Richard Robertson

Professor of Geology

Contact

Email
richard.robertson@sta.uwi.edu

Telephone
1-868-662-4659 300 ext

Qualifications

B.Sc. UWI (1987)

M.Phil Leeds (1992)

Ph.D. UWI (2003)

Expertise

  • Geologic Hazard
  • Volcano Monitoring
  • Volcanic Hazard & Risk Assessment
  • Volcano Risk Management & Crisis Communications
  • Risk Perception

Bio

Prof. Richard (Richie) Robertson is a Vincentian Geologist who has spent the past 30+ years in the Eastern Caribbean investigating geologic hazards and working with local people and their organizations to reduce vulnerability to these hazards.  His passion for volcanoes was sparked by his experience of the 1979 explosive eruption of La Soufriere volcano of St. Vincent and led to his studying Geology at UWI Mona Campus and undertaking post-graduate studies at  the  University of Leeds (Volcanology) and UWI (Geology).  Prof. Robertson joined the staff at the Seismic Research Unit 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.  He was the Head of the Seismic Research Unit during the period 2004-2008 and then Director of the renamed The UWI Seismic Research Centre from 2008-2011 and 2013-2019. Since joining the Seismic Research Centre he has been involved in a variety of activities. These include: the creation of volcanic hazard maps and establishment of volcano monitoring networks (mainly geodetic); public education and outreach campaigns and management of the scientific response to the 1995 Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat and the 2020-2021 eruption of La Soufriere Volcano on St. Vincent. His research interests include all aspects of volcanic hazard and risk, the evolution of volcanism in the Eastern Caribbean, and public engagement in science. He is enthusiastic about communicating scientific information to vulnerable island communities and building their capacity to cope with hazards.

Student Supervision

Omari Graham 2013-present. Seismic Research Centre, The University of the West Indies. Topic: Assessment of the communication protocols used in Volcanic Emergency Management in the Eastern Caribbean. Ph.D. in Volcanology

Tracey Marshall 2020-present. Geography Department, The University of the West Indies. Topic: Evaluating Seismic Risk Communication in the Diego Martin Valley. Ph.D. in Geography.

Thalia Thomas 2018-present. Geography Department, The University of the West Indies. Topic: Evaluating Seismic Risk Communication in the Diego Martin Valley. M.Phil. in Geography.

Major Publications

Journal Publications (2018-2022)

