Prosanta Chakrabarty, evolutionary biologist and ichthyologist (Ph.D. EEB 2006), recently gave a TEDx talk demonstrating the vitality of studies in nature and how 21st century tools can trace Earth’s distant history.

What if two different fish species, living thousands of miles apart from each other, hold the key to Earth’s history? One fish, two fish, red fish, bioluminescent, and blind fish? Chakrabarty, an associate professor and curator of fishes at Louisiana State University, has travelled to over 20 countries in his quest to better understand and chronicle the plethora of fish species that call Earth home. Chakrabarty’s lab research focuses on discovering the relationships between fishes and their habitats to better understand how they evolved. His passion outside the lab focuses on showing students of all ages and backgrounds that exploring the natural world can provide insight and meaning across the blue planet. You can follow him on Twitter @LSU_FISH.

Chakrabarty’s talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by LSU.