Prosanta Chakrabarty studies fish to help explain the evolution of human beings and our planet.

Why you should listen

Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty is a full professor and the curator of fishes at the Museum of Natural Science and Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. He is also a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Chakrabarty is a systematist and an ichthyologist studying the evolution and biogeography of fishes. His work has taken him to more than 35 countries around the world (including Japan, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Madagascar, Panama, Kuwait and the Galapagos). He has published more than 100 scientific papers and four books, including Explaining Life Through Evolution. He is a former program director at the National Science Foundation, an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair and a TED Senior Fellow. He is the president-elect of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and has described more than 15 species of fishes new to science, including cavefishes and deep-sea fishes. He grew up in New York City, his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal (the city where he was born) and his PhD is from the University of Michigan.

Prosanta Chakrabarty’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Prosanta Chakrabarty


What can cavefish teach us about the world?

May 9, 2018

These weird-looking, isolated aquatic creatures probably won’t star in a Pixar film anytime soon, but by studying them, we can learn about our planet’s past and its future, says evolutionary biologist and ichthyologist Prosanta Chakrabarty.

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Live from TED2018

Into the fray, undaunted: Notes from TED Fellows Session 2 at TED2018

April 11, 2018

To commence TED Fellows Session 2, multi-hyphenate Paul Rucker takes the stage with his cello. (Spoiler alert: you will see him later in this writeup showcasing another artform.) Inspired by his mother, who learned to play the organ through a mail-order course, Rucker taught himself how to play this instrument. But right here on the […]

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