Research News

The UWI, St. Augustine Campus Research Awards Ceremony 2012:

  • MOST OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER
    • Professor Kit Fai Pun - Department of Mechanical Engineering
    • Dr. Beatrice Boufoy-Bastick - Department of Liberal Arts
    • Professor Vijay Naraynsingh - Department of Clinical Surgical Sciences
    • Professor Dave Chadee - Department of Life Sciences
    • Dr. Moawia Alghalith - Department of Economics
  • BEST RESEARCH TEAM
    • mFisheries (Mobile Fisheries) Project Team - Department of Elec. Eng
    • Tropical Medicine Cluster -: Infectious Diseases - School of Vet. Medicine
    • Plant Genetics /Biotechnology Group -  Department of Life Sciences
  • MOST PRODUCTIVE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
    • Department of Liberal Arts
    • Department of Preclinical Sciences
    • Department of Life Sciences
    • Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES)
  • MOST OUTSTANDING GRADUATE RESEARCHER
    • Dr. Stephen Nigel Geofroy - Ph.D Education
    • Dr. Albert Auguste - Ph.D Molecular Genetics
  • MOST OUTSTANDING RESEARCH MENTORSHIP
    • Mr. Carol Keller
    • Professor Christine Carrington


Recent research funding in 2012 include the following projects:


Establishment of the Centre for Workforce Research and Development (CWRD) based at The University of the West Indies

Within the Caribbean, there is an increasing demand for information on the workforce and labour market, both on the demand and supply sides, and as such a need to harmonize, standardize and co-ordinate labour market processes throughout the region.  Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, is also faced with numerous challenges within the labour market with specific reference to labour shortages on one hand and labour productivity on the other.  There is need for a regional storehouse of labour market information producing labour surveys, tracer studies of graduates, skills gap analysis and assessments of demographic and attitudinal profiles of the workforce, particularly as they relate to the movement of skilled persons within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). 

When the proposed CWRD is established, labour market trends, skills gaps, training needs, government initiatives and the like, can be tracked, monitored, analyzed and forecasted.  All stakeholders will be able to ensure that relevant structures are established with the view to strengthening economies and encouraging growth and development at the economic, social, national and regional levels. The CWRD will thus facilitate a more structured system of planning and development within the region, in which the University will be better able to meet the needs of the workforce through more relevant graduate output.

Funder:
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT)

 


 

(CASCADE) Climate Change Impacts On Water Resources In The Coastal Zones Of Small Island Developing States.  Value -- €400,000

Overall objective:
To support Small Island Developing States in a Path Towards Sustainable Development

Specific objective:
To Design and Promote Multi-Stakeholder Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Small Island Developing States

Partners:
i. The University of the West Indies (UWI)
II. Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC)
iii. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)

Summary:
This project focuses on the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean and the Pacific to water stresses resulting from climate change impacts from both the perspective of threatened supply as well as the trends of increasingly heavy demands of these tourism-oriented economies. The project team includes researchers from the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social & Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies, the University of the South Pacific and the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC). Among other things, the project will assess the vulnerability of SIDS to water stresses caused by climate change, facilitate the building of a policy toolkit of recommendations for adaptation and mitigation measures for tourism based SIDS economies to water stresses due to climate change and test the extent to which lessons learnt from one scenario could be transferred to another.

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Global-Local Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Scenarios (GoLo CarSce) 500,000

Objective:

The overall objective of this Action is to help Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean better understand and manage the effects of CC, to improve resilience and build adaptive capacity, as a means of promoting more sustainable forms of development and sustainable livelihoods.

Specifically, this Action is designed to improve the scientific understanding of the effects of climate change on the ecological, social, political and economic systems of the small islands of the Caribbean through the development of a set of locally-relevant, socio-economic scenarios for the Caribbean.

Partners:
i. The University of the West Indies
ii. Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)
iii. Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
iv. The Cropper Foundation (TCF)
v. Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

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“Developing sustainable disease management strategies to improve vegetable production towards self sufficiency and food security in the Caribbean region” –Value €500,000.00

Objectives:

i. To quantify the prevalence of diseases of important vegetable crops (tomato, cowpea and pumpkin) in the Caribbean region, and establish trial-trap plots in the Caribbean region to track the activity of pathogens of vegetable crops and to forecast their occurrences.

ii. To develop tools and techniques for early and efficient diagnosis of plant diseases.

iii. To develop integrated disease management practises for field and post-harvest diseases of important vegetable crops.

iv. To develop a varietal collection of important Caribbean vegetable crops from local and imported lines for assessment of field adaptability and resistance to major diseases.

v. To promote technology-transfer on cost-effective, environmental-friendly plant disease management approaches and sustainable farming methods, among the growers and agricultural field personnel in the Caribbean region and development of a Caribbean-based information network towards this end.

Partners:
i. The University of the West Indies
ii. National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), Guyana.
iii. Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
iv. Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Reunion Island

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Project mFisheries done by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

mFisheries is developing capacity in the Caribbean to pursue opportunities arising from the provision of innovative mobile-enabled services for its poor communities, and providing related empirical data and analysis to inform Caribbean policy and regulation. mFisheries focuses its attention on the small scale fisheries industry in the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on Trinidad and Tobago.

Link: http://cirp.org.tt/mfisheries/

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Metagenomic Analysis of Selected Bat Species in Trinidad done by the department of Preclinical Science

In order to control and eventually predict and prevent the emergence of diseases from bats, an understanding of the viral diversity in bats is crucial. We aim to use metagenomic approaches to define the comprehensive viromes (i.e. the sum total of all viruses found in a species) of selected New World bat species. We have already begun work on the Vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and will conduct 454 metagenomic sequencing of samples from several tissue types; identify viral sequences that share similarity with human viruses; conduct evolutionary analyses to characterise these viruses; and provide complete virome analysis comparing the comprehensive vampire bat virome by species, age, sex, and by sample type.

Affiliations: Ministry of Health; School of Veterinary Medicine; University of North Carolina

Link: http://sta.uwi.edu/resources/documents/UWI_FacultyReport_10_11.pdf

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Investigation of Potential Anti-Viral Compounds done by Preclinical Sciences

Dengue is one of the most important public health problems in the Caribbean. Several vaccines are in the late stages of development but there is no cure for Dengue. The aim of this project is to assess the ability of plant extracts to block dengue virus replication in cell culture.

Link: http://sta.uwi.edu/resources/documents/UWI_FacultyReport_10_11.pdf

Collaboration: University of Glasgow



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