Sylvia Richardson
NationalityFrench, British
Known forTransdimensional MCMC
AwardsGuy Medal (Silver, 2009)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Warwick, University of Paris V, INSERM, Imperial College, London, University of Cambridge, Medical Research Council
ThesisSome Ergodic Properties of Stopping Time Transformations. (1978)

Sylvia Therese Richardson CBE FMedSci is a French/British Bayesian statistician and is currently Professor of Biostatistics and Director of the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge.[1] In 2021 she became the president of the Royal Statistical Society for the 2021–22 year.[2]


Richardson completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham in 1978 with a thesis entitled "Ergodic properties of stopping time transformations”.[3][4] She then went to study at Université Paris-Sud supervised by Jean Bretagnolle was awarded a Doctorat d'État for a thesis entitled "Processus spatialement dépendants: convergence vers la normalité, tests d'association et applications" in 1989.[5]


Richardson has been the MRC Research Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Cambridge, bye-fellow of Emmanuel College and Director of the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit since 2012. Previously, she was chair in Biostatistics at Imperial College London from 2000 and before that she was Directeur de Recherches at INSERM and held lectureships at Warwick University and the University of Paris V.[6]

She is co-editor of the volume Markov Chain Monte Carlo in Practice with Wally Gilks and David Spiegelhalter.


Richardson has made significant contributions to Bayesian statistical methodology and the application of Markov chain Monte Carlo. Her expertise is in spatial statistics with applications to geographic epidemiology and in biostatistics with applications in biochemical modeling, in particular modeling of gene expression data.


Richardson was awarded the Guy Medal of The Royal Statistical Society in Silver in 2009.[7] She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics,[8] of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis[9] and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[10]

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to medical statistics.[11]


  1. ^ "Sylvia Richardson".
  2. ^ "Sylvia Richardson confirmed as next RSS President". 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ Richardson, S. T. (1978). Some Ergodic Properties of Stopping Time Transformations (Ph.D). University of Nottingham.
  4. ^ "CurriculumVitaeProfessor Sylvia Richardson PhD" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Sylvia Richardson - Mathematics Genealogy Project".
  6. ^ "Professor Sylvia Richardson". Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Honored Fellows, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, archived from the original on 2 March 2014, retrieved 24 November 2017
  9. ^ ISBA Fellows, International Society for Bayesian Analysis, retrieved 8 February 2018
  10. ^ "Professor Sylvia Richardson - The Academy of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  11. ^ "No. 62666". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 2019. p. B9.