Prosanta Chakrabarty

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Prosanta Chakrabarty (November 25, 1978–) is an American ichthyologist and associate professor of ichthyology, evolution and systematics at Louisiana State University.


  • Ichthyology, the study of fishes. It looks like a big, boring word, but it's actually quite exciting, because ichthyology is the only "ology" with "YOLO" in it. Now, to the cool kids in the audience, you already know, YOLO stands for "you only live once," and because I only have one life, I'm going to spend it doing what I always dreamt of doing: seeing the hidden wonders of the world and discovering new species. And that's what I get to do.
  • Think of life as being this book, an unfinished book for sure. We're just seeing the last few pages of each chapter. If you look out on the eight million species that we share this planet with, think of them all being four billion years of evolution. They're all the product of that. Think of us all as young leaves on this ancient and gigantic tree of life, all of us connected by invisible branches not just to each other, but to our extinct relatives and our evolutionary ancestors. As a biologist, I'm still trying to learn, with others, how everyone's related to each other, who is related to whom. Perhaps it's better still to think of us as a little fish out of water. Yes, one that learned to walk and talk, but one that still has a lot of learning to do about who we are and where we came from.

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