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Faculty of Science and Technology

Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences

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The Department Happily Welcomes Back Dr. Casey Allen
11/09/2020
Dr. Allen, Lecturer in Environmental/Earth Science who teaches in the Environmental Science programme, has returned after being away for the past year. He accompanied his wife to the Middle East (Jordan) for her Fulbright Fellowship (2019-2020). Though their time abroad was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, data were still gathered for future analysis and research projects. A short essay about their “forced” return from Jordan can be found here.

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The Treasury at Petra

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Petra, overlooking the monastery

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Petra, overlooking the main valley

While in Jordan, but before COVID-19 hit, Dr. Allen was also able to visit Japan to gather data for another research project.

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Kinkokuji Temple, Japan

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Ayoshima Island, Japan

Although Dr. Allen is “...overjoyed to be back at UWI”, returning to Barbados was not an easy task. International travel was essentially halted upon their return to the US, and borders were closed around the world because of the pandemic. With positive COVID-19 cases (still) soaring in the US and wanting to return to Barbados as quickly as possible, Dr. Allen and his wife spent many weeks self-quarantining to keep safe from the virus. Even with their diligence and vigilance, many (most!) countries closed their borders to people traveling from the US. The usual route to Barbados from the US – via Florida – became less viable each day as COVID-19 cases increased there. Dr. Allen was forced to find alternative ways to return. Luckily, JetBlue began offering once-weekly flights to Barbados, and he was able to secure tickets.

Dr. Allen notes that, “The Barbados Government is extremely diligent in their handling of the pandemic and require all arrivals from high-risk countries to take at least two PCR tests a week apart. To be free to move around the island, two subsequent negative tests within a two-week period are required."

Dr. Allen and his wife tested negative at the airport, and then, after a second negative test a week later, they were set free. Now, back in their Barbadian home, Dr. Allen is excited to get back to teaching and research. “I’ve got a lot of what I feel is really neat research to conduct here,” he said, before adding, “and I’m super excited to get back to the students. Hopefully, once COVID-19 is licked, I’ll be able to get students back into the field exploring and assessing landscapes”.

The department is happy to have our resident geographer/geomorphologist, back, and we look forward to his teaching and research offerings. If you haven’t met Dr. Allen yet, consider doing so – as long as you’re practising the required COVID-19 procedures! You can also visit his website for more information.



Department of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Telephone: (246) 417-4324/4323/4322 Fax:(246) 417-4325 Email: bcs@cavehill.uwi.edu