Dr Ava Maxam joined the Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI) in November 2006 shortly before completing Ph.D studies in Oceanography at the University of the West Indies, where she also obtained a Bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Zoology and Botany. She is currently Deputy Director of MGI, where she manages the Natural Hazards & Environment Division, the Human & Social Division, the Software Development Division and MGIBlue. She has led consultancies in GIS application, coastal hydrodynamic modelling, as well as oceanographic, environmental, ecological and bio-physical assessments. She has applied GIS and oceanographic analysis in projects on climate-change resilience; coastal characterisation, and sea-level rise effects. She has also collaborated Regionally on projects ranging from reef valuation, shoreline and land cover change studies, to designing databases, applications and map tools for Coastal Zone Management. Her academic research has led to publications on the effect of ocean circulation on Jamaica’s coral reefs and coastlines – highlighting the importance of coral reefs in ecological nurseries, creating unique circulation systems, and trapping particles.