Dr Miranda Mortlock

Lecturer in Biometry

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science
m.mortlock@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52171

Overview

Current projects and interests include: Methods for improving the efficiency of measuring crop physiological traits. Undergraduate teaching; Use of novel statistical methods applied to new areas of agricultural research; Monitoring and evaluation using quantitative data and focused surveys; Online statistical training and capacity building.

Dr Miranda Mortlock started her career by studying BSc (honours) Agriculture at Reading University. In addition she obtained a scholarship for an undergraduate exchange to Cornell University where she specialised in integrated pest management and tropical farming systems. Miranda was awarded a scholarship (from the British Aid program) to undertake a Masters in Applied Plant Science at Wye College. She then headed overseas to Botswana and worked as an agronomist on the Dryland Farming Research Scheme. Following this she obtained a Graduate Research Scholarship at Kansas State University in the USA. Miranda's PhD involved both field work in Kansas and in Botswana on farmer fields. She took position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Botswana. She was awarded two Post Doctoral Fellowships at UQ examining transpiration efficiency of sorghum. She was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education (UQ) , and in 2000 joined Queensland Treasury as a Senior Statistician until in 2008 took up the role of Principal Advisor (Research and Evaluation). Miranda returned to UQ SAFS in 2012 and now enjoys teaching biometry and researching into areas of crop physiology and household surveys. She recieved a Teaching and Learning Grant to support innovation in her courses, and in 2014 obtained funding for and initiated work on BeST online statistical course to support scientist in Africa.

Research Interests

  • Water use efficiency of crops
  • Design of Agricultural Experiments. Surveys and their use in development studies
  • Use of propensity score matching methods
  • Sampling for measuring plant traits in the field for increased cost effectiveness
  • Farming systems research and analysis

Research Impacts

In January 2016 Miranda was invited to provide a Monitoring and Evaluation Workshop to the Government of Botswana, Sub saharan Africa. Over 70 senior government executives and CEOs attended and it was a great success in setting the framework for the M and E going forward to 2036. 2016 was a prestigious year for Botswana as it is the 50th anniversary since becoming a Republic and after being a Protectorate.

Currently Miranda is developing online site for training and supporting early career scientists in Africa and South Asia, funded by ACIAR. The site is based on open source R software and its nexus for developing appropriate designs and subsequent analysis of agricultural experiments.

Post doctoral agronomic research successfully identified superior water efficient lines of sorghum. Efficient sorghum lines were chosen to enter Queensland's sorghum breeding program; these were outcomes of the detailed measurement of transpiration efficiency in sorghum.

Miranda managed the Queensland Household Survey within Queensland Treasury. One of the important output (available on the Aus-goal website and used by the Australian government for data sharing) was the restrictive licence for sharing confidential, personal and commercial in confidence data.

The selection of the local areas in phase II of the Community Renewal in Queensland was an outcome of applying statistical methodology to develop an Index of Deprivation for Queensland. This used Census data and novel application of multivariate techniques. The $78 million of expenditure into Phase II Community Renewal areas was focused into specific areas from Miranda's analysis.

Miranda worked on the Restrictive License in the Government Information Licensing Framework in Queensland Treasury, which is now available as the Restricted Licence in the Aus-goal suite of licences.

Miranda has developed evaluation frameworks for public sector research and evaluation. She is actively involved on the committee of the Statistical Society of Australia and the Royal Statistical Society.

Qualifications

  • Grad Cert (Tertiary Education), The University of Queensland
  • Masters of Science, University of London
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Reading
  • PhD, Kansas State University

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

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Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Veerasamy, Sejian, Samal, Lipismita, Soren, N. M., Bagath, M., Krishnan, G., Vidya, M. K., Archana, P. R., Pragna, Prathap, Hyder, Iqbal, Maurya, V. P., Mortlock, Miranda Y. and Bhattra, Raghavendra (2017). Adaptation strategies to counter climate change impact on sheep. In Veerasamy Sejian, Raghavendra Bhatta, John Gaughan, Pradeep Kumar Malik, S. M. K Naqvi and Rattan Lal (Ed.), Sheep production adapting to climate change (pp. 413-430) Singapore, Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-4714-5_20

  • Mortlock, Miranda Y. (2014). Transpiration: water use efficiency. In Yeqiao Wang (Ed.), Land (pp. 511-513) Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press (Taylor and Francis). doi:10.1081/E-ENRL-120010279

  • Mortlock, M.Y (2003). Transpiration and Water Use Efficiency. In Encyclopedia of Water Science (pp. 989-991) Madison, U.S.: Marcel Dekker.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.