Her citation notes that she co-founded the national youth-led non-partisan non-profit Shake Up The Establishment, which advocates for climate justice, climate literacy, and encourages youth to participate in political action. She is an experienced community organizer who takes an intersectional approach towards addressing inequities in health and well-being for under-served groups. Bhalla also serves as the graduate president of Climate Students, the student arm of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) at the University of Waterloo.
Her research focuses on the understanding of climate change-related health risks by public health authorities, and the evaluation of local mitigation, adaptation and risk communication strategies. Bhalla was recently an expert reviewer on the latest federal government report on climate change and the health of Canadians.
"Fundamentally, climate change and environmental degradation pose public health crises," Bhalla said. "This is not a partisan stance, or a sensationalized statement; it is a scientific fact. I am grateful to be able to work on addressing these issues both through academia and in the community, and I am optimistic in our progress toward an equitable and liveable future for all.”
Two other University of Waterloo community members were also named in the Top 25: Maggie Chan and Beth Eden, both with the Faculty of Environment.