Maria Siemer

I am still in shock. I cannot believe that she has been taken away from us so soon. We have lost a beautiful person and a beautiful mind. My heartfelt condolences to her mother and all her dear friends.

I met Chandra in St Andrews some 15 years ago. I was working on my PhD when she arrived as lecturer in the same department. She was fascinating, smart, witty and kind. We instantly bonded in the need to complain to each other about anything and everything – and responding with a line to make the other laugh. This, of course, mostly done over fine wine and excellent dinner always cooked by Chandra. I have always been so impressed with her intelligent and calm way of being able to express herself. She was a tremendous help during my PhD – where whenever I felt stuck (research-wise or with life more generally) she would make a comment or ask a question which would get me thinking and be able find a relevant solution or direction.

We were in touch over the years after St Andrews – but it was not often enough and I wish we had spoken and seen each other more. Speaking to her was mostly over Skype while I was out on a mission with MSF – where after catching up and having complaining sessions, we would end up laughing and gossiping. Our countries of research/intervention often overlapped, although sadly we never saw each other in the field.

There are so many memories running around in my head right now. I am hoping she is somewhere close and sharing them with me.

Chandra my dear friend, you have accomplished so much in your life – you are an inspiration to me and I will miss you so much. You left us all too soon.

Maria Siemer