Dr. Maya Bhatia

Dr. Maya Bhatia

Chairs

CAIP chair in Watershed Science in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Biography

Dr. Maya Bhatia’s research is motivated by a desire to understand the interplay between the global carbon cycle, microbial metabolism, and climate. Her drive to answer these types of questions has been reflected in her career journey thus far. A desire to work in the Arctic, and to explore the ability of life to adapt to Earth’s most extreme environments, initially led her to graduate studies. Her MSc work at the University of Alberta investigated the origins of bacterial communities living beneath a high Arctic glacier. Prior to starting her PhD in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, she completed a NASA planetary biology internship where she continued to investigate the evolution of life on Earth by exploring the evolution of sponges, the first animals. For her PhD, her research interests shifted to focus on the global biogeochemical cycles that sustain life on Earth through the cycling of major elements. Specifically, she focused on elucidating biogeochemical fluxes of carbon, nutrients, and metals from the Greenland ice sheet. In her position as an NSERC and CIFAR postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, she learned to leverage metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data to explore the metabolic complexity that drives carbon and energy cycling in coastal and open ocean oxygen minimum zones. As of October 2017, she started her position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta and a CAIP chair in Watershed Science in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.