Finlay Thompson, PhD


Call Finlay on +64 21 426 878

Finlay is operations manager at Dragonfly. As a mathematician, he brings an insightful rigour to solving analytical and technical problems.

Finlay has extensive experience as a database and software developer. He leads the technical direction of Dragonfly's work, with a strong focus on open source technologies. He enjoys the challenge of making analytical and statistical solutions operational.

Finlay is experienced in Bayesian analysis and has carryied out statistical modelling on diverse projects such as estimating the bycatch of marine mammals in New Zealand fisheries, and the number of leaky homes in the country. He believes that automated approaches can massively increase the quality, reproducibility, and productivity of analytical systems, bringing significant savings to clients.

Finlay researched four dimensional algebra and geometry for his PhD in mathematics at SISSA, Italy. He completed post-docs at CIMAT in Mexico and Victoria University of Wellington, then worked in Wellington's IT industry before joining Dragonfly in 2008.

I think decision making should be supported with the best available information. Data collection can be an expensive investment for any organisation, so getting the most from that data is essential. In the long run, robust analysis will produce a better return on investment. It's gratifying to see our work being used to inform key commercial and government decisions.

Selected publications

Thompson, F. N., Abraham, E. R., & Berkenbusch, K. (2013). Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) bycatch in New Zealand commercial trawl fisheries. PLoS ONE, 8, e64438. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064438

Thompson, F. N., Berkenbusch, K., & Abraham, E. R. (2016). Incidental capture of marine mammals in New Zealand trawl fisheries, 1995–96 to 2011–12. New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No. 167. Retrieved from