Dr. Sankar Chatterjee   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: “The Making of a Natural History Museum and Investigating the Causes of Dinosaur Extinction”
Field of Study: Geology
Home Institution in the U.S.: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Host Institution in India: Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal  
Start Date/Month in India: January 2015
Duration of Grant: Eight months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Sankar Chatterjee is Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Geosciences and curator of paleontology at Texas Tech University, TX, where he has worked since 1979. He is an elected fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has led several expeditions to India, China, Antarctica, and the American Southwest in search of dinosaurs and early birds and has discovered, named, and described several new taxa. His current research focuses on Mesozoic vertebrates, flight of pterosaurs and birds, origin of flight, mass extinction, macroevolution, plate tectonics, and paleobiogeography. He has published more than 80 scientific papers and three books: New Concepts in Global Tectonics (1992, co-edited with Nicholas Hotton), The Rise of Birds (1997), and Posture, Locomotion, and Paleoecology of Pterosaurs (2004, with R. J. Templin). His work on animal flight and the Shiva crater received national and international media coverage. He is currently designing, with Richard Lind, a pterodactyl-inspired drone, a robotic spy plane to master air, ground, and sea. Previously he was the editor of the Journal of Paleontology Special Publications (2009–2011). He currently serves on the editorial board of PalArch. Dr. Chatterjee has received numerous accolades in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research including the Antarctic Service Medal, Scientist of the Year (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists), L. Rama Rao Birth Centenary Award (Geological Society of India), Honorary Member (Golden Key National Honor Society), Best Research Scientist (Texas Tech University), and Best Bengali Scientist (Star Ananda), and a previous Fulbright-Nehru award.

Dr. Chatterjee’s project has three components. First, he is planning, designing, and implementing a natural history museum at Visva-Bharati University (VBU) in Santiniketan, West Bengal. Second, he is collaborating with Dr. Ranadhir Mukhopadhyay, chief scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography, to research the Shiva crater and dinosaur extinction. Third, he is participating in the Koyna Drilling Project, collecting core samples that may hold crucial evidence for understanding the Shiva impact event and dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago.