Himadri Kumar Mookerjee obtained his DSc (1930) from University of London, UK specializing in zoology especially fisheries. He served as the Professor and Head (1933) and Sir Nilratan Sircar Professor (1944), Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mookerjee worked on the reversal of thigmotropism in Hydra and the development of vertebral column from the embryonic state and the evolution of the column. Mookerjee postulated the hypothesis of a common structural basis for the development and evolution of the vertebral centra in the chordates. He clearly set forth that the modes of formation of the centra follow the same pattern in all the chordates, maintaining an unbroken continuity from one end of the group to the other, and depicted the lines of evolution of the centrum which he believed to be quite in consonance with the Darwinian theory of gradual evolution. He also elaborated, inter alia, the formation of upper and lower arches, the rib-bearing processes and the articulation of the vertebrae in an evolutionary sequence. He put forward an ingenious explanation in which he laid special stress on the movements of the embryos during the course of their development when the migratory connective tissue cells actively enter the intervertebral zones of the perichordal tube.
Other Contributions: Mookerjee established a Fishery Section in the Department of Zoology in 1937; introduced biology in the Intermediate curricula, and science and biology in school syllabi. He authored The Evolution of the Vertebral Column, published posthumously.
Awards and Honours: Mookerjee was a Member, Asiatic Society (Biological Secretary, Natural History Section 1954, Vice-President, 1955), Bangiya Bijnan Parishad (Vice-President), and Zoological Society of Calcutta (Founder President). He served as the President, Zoology Section, Indian Science Congress (1936).