Dr. Rick Tankard

Dr. Rick Tankard

Freelance Statistician, Bioinformatician and Data Scientist

Welcome 👋

I am a freelance Data Scientist, Bioinformatician and Statistician based in Australia. I am keen for tasks within health and medical industries, but can take on other projects. I blog about statistics, R and general scientific skepticism.

I am the Treasurer of the Victorian and Tasmanian branch of the Statistics Society of Australia.

I studied statistics and history & philosophy of science during undergraduate studies. After working as a research technician for two years, I then undertook a Bioinformatics PhD project at The Walter + Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The University of Melbourne, where I investigated the ability of next-generation sequencing to detect disease-causing repeat expansions. This resulted in the development of an R software package exSTRa.

I then had a postdoc appointment at Murdoch University where I led multiple bioinformatics research projects, collaborating effectively with teams both interstate and overseas. My role centred around the analysis of extensive datasets (60TB) using servers and high-performance computing. I skilfully utilised R ‘tidyverse’ packages and the ‘glmnet’ machine learning tool for identifying genetic markers related to Alzheimer’s disease and epigenetic markers for age prediction. This work culminated in presentations at four scientific symposiums and contributed to eight peer-reviewed articles. Additionally, I imparted my knowledge in statistics as a tutor for first-year university students, blending research and educational roles.

Specialties: R (including package development), Perl, regularised regression, high-performance computing (HPC), Linux command line, report writing