Photo of Dr Mark Kelson

Dr Mark Kelson

Senior Lecturer (E&R)


Telephone: 01392 722562

Extension: (Streatham) 2562

Visit personal website »

I am a statistician. A biostatistician as it happens. A medical statistician really. Or should it be data scientist? Am I in data analytics? I’m a biostatdatscientanalyst.

Now that’s cleared up I can tell you what I’m interested in. I am interested in data. And people*.  And science.

Our progression as a species can be primarily attributed to our aptitude for handling information, from the pattern recognition that helped us to spot predators in prehistory to our capacity for abstract thought that allowed us to identify solutions to our most difficult problems (someday, someone may even figure out how Mark Wahlberg is our species highest paid actor). All of this requires an ability to process and make sense of data. This is the work of a biostatdatscientanalyst.

I am specifically interested in physical activity. Physical activity is fascinating. Everyone knows it’s good for you right? But how good? And for what? And how do you measure it anyway? All of this interests me. I come from a clinical trials background and many of the trials I work(ed) on (have) include(d) elements of physical activity for health, be that functional ability, weight loss or mental health. I am particularly interested in the analysis of accelerometry data.

I am also interested in mental health. Mental health measurement and intervention is another difficult problem and so is grist to the mill of a biostatdatscientanalyst. I have worked on (or milled the grist out of, if you will) common mental disorders, bipolar disorder, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Methodologically I am interested in multilevel modelling and R programming.



I contribute to teaching two undergraduate courses: “Probability, Statistics and Data”, and “Statistical Modelling”. I also run meta-analysis training with Cardiff University and University of Exeter, contribute to a MOOC called “Making Sense of health Evidence: the informed Consumer” and teach an introduction to R course in the University of Namibia as part of Cardiff University’s Phoenix project.


Other bits

I am an editor for Statistical Methods in Medical Research and statistical editor for the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

I am currently communications officer for the Society for Social Medicine but I am due to step down shortly. I will remain on the middle career researcher section there.

I organize the Statistical Science seminar series for the statistical science group at University of Exeter.

I am available to supervise undergraduate projects on physical activity or mental health.

I blog infrequently at SignificantlyStatistical

I sit on a number of committees for trials including:

Chair of the 'Helpmedoit!' a web and text based intervention to facilitate social support to achieve and maintain health-related change in physical activity and dietary behaviour

PACE-HD:  Physical Activity and Exercise Outcomes in Huntington’s Disease


Golden Synapse Award for most outstanding article published in JNPT in 2013

Top rated quality assessment for systematic review on collaboration between local government and local health from McMaster University

Professional memberships

Society for Social Medicine

European Public Health Association






* In so far as they produce data