Welcome to the Meet An Astrobiologist segment of Astrobiology India website! In this segment, you will find interviews with some of India’s leading Astrobiologists and explore how they address the biggest question of humankind – Are we alone?
Dr Mukund Sharma, Paleontologist, Astrobiologist
Meet Dr. Mukund Sharma, Senior paleontologist, and an astrobiologist from Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobiosciences (Lucknow, India). He shares with us his enthusiasm towards uplifting astrobiology research and education in India and enlightens us with the immense potential that India has for new discoveries in the field of paleontology.
Dr Dimitra Atri, Physicist, Astrobiologist
Meet Dr. Dimitra Atri, a research scientist working on various aspects of astroparticle physics, radiation biophysics, and astrobiology at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (BMSIS). In this interview segment, he shares with us his journey to becoming a computational physicist, his work on studying cosmic rays, their effects on human life and possibility of powering life in subsurface environments on other planets, his role as a BMSIS scientist and his scientific outreach efforts.
Professor Vinod Chandra Tewari, Senior Scientist (Geology), Astrobiologist
Meet Professor Vinod Chandra Tewari, senior geologist and astrobiologist. He has done extensive research on geological aspects of astrobiology, especially stromatolites (microbial fossils) from the Indian subcontinent and is one of the pioneers of astrobiology research in India. In this interview, he shares the essence of more than three decades of his research experience and his current endeavours in popularizing astrobiology education in India.
Interview with Dr. Sanjoy Som, Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
Meet Dr. Sanjoy Som, research scientist at the Exobiology Branch and systems engineer at the Flight Systems Implementation branch of NASA Ames Research Center; also atmospheric geologist, astrobiologist and an entrepreneur. His research encompasses exciting topics like designing hardware for the Fruit Fly Lab for the International Space Station, predicting properties of atmosphere of ancient Earth from the rock record, and studying the topographic evolution of Mars. He is the visionary behind the idea of the Blue Marble (the first picture of the entire Earth taken from space by a human) as a symbol of international unity in space exploration. In this interview, he talks to us about his journey of science exploration and how he has accomplished so much at his age just by following his heart and curiosity.
Interview with Dr. Parag A. Vaishampayan, Scientist, JPL NASA
Meet Dr. Parag Vaishampayan, a leading bioinformatician at JPL NASA and an expert of microbial diversity in spacecraft assembly rooms in our “Meet An Astrobiologist” series. He shares his journey from working as research trainee in Indian oceanography research vessels to being a scientist at NASA’s spacecraft assembly facility, his love for science communication and how he works to ensure that no earthly bug hitchhikes a ride on spacecrafts to other planets.