  • Graham O, Edwards S and Robertson R (2022): More than a warning: Expanding the role of communication in Eastern Caribbean volcano science. Front. Earth Sci. 10:907559. doi: 10.3389/feart.2022.907559
  • E. P. Joseph, M. Camejo-Harry, T. Christopher, R. Contreras-Arratia, S. Edwards, O. Graham, M. Johnson, A. Juman, J. L. Latchman, L. Lynch, V. L. Miller, I. Papadopoulos, K. Pascal, R. Robertson, G. A. Ryan, A. Stinton, R. Grandin, I. Hamling, M-J. Jo, J. Barclay, P. Cole, B. V. Davies & R. S. J. Sparks (2022): Responding to eruptive transitions during the 2020-2021 eruption of La Soufrière volcano, St. Vincent. Nature Communications 13 (4129 (2022)), 10.1038/s41467-022-31901-4
  • EM van Rijsingen, E Calais, R Jolivet, JB de Chabalier, R Robertson, GA Ryan, S Symithe (2022): Ongoing tectonic subsidence in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. Geophysical Journal International, Volume 231, Issue 1, October 2022, Pages 319-326, https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggac192
  • J Barclay, R Robertson, JP Scarlett, DM Pyle, MT Armijos (2022): Disaster Aid? Mapping historical responses to volcanic eruptions from 1800–2000 in the English‐speaking Eastern Caribbean: their role in creating vulnerabilities. Disasters. https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12537
  • Omari Graham, Stacey Edwards and Richard Robertson (2022): Managing stakeholder relationships for improved situation awareness during volcanic emergencies: An Eastern Caribbean case study. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 67, 102656. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102656
  • Elenora van Rijsingen, Eric Calais, Romain Jolivet, Jean Bernard de Chabalier, Jorge Jara, Steeve Symithe, Richard Robertson, Graham A Ryan (2020): Interring Interseismic Coupling along the Lesser Antilles Arc: a Bayesian Approach. Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, 10.1029/2020JB020677
  • John Weber, Halldor Geirsson, Peter LaFemina, Richard Robertson, Chris Churches, Kenton Shaw, Joan Latchman, Machel Higgins, Keith Miller (2020): Fault creep and strain partitioning in Trinidad‐Tobago: Geodetic measurements, models, and origin of creep. Tectonics. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019TC005530
  • Lidong Bie, Andreas Rietbrock, Stephen Hicks, Robert Allen, Jon Blundy, Valerie Clouard, Jenny Collier, Jon Davidson, Thomas Garth, Saskia Goes, Nick Harmon, Tim Henstock, Jeroen van Hunen, Mike Kendall, Frank Krüger, Lloyd Lynch, Colin Macpherson, Richard Robertson, Kate Rychert, Stephen Tait, Jamie Wilkinson, Marjorie Wilson (2019): Along‐Arc Heterogeneity in Local Seismicity across the Lesser Antilles Subduction Zone from a Dense Ocean‐Bottom Seismometer Network. Seismological Research Letters, Seismological Society of America, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220190147
  • Jenni Barclay, Roger Few, M Teresa Armijos, Jeremy C Phillips, David M Pyle, Anna J Hicks, Sarah K Brown, Richie EA Robertson (2019): Livelihoods, wellbeing and the risk to life during volcanic eruptions. Front. Earth Sci., 14 August 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2019.00205
  • Michal Camejo-Harry, Elena Melekhova, Jon Blundy & Richard Robertson (2019): Evolution in magma storage conditions beneath Kick-’em-Jenny and Kick-’em-Jack submarine volcanoes, Lesser Antilles arc. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 373, pp. 1-22, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.01.023
  • Dondin, Frédéric J.-Y., Lynch, Lloyd, Ramsingh, Chan, Ryan, Graham A., Papadopoulous, Ilias, Rueppel, Daniel, Joseph, Erouscilla P., Latchman, Joan L., Robertson, Richard E. A., Nath, Nisha, Mathura, Ranissa, Balchan, Amit, George, Stephen, Juman, Ian, Madoo, Farrah, Manette, Garth, Ramsingh, Hannah (2019): The University of the West Indies-Seismic Research Centre Volcano Monitoring Network: Evolution since 1953 and Challenges in Maintaining a State-of-the-Art Network in a Small Island Economy. Geosciences, 9 (2), 71, https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences902007
  • P.D. Cole, R.E.A. Robertson, L. Fedele, C. Scarpati (2019): Explosive activity of the last 1000 years at La Soufriere, St. Vincent, Lesser Antilles. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 371, pp. 86-1000, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2019.01.002.
  • Allen, R. W., Berry, C., Henstock, T. J., Collier, J. S., Dondin, F. J.-Y., Rietbrock, A., Latchman, J. L. and Robertson, R. E. A. (2018): 30 Years in the Life of an Active Submarine Volcano: A Time-Lapse Bathymetry Study of the Kick-‘em-Jenny Volcano, Lesser Antilles. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., doi:10.1002/2017GC007270.
  • Camejo-Harry, M; Melekhova,E; Blundy, J; Attridge, W; Robertson, R E.A; Christopher, T.E. (2018): Magma evolution beneath Bequia, Lesser Antilles, deduced from petrology of lavas and plutonic xenoliths. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Vol. 173, 77, 10.2018.
  • Alexandros P. Poulidis, Jeremy C. Phillips, Ian A. Renfrew, Jenni Barclay, Andrew Hogg, Susanna F. Jenkins, Richard Robertson & David M. Pyle (2018): Meteorological controls on local and regional ash dispersal revealed using high-resolution dispersion modelling: The eruptions of Soufriere St Vincent. Scientific Reports, 8:6873, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-24651-1.
  • Lindsay J.M and Robertson R.E.A (2018): Integrating Volcanic Hazard Data in a Systematic Approach to Develop Volcanic Hazard Maps in the Lesser Antilles. Front. Earth Sci. 6:42. doi: 10.3389/feart.2018.00042.

