My Research

What it used to be…

I remember back when we were worried about Y2K and I was seeking a job as a newly minted Ph.D. looking to become an assistant professor. Since my training was very frequentist in nature, with emphasis in applying statistical methodlogy to educational and social science research, that was a focus back then. Also, I used to use SAS a lot. I wrote programs for my dissertation in SAS/IML. Yuck!



In particular, my dissertation and early publications looked at the power of tests of multivariate normality. I also took some coursework in mathematics education and measurement as a grad student, and I had (and still have) a strong interest in statistics education.


What it is now…

Even back in the 20th century when I was a mere graduate assistant, I was involved in statistical consulting with people from many fields. Although the University of Northern Colorado's applied stats program emphasized educational and social science research, I also worked with people from fields including chemistry education, public health, and wildlife biology. Now that it is the 21st century I've become a mere associate professor that is Bayesian-curious (but hardly full-blown Bayesian) and uses R a lot more than SAS.

R logo Bayes

The majority of my current research is geared towards applied problems that arise in the analysis of biological, ecological, and/or environmental data. This is largely due to becoming involved with many of my colleagues in the Watershed Studies Institute, including biologists, ecologists, chemists, geoscientists, and water scientists. Current interests of mine include the quantitative measurment and analysis of biodiversity and analyzing both left- and right-censored data with GAMLSS (generalized additive models location, scale, and shape). Also, figuring out why Howard Whiteman's pesky tiger salamanders on the top of that mountain in Colorado sometimes decide to go paedomorph and sometimes metamorph.

Here I am as a field statistician at the Mexican Cut in 2011. Cut I think I was sampling with replacement from this container full of salamanders and constructing a sampling distribution of the snout-vent length of the salamanders or something.

I've been involved with the Biomathematics group at Murray State since 2004. We are a group from both the biology and math & stats departments that are interested in research at the interface of those disciplines. We received a NSF grant in 2005 for five years to involve undergraduates in biomathematics research, and subsequently received a three year extension. Check out BioMaPS2 for more information, although the program is now finished.


  1. Roberts1, C. P., Mecklin, C.J., and Whiteman, H.H. (2014) Effects of Browsing by Captive Elk (Cervus canadensis) on a Midwestern Woody Plant Community. The American Midland Naturalist, 171, 219-228. Link.

  2. Pellock, S., Thompson, A., He, K.S., Mecklin, C.J., and Yang, J. (2013) Validity of Darwin's naturalization hypothesis relates to the stages of invasion, Community Ecology, 14, 172-179.

  3. Martin, R.A., Pelaez-Campomanes, P., and Mecklin, C.J. (2012). Patterns of size change in late Neogene pocket gophers from the Meade Basin of Kansas and Oklahoma. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology, 24, 537-545. Link.

  4. Whiteman, H.H., Wissinger, S.A., Denoel, M., Mecklin, C.J., Gerlanc, N.G., and Gutrich, J.J. (2012) Larval growth in polyphenic salamanders: Making the best of a bad lot. Oecologia, 168, 109-118. Link.

  5. Ebomoyi, W.E., Mecklin, C.J., Cooney, J., and Umaga, O. (2009). Predictors of abstinence among adolescents in a state-wide abstinence education program in Colorado: The implications for sexually transmitted infactions. International Journal of Social Health Information Management, 2, 1-10.

  6. Mecklin, C.J., and Donnelly, R.G. (2005). Powerball, expected value, and the law of (very) large numbers. Journal of Statistics Education, 13. Link.

  7. Mecklin, C.J., and Mundfrom, D.J. (2005). A Monte Carlo comparison of the Type I and Type II error rates of tests of multivariate normality. Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 75, 93-107. Link.

  8. Mecklin, C.J.. (2004). The Credible Diversity Plot: A Graphic for the Comparison of Biodiversity. Joint Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment and The Fifteenth Annual Conference of The International Envirometrics Society. Link

  9. Mecklin, C.J., and Mundfrom, D.J. (2004). An appraisal and bibliography of tests for multivariate normality. International Statistical Review, 72, 123-138. Link.

  10. Madden, S.P., Wilson, W.T., Dong, A., Geiger, L.C., and Mecklin, C.J.. (2004). Multiple linear regression using a TI-83 graphing calculator: Applications in biochemistry and physical chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 81, 903-907. Link.

  11. Mecklin, C.J. (2003). A comparison of equivalence testing in combination with hypothesis testing and effect sizes. Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, 2, 329-340. Link.

  12. Mecklin, C.J., and Mundfrom, D.J. (2003). On using asymptotic critical values in testing for multivariate normality. InterStat. Link.

  13. Mecklin, C.J.. (2003). Bayesian estimation of diversity profiles. 2003 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Section on Statistics and the Environment [CD-ROM], Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.

  14. Mecklin, C.J.. (2002). The estimation of species diversity over time. _2002 Proceedings of the American Statistical Association_, Biometrics Section [CD-ROM], Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association. Link.

Thesis Committees

I have been on a few dozen thesis committees at Murray State University, at both the senior honors' and master's degree level, since 2000. Committees that I have been the major advisor for are:

  1. Meredith Stevenson, 2011. A comparison among traditional methods in survival analysis and generalized additive models for location, scale and shape. Senior Honors Thesis.

  2. Joshua Lambert, 2010. Better estimates of diversity using zero-inflated distributions. Master's thesis.

  3. Nathan Hirtz, 2006. Simulation study comparison of the two sample t-test and the two one-sided tests (TOST) procedure. Master's thesis.


Email me if you really care. Most publications are above, I've worked at Murray State since 2000 and I was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2006. I got my M.S. and Ph.D. in applied statistics & research methods from University of Northern Colorado in 1997 & 2000, and my B.S. in mathematics education from University of Wyoming in 1991.