Tragic Passing of U of A Community Member: Maya Bhatia

The U of A community mourns the loss of associate professor Maya Bhatia.


Dr. Maya Bhatia—a biogeochemist, arctic climate researcher and associate professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the Faculty of Science—passed away on August 16, 2023 in Grise Fiord - Aujuittuq, Nunavut while she was conducting field work.

Dr. Bhatia has been an integral part of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Faculty of Science for a number of years and this is a devastating loss for the University of Alberta community. 

Through her research, Dr. Bhatia worked closely with the northernmost community in Canada, the Inuit hamlet of Aujuittuq. In collaboration with the Aujuittuq community, Dr. Bhatia sought to answer questions of concern to the community, including water quality and climate change. Dr. Bhatia collaborated with community members who were also involved in carrying out the needed research. 

Dr. Bhatia 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.

The loss of a community member is shocking and upsetting. The university is working closely with community services to support the family, their wishes and affected colleagues, including Dr. Bhatia’s students. Communication is ongoing with those directly affected and support is being provided. Dr. Bhatia leaves behind a young family who would appreciate privacy at this time.

If you need support, please reach out to the following resources:

The University of Alberta banner is flying at half-mast effective August 18, 2023 in remembrance of Dr. Maya Bhatia.

For information about lowering the University of Alberta banner, visit the In Memoriam webpage.