Conference Presentations (2018-2022)

  • Richard Robertson, Monique Johnson (2022): An Insight into the Volcano Ready Communities Project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Cities on Volcanoes 11, June 12-17, 2022, Italy. Oral Presentation
  • Jenni Barclay, Richie Robertson, Jazmin Scarlett, David Pyle, Teresa Armijos (2022): Disaster Aid? Mapping historical responses to volcanic eruptions from 1800-2000 in the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean: their role in creating vulnerabilities. Cities on Volcanoes 11, June 12-17, 2022, Italy. Oral Presentation
  • Monique Johnson, Jenni Barclay, Teresa Armijos, Roger Few, Jeremy Phillips, Richard Robertson (2022): Changing Landscapes SVG – experiences in post disaster community engagement and monitoring extensive hazards. Cities on Volcanoes 11, June 12-17, 2022, Italy. Oral Presentation
  • Karen Pascal, Jenni Barclay, James Christie, Teresa Armijos Burneo, Wendy Mcmahon, Martin Mangler, Jonathan Hogg, Andy D’Cruz, Kathleen Retourné, Richie Robertson (2022): The Electric Volcano’: a place to explore effective knowledge for managing future disaster risk’. Cities on Volcanoes 11, June 12-17, 2022, Italy. Oral Presentation
    Lindner, Andreas Rietbrock, Lidong Bie, Valerie Clouard, Jenny Collier, Saskia DB Goes, Nicholas Harmon, Timothy Henstock, Stephen Paul Hicks, Richard EA Robertson, Catherine Rychert, David Schlaphorst (2019): Re-evaluation of the 2007 Mw7. 4 intermediate-depth Martinique earthquake: evidence for rupture on orthogonal faults. AGU Fall Meeting, December 2019. Poster Presentation
  • Elenora van Rijsingen, Eric Calais, Romain Jolivet, Jean-Bernard de Chabalier, Richard EA Robertson, Graham Alexander Ryan (2019): Inferring Interseismic Coupling along the Lesser Antilles Arc: a Bayesian Approach. AGU Fall Meeting, December 2019. Poster Presentation
  • Jenni Barclay, David M Pyle, Richard EA Robertson, M Teresa Armijos, Roger Few, Jeremy Phillips (2019): Explosive uncertainties: Forensic Analysis of Past Volcanic Eruptions in the Caribbean. AGU Fall Meeting, December 2019. Oral Presentation
  • Melanie Duncan, Katy Mee, Anna Hicks, Steve Richardson, Richard E. A. Robertson, Michelle Forbes, Idelia Ferdinand, Colm Jordan, and Susan Loughlin (2019): Citizen science using mobile phone technology in St Vincent & the Grenadines to facilitate near-real time multi-hazard observations. EGU General Assembly 2019, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 21, EGU2019-14536, 2019. Oral Presentation
  • Alia Juman, Richard Robertson, Stacey Edwards, Clevon Ash, Omari Grraham & Thais Henry-Ramos (2018): Reaching out to young students – experience of primary school outreach in St. Vincent & the Grenadines 2013-2018. Cities on Volcanoes 10, July 1, 2018, Italy. Oral Presentation
  • Alia Juman, Richard Robertson, Stacey Edwards, Clevon Ash, Omari Grraham & Thais Henry-Ramos (2018): Use and impact of social media in disseminating alert level changes and information for the Kick ‘Em Jenny submarine volcano. Cities on Volcanoes 10, July 1, 2018, Italy. Oral Presentation
  • Katy Mee, Melanie Duncan, Anna Hicks, Samantha Engwell, Steven Richardson, Richard Robertson, Idelia Ferdinand, Michelle Forbes, Colm Jordan, Susan Loughlin (2018): Working with local communities in the Caribbean to develop a smartphone app for near real-time hazard observations and decision-support. EGU General Assembly, 4-13 April 2018, Vienna, Austria. Oral Presentation