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Dr Damian Farnell

Dr Damian Farnell

Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics

School of Dentistry

Available for postgraduate supervision


Dr. Damian JJ Farnell FHEA MInstP MIPEM


I am a senior lecturer of applied mathematics in dentistry at the School of Dentistry at Cardiff University, UK, and I am the module leader for two postgraduate courses on "Research Methods" (DET031) and "Postgraduate Dental Professionalism" in the School of Dentistry. I provide research advice and statistical consultancy for projects in the School of Dentistry. 

Research Interests:

  • Medical imaging and image processing
  • Medical and dental research: epidemiology & statistical analysis of laboratory and clinical studies data
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Quantum magnetism, especially “frustrated” magnetic systems


An Introduction to Lattice Quantum Spin Systems by JB Parkinson and DJJ Farnell. Lecture Notes in Physics Vol. 816. Written by J.B. Parkinson and D.J.J. Farnell. (Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2010). (Softcover ISBN: 978-3-642-13289-6).

Quantum Magnetism. Lecture Notes in Physics Vol. 645, U Schollwoeck, J Richter, DJJ Farnell, and RF Bishop, (Editors), (Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2004). (Hardcover ISBN: 3-540-21422-4. Softcover from 2010: ISBN: 978-3642059766)

Coupled Cluster Method Theories of Quantum Magnetism, RF Bishop, PHY Li, DJJ Farnell, and R Zinke. Accepted for publication in the Springer series: Solid State Science. (To be published in 2021/22.)

Teaching Biostatistics in Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, DJJ Farnell and R Medeiros Mirra. Accepted for publication by Springer. (To be published in September 2022.)



  • PhD entitled “Integrable and Non-Integrable Quantum Arrays” (1994) University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology (UMIST), UK.
  • BSc (1st class) in Mathematical Physics (1991) University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology (UMIST), UK.

Honours and awards

Professional memberships

Academic positions

  • From 2014-present: Lecturer/Senior lecturer of Applied Mathematics in Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, UK.
  • 2011-2014: Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, University of South Wales, UK.
  • 2007-2011: Research Statistician, University of Manchester, UK.
  • 2003-2006: Lecturer in Ophthalmic Imaging, St. Paul’s Eye Unit + University of Liverpool, UK.
  • 1995-2003: Post-doctoral researcher (theoretical physics and medical research).
  • 1994-1995: Software engineer, Logica UK Ltd.

Committees and reviewing


  • Dental Research Ethics Committee
  • Dental Toothbank Committee
  • Dental Postgraduate Research Committee
  • College Data Strategy Committee
  • College Training & Research Support Group
  • MSc Dental Subject Boards


  • Journal reviewer, e.g., for: Frontiers of Physics; Journal of Physics Communications; Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine; Journal of Dental and Oral Health; Journal of Emergencies Medicine; Community Dental Health; Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter; etc.
  • Grant reviewer.































  • Module leader for module entitled "Research Methods" for postgraduate students in the School of Dentistry.
  • Module leader for an online postgraduate module entitled "Postgraduate Dental Professionalism" 
  • Academic tutor for second-year undergraduate dental students
  • PhD supervision
  • MSc and undergraduate project supervision

COVID Bereavement

A joint study between Bristol and Cardiff Universities (and beyond), which aims to understand the grief experiences and support needs of people who have been bereaved either due to COVID-19 or another cause of death during the pandemic. This study explores peoples' experiences at the end of life of loved ones (family or close friend) and of grieving, as well as any support that people felt needed during bereavement (and what support they actually received).

  • Please follow this link for more information at the study website.
  • To access the first report from this study, please click on click here;
  • To see ITV News At Ten coverage, please click here
  • To see Sky News coverage, please click here

Published Papers

  • End of life and bereavement experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: Interim results from a national survey of bereaved people. E. Harrop, L Selman, D.J.J. Farnel, A. Byrne, A. Nelson, S. Goss, E. Sutton, K. Seddon, L. Machin, A. Penny, A. Roulston, E. Carduff, A. Finucane, K.V. Smith, A. Torrens Burton, S. Sivell, C. Mayland, D. Wakefield, B. Johnston and M. Longo. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 11, A3 (2021).
  • Support needs and barriers to accessing support: Baseline results of a mixed-methods national survey of people bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic. E. Harrop,  S. Goss, D.J.J. Farnell,  M. Longo,  A. Byrne,  K. Barawi,  A. Torrens-Burton,  A. Nelson,  K. Seddon,  L. Machin,  E. Sutton,  A. Roulston, K. Smith, A. Finucane, A. Penny, S. Sivell,  L.E. Selman. Palliative Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1177/02692163211043372

3D Imaging and Shape Modelling

Research in the Orthodontics and 3D Imaging Research group uses 3D facial imaging in order to "explain facial variation (biological make-up, anatomy, facial surface morphology and function) to inform a fully functioning biomechanical head model which is of value to improve healthcare interventions, improve wellbeing and quantify facial variation for face-wear, facial identification/forensics and computer interface industries."

My research focusses on developing mathematical models of 3D facial shape in order to achive the aims above. I have developed a multilevel principal components analysis (mPCA) code that allows us to model different sources of variations at different levels of the model. Recent research successes using the mPCA approach via this code have been:  

  • Detecting changes in facial shapes between different nationalities and also by sex. Click here for more details.
  • Identifying seven phases of a "smile" in dynamic 3D shape "video" data. Click here for more details.
  • Modelling age-related facial changes in Finnish and Welsh adolescents. Click here and here for more details.
  • Influence of Maternal Smoking and Alcohol Consumption on the Facial Shape of English Adolescents. Click here for more details.
  • In conjunction with the Otter Project at Cardiff University, sex and geographical variation in the shape of otter (Lutra lutra) in the United Kingdom. Click here for more details. 

Automated Retinal Image Analysis (ARIA) dataset

I was the principal researcher for the ARIA project at St. Paul's Eye Unit, RLUHT (2003-2006). This involved the recruitment of patients, retinal photography, and image analysis of resulting digital fundus photographs.

  • Please click here to access the freely available ARIA dataset, which is a directory of images collected by myself and members of staff of St Paul's Eye Unit and the University of Liverpool as part of this project.

CCCM (crystallographic coupled cluster method):

CCCM is a high-order CCM (coupled cluster method) code for lattice spin systems at T=0 by Damian J. J. Farnell (DF).

  • Historically, this code is based on "foundations" laid by Ray Bishop and John Parkinson (amongst others), and Chen Zeng's work in the 90's on the high-order code.
  • This code has been exploited and pushed forward by Damian Farnell and Sven Krüger primarily.
  • Joerg Schulenburg (JS) improved this code greatly and he has set up this webpage for distribution of the most recent code.


Current Supervsion

  • Co-supervisor (PhD; 33%) of Ms. Jennifer Galloway. Project: 3D facial shape analysis.
  • Lead supervisor (PhD; 50%) of Mr. Sam Evans. Project: description and interpretation of bruises sustained from physical abuse.

Past projects

Previous Supervision

  • Co-supervisor (PhD awarded in 2006; 50%) of Dr. Kathryn Cracknell. Project: Latanoprost Induced Iris Darkening in Colour Images of the Eye for Glaucoma Patients. (University of Liverpool.)
  • Co-supervisor (PhD awarded in 2019; 50%) of Dr. Nor Azlida Binti Mohd Nor. Project: Impact of fluoride concentration in water supply on oral health. (Cardiff University.)