Senior Staff


Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, Jr (DPhil., B.Sc. 1stCl.Hons.)

Meet Dr. Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr. - the Director of the Mona GeoInformatics Institute at the University of the West Indies. He is a US Eisenhower Fellow and a Senior Lecturer at the University.

He is the Chairman of the Water Resources Authority, Dairy Industries Jamaica Ltd and National Works Agency. He sits on several other boards, including the Main Board of Grace Kennedy Ltd, its Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee and Audit Committee, as well as a Director of GK Foods & Services Limited and Hi-Lo Food Stores, also Director at the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica.

He received his DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford, which he completed in 2 ½ years, at the age of 23. Since then, he has received several awards both locally and internationally for research and business development. He is also the author of the award winning Natural Hazards Atlas of Jamaica.

Dr. Ava Maxam (PHD., B.Sc. Hons.)

Meet Dr Ava Maxam - a specialist in developing environmental decision-support systems across the Caribbean - empowering governments to be more resilient to natural hazards and climate change impacts. These systems are important for helping to protect, assess and manage our natural and built resources. 

Equipped with a wealth of expertise and experience from her post as Deputy Director at the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) - an information technology company specialising in spatial solutions - Dr Maxam has spearheaded the development of several Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solutions throughout the Caribbean Region - including over 25 customised software applications and 61 major projects, whilst also managing the company’s technological Divisions in Natural Hazards & Environment, Human & Social, Technical Services and Software Development. At MGI, she implemented MGIBlue - Jamaica’s only online coastal dynamics portal - offering data, news, information and research on issues related to the island’s shoreline resources.

As an avid advocate for the use of data in transforming the decision-making process, she applies coastal dynamics, environmental modelling and geographic information systems to create tools, policies and protocols necessary for bringing the Caribbean into more modern and efficient ways of managing crucial resources. 

A holder of a PhD in Oceanography, as well as an Honours Degree in Marine Biology from the University of the West Indies, Dr. Maxam lectures in GIS and environmental fields to graduates, undergraduates and professionals alike. Her academic research has led to publications on the effect of ocean circulation on Jamaica’s coral reefs and coastlines - highlighting their importance in ecological nurseries, creating unique circulation systems, and influencing water quality. 

Her passion has led to her also serving as chair and sitting on several boards and committees related to the environment, public affairs, education and business development, including – but not limited to: Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) Advisory Board; Chair of NRCA Beaches and Coastal Resources Committee; the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Committee Member – Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ); and as a Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI) JAMPRO Blue Ocean Strategy Think Tank Member. She is also involved in several non-governmental organisations, including the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) and the Farquharson Institute for Public Affairs (FIPA). 

Given her tremendous work in academic and professional fields over the years, Dr Maxam’s list of awards include:

  • the FIPA (Farquharson Institute for Public Affairs) Science and Technology Award of the Century for Empowering Governments across the Caribbean in leveraging           Science, technology and data for climate change adaptation (2020);
  • the National RJR-Gleaner Honour Award for Science and Technology (2018);

  • Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) National Best Practices in GIS Award for the Integrated Crime and Violence Information System in use by the Government of Jamaica for crime data management and analysis (2012);

  • National Best Practices in GIS Award for the National Electoral Information Management System for monitoring Jamaica’s elections (2007).


Robert Robinson

Meet Robert Robinson - the Deputy Director and the head of the Finance & Administrative Division.

Starting as an Accountant, Mr. Robinson rose through the ranks since joined the Mona Geoinformatics Institute in December 2005; he has been spearheading the Finance & Administrative Division.

Equipped with over 15 years of accounting experience and special training in Forensic Accounting, his tenacity and drive make him an invaluable asset to MGI.

He is actively working on completing his Chartered Accountant certification.

Luke Buchanan (B.Sc. Hons.)

Meet Luke Buchanan - a specialist in GPS Navigation, Cartography and Project Management.

Starting as a GIS Officer, he rose through the ranks since starting in December 2007 to become a Senior Field Officer in 2011. His drive, determination and will has allowed him to gain numerous promotions culminating with his appointment as Projects Manager in 2013.

A proud graduate of the University of the West Indies (Mona), Mr. Buchanan holds an honours degree in Geography - where he focused on physical geography and several Geological disciplines. Currently, Luke is actively pursuing his M.Sc. in Natural Resource Management (NRM) at UWI, with the aim of completing same by August 2021. 

As a Senior Projects Manager, his day-to-day responsibilities over the years have included in-house mapping, field mapping, cartography, project management, project coordination, client engagement, project scoping, proposal preparation, report writing, planning and execution of field data collection, assisting with GIS training, social media content creation, and managing MGI’s social media pages. Moreover, as MGI's GPS Navigation Specialist since 2011, he is also responsible for the collection and configuration of spatial data and the building of navigable maps for JAMNAV.

Kaodi McGaw (B.Sc., M.Sc.)


Meet Kaodi McGaw – a young stalwart in her field. Ms McGaw joined the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) team in 2020 after completing a Public Health Double Masters at the University of Sheffield, UK (2018/2019) and École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique in France (2019/2020) – where she specialized in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. 

Her undergraduate background is in Biochemistry. Her prior working experience involves quantitative research, research translation, project management and she is a member of the Violence Prevention Alliance Jamaica (VPA).



Alexander Grennell (ASc.)

Meet Alexander Grennell - the Institute's technical expert and administrator.

Mr Grennell joined the MGI team in April 1995 and continues to be responsible for the installation and maintenance of computers and network systems, supervision and management of the document scanning process as well as creating 3D Architectural models and virtual tours.

With the recent technological move to the use of Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in GIS and Remote Sensing, Mr Grennell also wears the hat of the Drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles specialist - where he is responsible for the operation of the Institute's drones.



Prof. Daniel Coore

Department of Computing

Rafi Ahmad

Retired Lecturer in Geology, Department of Geography and Geology, UWI; Head - Unit for Disaster Studies