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Snehalata Huzurbazar

Professor, Associate Director of Data Science

Dr. Snehalata Huzurbazar joined WVU in July 2017 as the Chair of the Biostatistics in the School of Public Health, and transferred to the Mathematics Department in July 2020 to lead the development of a new Data Science program. 

Previously, she was a Professor of Statistics at the University of Wyoming, where she started her career in 1995. She took a break from her faculty duties from 2012 to 2014 to serve as Deputy Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Institute (SAMSI, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. SAMSI is one of the National Science Foundation’s Mathematical Sciences Institutes. Among various contributions at SAMSI, she developed the 2014-15 Bioinformatics Research Program, and also served on the NSF Math Sciences Institutes’ Diversity Committee. Earlier in her career, she was a Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder and was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In 2017, she was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Over the years, in addition to her work in statistics, Dr. Huzurbazar has collaborated on research projects with colleagues from several disciplines including biology, geology, wildlife management and engineering. She worked on data modeling arising in understanding of gene duplication, and with researchers studying the human microbiome. Her work with soil scientists studied the effects of coal mine reclamation practices on soil health and with geologists on various problems in sedimentology. She worked with wildlife biologists in Wyoming studying the effects of energy development on sage grouse and other wildlife. Her research was funded from agencies ranging from the NSF to the Abandoned Mineland Research Program and the Petroleum Research Council.

At the University of Wyoming, she was instrumental in obtaining funding from the Department of Justice under the Grants to Combat Violence Against Women legislation to start the STOP Violence Program. This enabled resources for programming and education on preventing sexual assaults and also coordinated campus and local services for victims. As a graduate student at Colorado State University, she was chosen for an assistantship to develop the first Minority Mentoring Program for students and to serve as its coordinator for two years. This experience early in her career informed her committment as a faculty member to providing mentoring and other support especially for underrepresented students.


Ph.D., Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
M.A., Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
B.A., Independent Major, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA

Recent Publications:

  • Alexander, J., McElroy, B., Huzurbazar, S., Murr, M. (2020) ``Elevation gaps in fluvial sandbar deposition and their consequences for paleodepth inversion’’. Geology
  • Alexander, J., McElroy, B., Huzurbazar, S., Murr, M., Elliot, C. (2020) ``Deposition potential and flow-response behaviors of emergent sandbars in a sandy-braided river’’. Water Resources Research 56(1):e2018WR024107.

  • Fettweis, J., Serrano, M., Brooks, P., Edwards, D., Girerd, P., Parikh, H., Huang, B., Arodz, T., Edupuganti, L., Glascock, A., Xu J., Jimenez, N., Vivadelli, S., Fong, S., Sheth, N., Jean, S., Lee, V., Bokhari, Y., Lara, A., Mistry, S., Duckworth III, R., Bradley, S., Koparde, V., Orenda, X., Milton, S., Rozycki, S., Matveyev, A., Wright, M.,Huzurbazar, S., Jackson, E., Smirnova, E., Korlach, J., Tsai, Y., Dickinson, M., Brooks, J., Drake, J., Chaffin, D., Sexton, A., Gravett, M., Rubens, C., Wijesooriya, N., Hendricks-Muoz, K., Jefferson, K., Strauss III, J., and Buck, G. (2019). ``The vaginal microbiome and preterm birth’’. Nature Medicine 25(6):1012–1021.

  • Huzurbazar S, Kuang D., and Lee L. (2019) ``Landmark-based algorithms for group average and pattern recognition’’. Pattern Recognition 86:172-187.

  • Smirnova, E., Huzurbazar, S., Jafari, F. (2018). PERFect: Permutation Filtering test for microbiome data. Biostatistics

  • Brooks, J.P., Buck, G.A., Chen, G., Diao, L., Edwards, D.J., Fettweis, J.M., Huzurbazar, S., Rakitin, A., Satten, G., Smirnova, E., Waks, Z., Wright, M., Yanover, C., Zhou, Y-H. (2017). Changes in Vaginal Community State Types Reflect Major Shifts in the Microbiome. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease

  • Cacho A. , Smirnova E., Huzurbazar S. and Cui X. (2016). A comparison of Base-Calling Algorithms for Illumina Sequencing Technologies. Briefings in Bioinformatics

  • Bernhard J.E., Marcy P.W., Coleman-Smith C.E., Huzurbazar S., Wolpert R.L., and Bass, S.A. (2015). Quantifying properties of hot and dense QCD matter through systematic model-to-data comparison. Physical Review C, 91: 054910 : 1-15.

  • Zajacova A., Huzurbazar S. , Greenwood M. and Nguyen H., (2015). Long-Term Body Weight Trajectories and Health in Older Adults: Hierarchical Clustering of Functional Curves. Journal of Aging and Health, 27(8): 1443-1461.

  • Kirol C.P., Beck J.L., Huzurbazar S.V., Holloran M.J., and Miller S.N. (2015). Identifying greater sage-grouse source and sink habitats for conservation planning in an energy development landscape. Ecological Applications, 25: 968-990.

  • Heller, P.L., Ratigan, D., Trampush, S., Noda, A., McElroy, B., Drever, J. and Huzurbazar, S. (2015). Origins of bimodal stratigraphy in fluvial deposits: An example from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic), western U.S.A. Journal of Sedimentary Research 85:1466-1477. https://doi.org10.2110/jsr.2015.93.

  • Trampush S.M., Huzurbazar S., McElroy B. (2014). Winner of 2015 Editors’ Choice Award. Empirical assessment of theory for bankfull characteristics of alluvial channels. Water Resources Research, 50, 9211-9220,

  • Jhwueng D.-C., Huzurbazar S., O’Meara B.C., Liang L. (2014). Investigating the performance of AIC in selecting phylogenetic models. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology, 13(4):459-75.

  • Huzurbazar S., Gasch C., Wick A., and Stahl P. (2013). Bayesian Posterior Predictive Distributions for Assessing Soil Aggregation in Undisturbed Semiarid Grasslands. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 77: 4: 1380-1390.

  • Huzurbazar S., Singh S.S. and Schlueter J. (2013). Statistical issues associated with the modelling of synonymous mutation data. Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology, 12(3) : 361-374. PMID: 23629458