MAYA MOTYKA is a junior water scientist who focuses on sustainable resource management and transboundary water issues. Her research, design, and analytical skills play a crucial role in the consultancy projects with this team. Maya is a strong team player who is always ready and willing to play a supportive role to this highly qualified team of multidisciplinary experts. She works closely with Richard Paisley, who has been her mentor in the team, but is always ready to help the other members when needed. Her project experiences include environmental impact assessments, the intersection of climate change and peace processes, international water policy, socio-economic assessments, water and resource management, and mediation and conflict resolution.
Maya graduated from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a bachelor's degree in Applied Animal Biology with a specialization in wildlife ecology and conservation science. Throughout her degree, she participated in two incredible practicum/internship positions; one being in the Ecuadorian Amazon working with monkeys, birds, and pumas, while the other position was at a local rehabilitation centre in Burnaby, Canada where she worked with native birds from British Columbia. Both of these positions challenged her problem-solving and practical skills while also turning her into an avid bird-watcher.
While loving the world of wildlife rehabilitation, she realized she could make an even bigger difference to wildlife and the environment through policy, public education, and governance. Prior to joining the International Waters Governance team, Maya worked at the Sunderland Lab in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, where she worked in the field to tag and collect data from trees on the UBC Farm. The analysis and report she later compiled was used to inform the leadership of UBC and their future policy decisions about the importance of trees for further research, ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, and agroforestry at the UBC Farm.
Outside of work, Maya has a passion for rock climbing and is constantly trying to push her maximum physical and mental strength on fun boulders and walls. Otherwise, you can find her backpacking and skiing in the beautiful BC mountains and abroad, scuba diving in international waters, and experimenting in the kitchen with vegetarian meals.