UWI Postgrads to lend their Expertise to International Climate Change Agenda

Tracy-Ann Hyman and Marium Alleyne

From left: Tracy-Ann Hyman and Marium Alleyne

Postgraduate candidates Tracy-Ann Hyman and Marium Alleyne are poised to make their presence felt on the world stage later this year when they participate in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Hyman and Alleyne were recently named among the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort of 26 global rising-star researchers for 2021. The participants were selected from 25 Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) member universities in 16 countries, making The UWI the only university with two rising-star researchers selected for this year’s COP26.

The Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort resulted from a partnership between the ACU and the British Council to bring together rising talents to chart a way forward in the lead-up to the conference. The overarching aim of the conference, which will be held from November 1 to 12, is to “accelerate action towards the goals” of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

According to a press release from BlueSky Public Relations Ltd., the ACU-British Council partnership will allow the cohort to work closely with senior experts in climate research. They will benefit from funded attendance at COP26 in Glasgow, as well as leadership training with a cohort of peers through virtual, expert-led workshops, skills development for knowledge exchange and policy influence. In addition, they will also have an opportunity to conduct a peer-led research-to-action project with seed funding.

The UWI’s Hyman and Alleyne bring a lot to the table.

Hyman, a PhD candidate at the Mona Campus in Jamaica, has years of experience in the fields of environmental sciences, disaster management, and information and communication technologies. Her work is focused on using artificial intelligence to develop a flood model to assist disaster planners with reducing the number of lives lost, and infrastructural damage from hazards. Hyman is a geoscientist with a keen interest in researching climate change vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience in small island states.

For her part, Alleyne has extensive experience in climate variability and climate change impact. She is also skilled at designing and structuring solutions that address and mitigate disaster and climate risks.

Alleyne is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. Her research background is focused on spatial climate change vulnerability assessments. 

Her aim is to support the further development of scientifically robust methods in modelling climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity specifically for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Hyman, Alleyne and their peers are expected to add fresh perspectives to the policy dialogue as the world buckles down to tackle lagging climate commitments.    

“With the UK-chaired COP26 on the horizon, the ACU is proud to be supporting a new generation of climate research leaders,” said Dr Joanna Newman, MBE FRSA, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU.

“These talented researchers will be critical allies for governments to deliver on their climate commitments and promote an equitable, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Newman added.

Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education at British Council, echoed similar sentiments.

 “The British Council is delighted to be working closely with the ACU, supporting emerging research leaders to collaborate and use their voices and expertise to influence and inspire climate action,” she noted.   

 “Science is crucial to this endeavor, and the British Council is proud to work with young people committed to leading transformative change as the UK chairs COP26," Ansell said.