Prosanta Chakrabarty: Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish
Prosanta Chakrabarty - Ichthyologist
Evolutionary biologist and natural historian Prosanta Chakrabarty explores the world in an effort to understand fundamental aspects of biological diversity. Full bio
"you only live once,"
what I always dreamt of doing:
and discovering new species.
on caves for finding new species.
cavefish species out there.
a lot about biology and geology.
around them have changed and moved
the evolution of sight, by being blind.
that are essentially the same as ours.
a fish species starts to adapt
they lose their eyes and their eyesight
cavefish like this one here.
has evolved in a slightly different way,
and biological story to tell us,
when we find a new species.
we described, from southern Indiana.
the Hoosier cavefish.
are cavefishes in Kentucky,
when the Ohio River split them
these subtle differences
behind their blindness.
that's super-critical for sight.
all function in that gene,
behind our vision,
about deep geological time,
than in this species here.
we described from Madagascar
to collect this species.
full of dead things
be doing with your life,
that it tried to kill us,
this species in Madagascar,
are 6,000 kilometers away,
the DNA of these species
for more than 100 million years,
continents were last together.
didn't move at all.
these ancient geological events.
to tell you its name yet,
it's a new species from Mexico,
the only known cave system it's from
this species' closest relative, yet.
anything else in Mexico,
something new about the geology
of how to better diagnose
before it goes extinct too.
trying to discover and save
about the geology of the planet
About the speaker:Prosanta Chakrabarty - Ichthyologist
Evolutionary biologist and natural historian Prosanta Chakrabarty explores the world in an effort to understand fundamental aspects of biological diversity.
Why you should listen
Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty is an Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes at the Museum of Natural Science and Department of Biological Science at Louisiana State University.
Chakrabarty is a systematist and an ichthyologist studying the evolution and biogeography of both freshwater and marine fishes. His work includes studies of Neotropical (Central and South America, Caribbean) and Indo-West Pacific (Indian and Western Pacific Ocean) fishes. His natural history collecting efforts include trips to Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Madagascar, Panama, Kuwait and many other countries. He has discovered over a dozen new species including new anglerfishes and cavefishes.
The LSU Museum of Natural Science fish collection that Chakrabarty oversees includes nearly half a million fish specimens and nearly 10,000 DNA samples covering most major groups of fishes. He earned his PhD at the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal. He has written two books including A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.
Prosanta Chakrabarty | Speaker | TED.com