (2013) Newborn retinal hemorrhages: A systematic review. J AAPOS 2013 Feb; 17(1):70-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2012.07.012
  • Lawson Z, Dunstan F, Young S et al. (2013) How consistently do we measure bruises? A comparison of manual and electronic methods. Child Abuse Rev. doi: 10.1002/car.2217
  • Thorne S, Ball D, Lawson Z (2013) Reducing Error in Spreadsheets: Example Driven Modelling versus Traditional Programming. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 2013. Volume 29, Issue 1, p 40-53.
  • Edwards M, Lawson Z, Morris S et al. (2012) The presence of radiological features on chest radiographs: how well do clinicians agree? Clinical Radiology, 67(7), 664-668.
  • Prosser I, Lawson Z, Evans A et al. (2012) Original Research: A Timetable for the Radiologic Features of Fracture Healing in Young Children. AJR 198(5), 1014-1020. doi:10.2214/AJR.11.6734
  • Ng WS, Watts P, Lawson Z et al. (2012) Development and validation of a standardized tool for the reporting retinal findings in Abusive Head Trauma. AJO 154(2), 333-339. doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2012.02.007
  • Lawson Z, Nuttall D et al. (2011) Which is the preferred image modality for paediatricians when assessing photographs of bruises in children? IJLM 125(6), 825-830. doi: 10.1007/s00414-010-0532-7
  • Lawson Z, Nuttall D, Maguire S et al. (2011) Clinical photography of bruises: measurement variability and image modality preference. Presented at RCPCH, Arch Dis Child, A93-A94.
  • Griffiths JD, Lawson Z, Williams JE (2006) Modelling Treatment Effects in the HIV/AIDS Epidemic. Journal of the Operational Research Society 57, 1413–1424. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602120