Professor Hamish Mair from the School of Life Sciences recently visited the Universidad Autonoma de Campeche and Universidad Autonoma del Carmen in Mexico. As part of his visit, he gave four days of seminars on climate change adaptation.
The audiences were a mix of academic staff and postgraduate students with representatives from municipal councils, research institutes and the government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The Yucatan Peninsula is predicted, in Climate Change models, to be an area highly susceptible to impacts such as water stress, coastal erosion and sea-level flooding.
Professor Mair's visit was arranged by the Pablo Garcia Foundation, an organisation which works closely with the Mexican Government's Science and Technology Funding Council (CONACyT) to support researcher exchange and provide postgraduate studentships.
One of the recent beneficiaries of the Foundation is Itzel Morales who completed her Masters Research degree in Climate Change last year at Heriot-Watt. Itzel is now being supported by the Foundation to help develop a postgraduate degree in Climate Change Adaptation at Universidad de Campeche.
As part of his visit, Professor Mair attended various meetings to discuss potential collaborative research and met with the Director of Trade and Industry and the First Secretary (Climate Change, Energy and Low Carbon Prosperity) at the British Embassy in Mexico.
About his visit and the potential of collaborative research with Mexican universities, Professor Mair said: "Ciudad del Carmen is the hub city for Mexico's offshore oil production activity, and the western coast of the Yucatan Peninsula has numerous coastal and marine protected areas high in biodiversity.
"The British Embassy, and the British Council in Mexico, are keen to support UK university collaborations with Mexican universities and research centres and see many opportunities in the energy sector, climate change, and the economic reform."