The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has promoted five of its finest academics to the rank of Professor. The new professors are experts in the fields of Special Education, Organic Chemistry, Spatial Information Science, International Law and Global Environment Governance, and Environmental Information Modelling and Management.
The candidates were assessed by internal and independent external assessors and subsequently recommended for promotion to the institution’s highest academic rank based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, publications and other professional activities in service of regional and international communities.
The new Professors are:
- Professor Stacey Blackman – Professor of Inclusive Education and Disability Studies, Cave Hill Campus
- Professor Roy Porter – Professor of Natural Products Chemistry, Mona Campus
- Professor Bheshem Ramlal – Professor of Geospatial Engineering, St. Augustine Campus
- Professor Michelle Scobie – Professor of International Relations and Global Environmental Governance, St. Augustine Campus
- Professor Michael Sutherland – Professor of Land and Marine Administration Systems, St. Augustine Campus.
These appointments became effective on October 4, 2023.
ABOUT THE PROFESSORS
Professor Stacey Blackman
Professor Stacey Blackman specialises in Inclusive and Special Education. An educator at the School of Education in the Faculty of Humanities and Education, Cave Hill Campus, she has served as Discipline Coordinator of the BEd Special Education and MEd Inclusive Practices as well as the Coordinator for both the Associate degree and BEd in Education.
From 2010 to 2011, Professor Blackman served as the Lead Consultant on a UNICEF-UWI Consulting project evaluating the quality of the learning environments and teaching methodologies for special education in Barbados. She has also served as the Archivist – Caribbean and African Studies SiG for the American Education Research Association; a series editor for publications on inclusive education by Routledge, Information Age Publishing, and volume editor for Springer Publishing; and has sat on several journal review committees including those for the Cambridge Journal of Education and Caribbean Curriculum.
Professor Blackman holds a PhD (University of Cambridge); MEd and BA (Hons) (The UWI) and certification in University Teaching from The UWI and Competency in Education Testing from the British Psychological Society. Her publication record includes 13 peer-reviewed journal articles; 24 conference papers; 4 book chapters and 6 books. In 2020 her book Achieving Inclusive Education in the Caribbean and Beyond was recognised by Springer Publication as among the top consulted publications for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Education. Assessors commend her research output and publication outlets as ‘high-quality’, one stating “Her edited volumes show her mastery of her research area.”
As an educator, Professor Blackman has supervised 8 graduate students and 6 MPhil/PhD candidates within the Inclusive Practice Specialisation. This is exclusive of several other MEd students supervised since 2005. Her contributions to curriculum development include the design and teaching of several graduate and undergraduate courses. She is currently creating a new BEd Inclusive Practices at the undergraduate level to provide hybrid training for both general and special education teachers in the region. The programme will specifically feature technology integration in assessment, curriculum and pedagogy.
Professor Roy Barrington Reynolds Porter
Professor Roy Porter is an internationally recognised expert in Natural Products Chemistry. He holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from The University of the West Indies (The UWI). He started his career at The UWI, Mona in 1987 and has since served as Head, Department of Chemistry (2014–2020), Chair of the Curriculum Committee (2015-2019), Examinations Coordinator (2020-present), an Associate Dean and a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry. Professor Porter has also taught at the Georgia State University; the State University of New York; and Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Professor Porter has published in and served as reviewer for several highly-regarded international journals including the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry and Phytochemistry. His significant publication record includes 2 monographs, 2 book chapters, 47 conference presentations and 37 refereed journal articles with several more in preparation.
One assessor notes the research community’s recognition of Professor Porter’s approach to a variety of problems in natural products chemistry and the ‘important implications for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.’
As an academic, Professor Porter has examined 24 MPhil/PhD candidates and initiated the implementation of the Chemistry Honours Society. Professionally, from 2017-2020, he served as Deputy-Chairman, Hazardous Lab Waste Clean-Up Ad-hoc Committee, National Commission on Science and Technology under the Jamaica Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Science and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, among others.
Across his career, Professor Porter has received JA $11.8 M in research grant funding. In 2009 Professor Porter engaged in a Research Fellowship for the project ‘Investigations of endophytic marine fungi associated with Jamaican mangroves for novel and bioactive compounds’. He also has a registered US-patent titled ‘Uses for epingaione and derivatives thereof’.
For his work, Professor Porter has received the Principal’s Research Award for the Best Publication, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences/Faculty of Science and Technology, The UWI Mona (2006, 2022).
Professor Bheshem Ramlal
Geospatial data access policy, data ecosystems development, and knowledge infrastructure development are among Professor Bheshem Ramlal’s core research interests. Since 1988 the UWI alumnus and holder of a PhD Spatial Information Science and Engineering (University of Maine, USA) has lectured in Geomatics and Geoinformatics at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. One assessor highlights the most noteworthy features of his work as the “innovative and comprehensive research done in the fields of geoinformatics (including GIS and Spatial Data Infrastructures) in the Caribbean, teaching in these fields and the very high number of relevant service delivery projects.”
Professor Ramlal has published 8 book chapters, 21 refereed journal articles; 35 conference papers; over 50 technical reports and has also made near 100 conference, workshop, and other technical presentations. He has contributed to research projects that have garnered US $5.7 million in funding. He has also supervised 108 postgraduate research students including 17 PhD/MPhil candidates.
Professor Ramlal’s extensive professional portfolio includes the design, development and delivery of 64 training courses providing for capacity building among surveyors, environmental scientists and engineers as well as other technicians. He has lent his expertise in GIS as a consultant to regional governments including Trinidad & Tobago, Belize and the OECS.
He currently holds memberships in the International Geospatial Society, the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago. Professor Ramlal also serves as a Membership Examiner, Assessor and Mentor with the Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association – Caribbean Chapter awarded Professor Bheshem Ramlal for Major Contributions to the GIS Profession in the Caribbean (2012). In 2019, together with the GIRI Group, he was awarded the Environmental Sciences Research Institute (ESRI) Special Achievement in GIS Award.
Professor Michelle Scobie
Senior Lecturer in International Law and Global Environment Governance at The University of the West Indies’ Institute of International Relations, Michelle Scobie is recognised globally as an expert in her field. Her areas of academic specialisation include Caribbean environmental governance; norms and environmental governance; environmental policy coherence; sustainable development governance; small states and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the interconnections between the SDGs; energy transitions and transformations; fossil fuel subsidy reform; climate change governance; climate and migration; ocean and maritime governance and the law of the sea; cultural and natural heritage governance. One assessor commends her involvement with Earth System Governance network, an internationally leading consortium of environmental social scientists, as a good indication of her international scholarly recognition.
A UWI alumna, Professor Scobie holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB), and a Postgraduate Diploma and PhD both in International Relations from The UWI. She was admitted to practice Law in 1993 and also graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy from the Villa Balestra International Study Centre, Rome, Italy.
Her considerable publication record includes 1 book, 16 book chapters, 25 reviewed publications and 52 conference papers. One assessor counts her involvement in international research collaborations that led to multi-authored publications as a sign of strength and achievement. Across her academic career she has supervised 25 MPhil and PhD candidates and 70 MSc students.
Professor Scobie’s service to the region included her role as a member of the four person UWI team of the CARICOM Regional Advisory Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction constituted in 2017. She supported the UN Diplomats on the UN Law of the Sea International Agreement on Biodiversity and Resources Beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction. Since 1998 she has also served as the Programme Coordinator of Shalimar UWI Motivated Mentors Outreach Network which trains UWI Students to mentor children and young women in need of support. The programme received The UWI Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 2012. Professor Scobie was a Senior Economic Policy Analyst in the Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago and the first Corporate Secretary of the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2020 Professor Scobie was part of an international consortium that successfully obtained a Belmont Forum Grant entitled, ‘Community Collective Action to respond to Climate Change influencing the Environment – Health Nexus’.
Professor Michael Sutherland
Professor Michael Sutherland is a recognised, world-class researcher in tenure-based environmental information modelling and management. He holds an MSc.E and PhD in Geomatics Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, Canada specialising in land information management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is currently a member of the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago, and an elected member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Professor Sutherland joined The UWI in 2007 as a Lecturer in Land Management. Since then, in addition to his teaching duties, he has served The UWI St. Augustine in several capacities including Head of the Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management; Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Student Affairs), Faculty of Engineering; Chair, Campus Committee on Examinations; Executive Member of the West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT); and Residence Manager – Freedom Hall.
In 2011, Professor Sutherland was appointed an Honorary Fellow, Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, The UWI, St. Augustine.
During his career Professor Sutherland has published extensively. Since 2007, he has published 109 items including 44 in refereed publications, 3 books and 9 book chapters. His research interests include land, coastal and marine management; climate change modeling, mitigation and adaptation; and applied geomatics. Professor Sutherland’s work has secured US $8.7 M in research funding. One assessor reports that “he has an outstanding record of research and scholarship which is on an upward trajectory.” Professor Sutherland has supervised 37 graduate and 72 undergraduate students.
From 2011 to 2014, Professor Sutherland served as Chair of Commission 4 (Hydrography), international Federation of Surveyors. In 2012, he was appointed as an adjunct professor in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Canada. He was a Coordinating Lead Author on Chapter 6 (Extremes, Abrupt Changes and Managing Risks) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and was also a Review Editor on the recently published IPCC 6th Assessment Report. Since 2021, he has served as a contributing Author for the Grenada National Ecosystem Assessment.