Beate Stirø

SIGNING: The University of the West Indies and Norway’s University of Bergen formalised ongoing collaborations with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on November 13. Host of the reception, Norwegian Ambassador to Jamaica, Beate Stirø, from left, professor at UiB, Kerim Nisancioglu, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs at The UWI, Dr Stacy Richards-Kennedy, and Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson-Smith.

THE University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Norway’s University of Bergen (UiB) formalised ongoing collaborations with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on November 13. In this MOU, the two universities committed to advancing research and action on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate action) and 14 (Life Below Water).

The signing ceremony, aboard the Norwegian Statsraad Lehmkuhl training vessel docked at Jamaica’s Port Royal, was among the highlights of a welcome reception hosted by the Norwegian Ambassador, Beate Stirø, for the crew of One Ocean Expedition. The One Ocean Expedition’s historic 55,000-mile world voyage, which began in August 2021, is organised by the University of Bergen, and recognised as part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The floating academy comprises students, teaching and research faculty as well as representatives of scientific and development institutions.

Its Jamaica port stop is the fruit of an almost two-year planning event and culmination of conversations between The UWI and UiB within the context of the collaborative framework of the Global University Consortium on SDG-13.

The One Ocean Expedition is a demonstration of The UWI’s global partnerships in action. Commenting on the collaboration with the University of Bergen, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs, at The UWI, Dr Stacy Richards-Kennedy, stated, “The UWI is very proud of its partnership with the University of Bergen. Our strategic alliance, as lead institutions for SDG-13 and SDG-14, is already creating opportunities for increased teaching and research collaborations for faculty and students, new discoveries and research applications in marine science and global advocacy on the challenges faced by Caribbean islands that are on the frontline of the climate crisis.”

Signatory on behalf of UiB, Prof Kerim Nisancioglu, stated, “By joining forces, the two universities will solidify our joint leadership in climate and ocean science and further strengthen our efforts to fulfil the goals set by the UN Agenda 2030.”

Among initiatives on the horizon for the two universities include creating a new multidisciplinary Caribbean research programme on ocean science and climate action; strengthening linkages for North-South and South-South research advocacy and partnerships between Norway, the Caribbean and the South Pacific to advance ocean science, climate action, science diplomacy and the global policy impact agenda. The work programme involves exploring the creation of a network of ocean leaders of the future, through a unique UWI-UiB Graduate Research Trainee Programme for research training, knowledge exchange and practical-based internships with academic, industry or civil society partners in Norway, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The nurturing of the relationship between UWI and UiB began in 2018 through their membership of the International Association of Universities, and continues to evolve. The two have jointly hosted High-level Political Forums on Sustainable Development as well as a range of reciprocal faculty seminars.

The One Ocean Expedition includes two postgraduate researchers from The UWI Mona Campus—Chauntelle Green from the Department of Life Sciences and Deron Maitland from the Department of Physics.

From September-October 2021, they were enrolled in a One Ocean field course webinar series, coordinated by the University of Bergen, which also featured faculty experts, Prof Judith Gobin and Dr Michael Burn from The UWI’s St Augustine and Mona and campuses, respectively, as facilitators.

On November 16, the Mona campus hosted a contingent of 33 participants from the ship for a tour of the campus’ Port Royal Marine Lab, followed by a Knowledge Exchange Forum hosted by the Faculty of Science and Technology.


WHEN the new coronavirus variant Omicron was first detected in Botswana, it was as if Dr Nicole Ramlachan’s worst nightmare had come true.

For the past eight months the geneticist and associate professor at UTT had been warning that if there wasn’t an uptick in vaccination rates, the chances of the virus mutating would be higher. Her fears were confirmed on November 26 when the World Health Organisation officially declared Omicron a variant of concern.

“Soca music, take me, take me, take me back to my island.”

For more than three decades that timeless lyric from calypso icon David Michael Rudder has comforted many a pining West Indian heart, stuck in the hustle of big city life on both sides of the Atlantic.

AFTER a long hiatus, the exceptionally talented rapso artist Dixie-Ann Joseph, better known as Shakeela is back with new music. With some prodding from the youths of her Back Ah Yard Youth Development Programme she penned the words of her latest track “Irie Christmas” which was officially released on Wednesday on Wack Radio 90.1 FM.

Rhonda Knights is the undisputed female hip-hop queen of Trinidad and Tobago and this incontestable fact facilitated her rise to acclaim in the 90s in Trinidad and Tobago, but she’s far from done. As fierce as she’s ever been, Sistaron, as she’s popularly known, now delivers another hit single, this time with melody that’s intrinsically soca.

Welcome to the latest instalment of the Bocas Book Bulletin, a monthly roundup of Caribbean literary news, curated by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, and published in the Sunday Express.

A good meal is like hearing your favourite song. The right combination of ingredients could make you bob your head and shuffle your feet.

That’s exactly the response entertainer Dloxx (Dalton Jeremiah) aims to inspire daily at his self-titled Dloxx Kitchen in Arima. Dloxx cues up a different local favourite on his menu’s turntable six days of the week at the eatery located at Cynners Sports Bar on Subero Street in Malabar.