Prof. Michael Taylor

Professor Michael Taylor is a Jamaican scientist, and director of the Climate Studies Group at Mona. His remarkable career is dedicated to the study of and action on climate change throughout the Caribbean. He is a regional leader in climate science, having served on many national, regional and international committees. These include most recently as a coordinating lead author for the special report on 1.5 degrees of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has also served as a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the CLIVAR programme of the World Climate Research Programme; on Jamaica’s National Climate Change Advisory Board, and as a director of the Caribbean Climate Modellers Consortium.

Taylor’s science has been a game-changer in understanding and quantifying the Caribbean region’s vulnerability to climate change – laying the necessary groundwork for regional resilience building efforts. He is pioneering the use of regional climate models to improve the understanding of how Caribbean climate may change through the end of the century. He is also developing climate tools to support decision making, building Caribbean Climate Databases, and deciphering the drivers of Caribbean climate to enable its prediction on seasonal timescales.

Taylor has been the director of the Climate Studies Group since 2007. He has helped build the group into what it is today – a regional hub of expertise for addressing this most pressing issue of the time: climate change. He has collaborated with colleagues locally and regionally to define and pursue a scientific agenda to guide the mitigation and adaptation responses of the small island developing states of the Caribbean to climate change.  He is an advocate for climate planning to be included in all development projects and plans, and his genius and commitment to his field have taken him across various platforms to advocate for the environment.

His reputation exists both on a macro and micro level, because he applies influence not only on a regional scale but also through educating, supervising, and mentoring university students, high school students and community youth. He is also a prodigiously published academic with two books, three short monographs, 19 book chapters, 50 refereed journal publications, 17 refereed abstracts and conference proceedings and 26 technical reports.

Taylor has occupied many positions during his tenure at the UWI, from student to lecturer and more recently Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (2018). During all these appointments he has been admired and respected by colleagues and students alike.

He has received numerous notable awards, local and international, for his work in the field. These include: The University of the West Indies (UWI) – Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence – for Research in 2015 and for Globalization in 2018; eleven UWI Mona Research Awards in consecutive years; Fellowships from the US National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and the Organization of American States (OAS); Young Scientist Awards from Jamaica’s Scientific Research Council (2005) and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (2008); Research awards from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Waste Water Association (CWWA), and Jamaica’s Silver Musgrave Medal for Science in 2013. In 2018 he was made a Fellow of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences.