Dr Emi Tanaka

PhD (Statistics)
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Statistics 4905
  • Statistical Data Science 490508
  • Applied Statistics 490501
  • Computational Statistics 490503
  • Bioinformatic Methods Development 310201
  • Statistical And Quantitative Genetics 310207
  • Crop And Pasture Improvement (Incl. Selection And Breeding) 300406

Research interests

  • Experimental design,
  • Mixed models (also known as multi-level models, panel data models or hierarchical models),
  • Data visualisation and visual inference,
  • Applications in bioinformatics and selective breeding (particularly plant breeding),
  • Statistical software development, particularly in R, and
  • Statistical workflow (encompassing reproducibility, design, infrastructure and communication).



Dr. Emi Tanaka is a Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the Biological Data Science Institute with affiliation at the Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics at the Australian National University. Her primary interest is to develop impactful methods and tools that can be readily used by practitioners. She interfaces across multiple disciplines to bridge statistical concepts and findings to a broad range of individuals. To this end, she has developed numerous open-source tools, primarily as R-packages, and resources aimed at making statistical methods accessible to a diverse audience. 

Emi demonstrates a proactive approach to community development and education through her involvement in the branches of the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA) and other committees. She delivered numerous statistical workshops including in data visualisation, data wrangling, reproducible practices, statistical modelling and statistical consulting. As President of the SSA Victorian Branch, she led the proposals for the Di Cook Award (an open-souce statistical software award for Victorian and Tasmanian students) and the SSA Statistical Computing and Visualisation (SCV) Section with eventual aim of creating a national software award (this resulted in reality with the creation of the Venables Award thanks to SCV Section Committee and funding by ARDC). Her contributions are recognised with the SSA Distinguished Presenter's Award, SSA President’s Award for Leadership in Statistics, and being featured in the list of 60 prominent Australian statisticians in the Significance magazine.

Emi is a big advocate of open science and an avid research software engineer. She is highly proficient in the R language, used to code in Python and Bash, practices computational reproducibility using R Markdown (now Quarto) and Git, and dabbles in UI, UX and front-end web development (HTML/CSS/JS). Most of her code are available on her GitHub profile.

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Updated:  28 February 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers