Joan L. Latchman

Honourary Research Fellow



1-868-662-4659 202 ext


The University of the West Indies:

B.Sc. (1980) Mathematics and Computer Science (Upper Second Class Honours)

M.Phil. Seismology “Seismic Potential of the S.W. Tobago Fault System” (1998)

Ph.D. Seismology “Tobago and Earthquakes” (2009)


  • earthquake and volcano monitoring
  • seismology
  • tectonics
  • earthquake forecasting


Worked with Eastern Caribbean seismicity since beginning her career, in 1972, at the Seismic Research Unit as a seismology technician. Under a flexi-time arrangement, she was able to pursue a full-time degree programme in Natural Sciences (Mathematics and Computer Science). Subsequently, she was offered the two-year, visiting seismologist post at the International Seismological Centre in the U.K. analysing global earthquake data, which expanded her perspective from earthquakes in a regional setting to earthquakes as a global phenomenon. Her M.Phil. thesis explored the “Seismic Potential of the S.W. Tobago Fault System” and her Ph.D. thesis looked at “Tobago and Earthquakes” in greater depth.

Her work on Tobago seismicity, along with building on that of a former colleague, has grown into an earthquake forecasting tool that has been tested in local, regional and the global seismogenic systems with encouraging results. The studies on the global system and the San Andreas Fault System have been published. She continues to examine seismicity patterns in the Eastern Caribbean for insights on future significant magnitude events, which allows prognoses for regional stakeholders. Other research includes the impact of earthquakes on groundwater, radon output and earthquakes and volcanic unrest associated with major earthquakes.

Major Publications

Journals Publications

  • Zuccolo, E., T. Gibbs, C.G. Lai, J.L. Latchman, W. Salazar, Lu. Di Sarno, A. Farrell, L. Lynch and A. Workman. 2016. Earthquake early warning scenarios at critical facilities in the Eastern Caribbean. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 1-27; DOI 10.1007/s10518-016-9878-7. 2016/02/10
  • Latchman, J.L., L. Lynch, S. Edwards. 2013. 60 years of monitoring volcanic and earthquake activity in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean. Caribbean Geography. 3-17.
  • Latchman, J.L., F.D.O. Morgan, W.P. Aspinall and D. Gay. 2011 Magnitude production imbalances and the present seismogenicity state of the San Andreas Fault system. Tectonophysics. 511: 134-147, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2011.09.011
  • Latchman, J.L. 2011. V. Pisarenko and M. Rodkin Heavy-Tailed Distributions in Disaster Analysis. Mathematical Geosciences. 43:(4): 502-502 (Review Article).
  • Latchman, J.L., F.D.O. Morgan and W.P. Aspinall. 2008. Temporal changes in the cumulative piecewise gradient of a variant of the Gutenberg-Richter relationship, and the imminence of extreme events. Earth Science Reviews. 87: 94-112

Conference/Workshop Proceedings

  • “Operational earthquake forecasting in the Eastern Caribbean” Oral presentation at XXVI IUGG General Assembly, Prague, Czech Republic. 2015/6/22-7/2
  • “Radon monitoring and earthquake forecasting” Report on project presented at IUGS International Geoscience Project IGCP571 – Radon, Health and Natural Hazards meeting. Venue: Pump Rooms, Bath, U.K. 2012/12/11-12

Conference Posters

  • “Delivering the Message on Geological Hazards in the Eastern Caribbean” – J.L. Latchman and S. Edwards. Poster displayed at European Seismological Commission 33rd General Assembly: Seismology Without Boundaries. Session EO-1 Communicating about earthquakes – new challenges in a sensitised society. Venue: Presidium, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. 2012/08/19-24