Social and Decision Analytics

Vicki Lancaster

  • Principal Scientist
Vicki Lancaster headshot


Vicki Lancaster is a Principal Scientist at the Social & Decision Analytics Division (SDAD) of the Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative at the University of Virginia. Her areas of expertise are experimental design, visualizations, data analysis and interpretation. 

Her prior positions include Research Scientist at the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory within the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech; Mathematical Statistician at the Food and Drug Administration; and Senior Scientist at the environmental consulting firm Neptune and Company, Inc. During her career she has worked with scientists at the EPA, DoD, and USDA on projects that include developing a classification model based on morphological characteristics used to identify Africanized and  European honeybees; constructing the experimental designs and conducting the analyses that lead to the removal of Roxarsone in poultry feed, a source of arsenic contamination in poultry; developing a detection system for biological contaminants in our nation’s water supply; and simulation modeling to help researchers identify the location of unexploded ordnances (UXO) at formerly used defense sites. 

In her current position she is the lead on two cooperative agreements with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, the skilled technical workforce and visualization.

Full CV

  • Ph.D. in Statistics, Kansas State University

    M.S. in Statistics with a Minor in Mathematics, Louisiana State University

    B.S. Areas of concentration: Chemistry and Russian Studies, Louisiana State University

We are assessing the ability for researchers to access, evaluate the quality of, and integrate Department of Defense data to support decision-making related to the military population and to expand the types of questions the data might inform —in particular, the study of important recurring issues to the military, such as attrition.
National Well-being
Through modern data science techniques, we are uncovering the social characteristics of individual and unit performance that drives Soldiers to successfully meet the challenges of rapid technological change they may need to address in future wars. We are recategorizing these data in a social context to capture Army values and Warrior Ethos, such as courage, honor, loyalty, and empathy.
National Well-being
Past Project
We are working with the National Center of Science and Engineering Statistics to address this gap. By discovering nontraditional data sources and using them to describe and quantify the skills and non-degree credentials that can lead to STW jobs, we can help policymakers and educators address an urgent problem and empower job seekers to make informed decisions about their future.
Official Statistics
Selected Publications
Social and Decision Analytics
Fowers A; Isch C; McDonald S; Cohen S; Lancaster V . MethodSpace. SAGE Publishing.. 2020;
In the News
Public Health

In 1969, then-President Richard Nixon commissioned the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, which became a catalyst for much-needed progress in U.S. policy focused on hunger and malnutrition. What was set in motion over the course of the three-day conference changed the national landscape around food and nutrition policy, and has had lasting impact almost five decades years later.