Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Richard Robertson

Event Date(s): 11/11/2021

The UWI Celebrates World Quality Week, 8th – 12th November, 2021

The theme for this year is Sustainability: improving our products, people and planet

In commemoration of World Quality Week, The UWI St. Augustine Campus invites you to attend the Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Professor Richard Robertson, Professor of Geology, on the topic Living safely with explosive mountains in the Eastern Caribbean. The lecture takes place this Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 6:00 p.m

To register, visit https://uwi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_o8yVWeyYR96SkYrBhwIQag

Abstract: Volcanoes do not respect borders and within the context of the Eastern Caribbean, an eruption on one island can easily result in significant impact on neighbouring islands.  Building resilience to volcanic hazard cannot be limited to the specific islands on which volcanoes are situated but requires knowledge, understanding and preparation by all territories in the region.  My research has focused on volcanic hazards in its broadest sense.  This translates to both basic research on the nature and characteristics of past eruptions, as well as the application of experimental petrology and modelling of geophysical processes.  In attempts to mitigate the impacts of volcanism, we need to not only improve our understanding of the geological processes driving volcanic eruptions but must also monitor ongoing activity and examine how people cope with their impacts.  We must increase work at the community level to enhance communal understanding and response to volcanic hazards.  But we have to do so within the context of the multi-hazard environment created by volcanoes especially in small volcanic islands.  How can we improve our monitoring to enhance early warning?  What can we learn from past eruptions to help guide our preparation for and reduce our uncertainty about future events?  What types of eruptions have occurred in the past and which areas have been affected (and by what types of activity?).  These are some of the questions which I intend to address in my lecture.

Bio: Prof. Richard E. A. Robertson is a geologist and volcanologist who has worked in the Caribbean region for over 30 years.  He studied Geology at UWI (BSc.), Volcanology at the University of Leeds in the UK (MPhil) and completed his PhD in Geology at Mona, Jamaica.  Born in St Vincent, Prof. Richard Robertson joined the staff at the Seismic Research Centre in 1993 after serving for six years as Head of the local volcano-monitoring unit in St. Vincent (the Soufriere Monitoring Unit). He served several tours of duty as Chief Scientist of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory during the period 1995-1999 and was its Director from October 1998 – March 1999. Dr Robertson served as Head of the Seismic Research Unit during the period 2004-2008 and as Director of the Seismic Research Centre from 2008-2011 and 2013-2019. Since joining the Seismic Research Centre he has been involved in a variety of activities including: the establishment of volcano monitoring networks (mainly geodetic); ongoing public education and outreach campaigns throughout the Eastern Caribbean; the ongoing eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat and the recent eruption of La Soufriere Volcano on St. Vincent.  He has worked in most aspects of the SRC operations but has been most closely associated with its public education, hazards assessment, ground deformation and geothermal monitoring programs.  His research interests include volcanic hazards, the evolution of volcanism in St Vincent, and multi-parameter monitoring of volcanic hazards.  He has a keen interest in the dissemination of scientific information to vulnerable island communities and in building capacity at the community level to cope with hazards.

Open to: | General Public |