Maki Thomas Kohata
Maki Thomas Kohata is one of OIST’s newest PhD students. Originally from Kanagawa, she studied at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa. After her third year studying in Okinawa she took a year to study communications with a focus on journalism in the United States. She then transferred to the University of Massachusetts, Boston, majoring in environmental science. It was there that she first learned about OIST.
“I just liked working with water. I was always interested in how water works,” Maki says. She satisfies her curiosity and love for water by studying fluid dynamics. When asked what she enjoys most about OIST, Maki had two things to emphasize: the number and variety of the workshops, which she attends at every opportunity, and the variety of unique individuals she gets to work with on a daily basis. The latter is something she is particularly enthusiastic about.
“My professor is very open to working with other people… he mostly has a background in physics, but the researchers working with us have a biology background.” She goes on to explain, “My focus is on hydrology, so more on the physics and engineering side, but my direct supervisor is in biology… it’s a great and unique chance to learn more about what I want to do for my research years from now.”