The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Maya Bhatia on August 16, 2023, in Grise Fiord – Aujuittuq, Nunavut, while she was conducting field work.
Maya was an integral part of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta, Canada, for a number of years and this is a devastating loss for the University of Alberta community.
Through her research, Maya worked closely with the northernmost community in Canada, the Inuit hamlet of Aujuittuq. In collaboration with the Aujuittuq community, Maya sought to answer questions of concern to the community, including water quality and climate change. She collaborated with community members who were also involved in carrying out the needed research.
Maya led a team of interdisciplinary researchers from across Canada examining the impact of melting glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets on global biogeochemical cycles in an effort to provide insight into how Arctic coastal productivity will be impacted by future climate warming.
Maya was a student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program from 2006 to 2011. She entered the program in fall 2006 and graduated on the February 2012. She was co-advised by Elizabeth (Liz) Kujawinski and Sarah Das in the MG&G Department.
Maya continued to work with Sarah on mutual interests in the Arctic sciences as well as with Liz on microbial metabolism and carbon cycling in these systems.
Information for this obituary is from The University of Alberta. Further information will be posted when available.