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Title: Wavelet spectral analysis of non-stationary circadian rhythms Authors:  Marina Knight - University of York (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Abstract: Rhythmic data are ubiquitous in the life sciences. Biologists need reliable statistical tests to identify whether a particular experimental treatment has caused a significant change in a rhythmic signal. When these signals display non-stationary behaviour, as is common in many biological systems, the established methodologies may be misleading. Therefore, there is a real need for new methodology that enables the formal comparison of non-stationary processes. As circadian behaviour is best understood in the spectral domain, we develop novel hypothesis testing procedures in the (wavelet) spectral domain, embedding replicate information when available. The data are modelled as realisations of locally stationary wavelet processes, allowing us to define and rigorously estimate their evolutionary wavelet spectra. Motivated by three complementary applications in circadian biology, our new methodology allows the identification of three specific types of spectral difference. We demonstrate the advantages of our methodology over alternative approaches, by means of a comprehensive simulation study and real data applications, using both published and newly generated circadian datasets.