UWI Seismic Research Centre appoints new Director

Dr. Joan Latchman was recently appointed Director (Ag.) for The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC). Dr. Latchman replaces Dr. Richard Robertson who served as Director of the Centre for seven years. Dr. Robertson has resumed duties as geologist at the Centre.

Dr. Latchman joined the Centre in 1972 as a seismology technician. She graduated in 1980 with a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science (Upper Second Class Hons.). An earthquake sequence near Tobago in 1982, for which the relevant authorities were put on alert, started her interest in Tobago seismicity. In 1988, from an international cadre of seismologists, she was selected to join the team of seismologists at the International Seismological Centre in the United Kingdom, for two years, analysing global seismicity. In 1998, she completed an M.Phil. degree, which examined “The Seismic Potential of the S.W. Tobago Fault System. In 1999, she was appointed to the academic staff at the Centre and in 2008 she earned a Ph.D. looking at “Tobago and Earthquakes”.

Her primary research interest involves earthquake forecasting from analysis of changing b-values – she is a member of a team with successful forecasts of near Tobago strong earthquakes – North American-South American plate boundary identification using seismicity (stress waves and plate boundaries); and the impact of strong earthquakes on groundwater; spectra of volcanic earthquakes in diagnosing the status of a volcano.