Maya Stokes

Maya is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT working with Prof. Taylor Perron. She graduated with a B.S. in Earth Science from Rice University in 2015.

Maya works at the intersection of evolutionary biology and geology to understand how Earth history has influenced the distribution and evolution of aquatic life. Her dissertation focuses on how river networks evolve over geologic timescales; for example, river channels can extend towards mountains and sometimes even forge new connections with previously separate watersheds. Maya’s research methods include computational modeling, and field data collected from the southeast United States, a global aquatic biodiversity hotspot. Maya hopes that by combining datasets and methods in novel ways, her research will help to develop a more complete understanding of how landscape change has and will continue to influence life on Earth.