Ashok Sahni obtained his MSc (Hons) in Geology (1963) from Lucknow University and PhD (Geology) (1968) from the University of Minnesota. He was appointed Lecturer at Lucknow University in 1968 and thereafter worked as Reader till 1979. He was Humboldt Research Fellow, Palaeontology Institute at the University Bonn (1977-78), and Professor of Palaeobiology and In-charge, Scanning Electron Microscope Facilities, Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Panjab University, Chandigarh (1979-2003) where he continues as be Emeritus Professor and then INSA Senior Scientist.
Academic and Research Achievements: Sahni's doctoral dissertation dealt with early mammalian evolution and dinosaurian diversity from the Judith River Formation of Montana and was published by the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Later, he worked on biomineralization, specifically on the structural and functional adaptations in mammalian dental enamel through time, vertebrate palaeontology in the context of palaeobiogeography and geodynamic models of plate movement, and biotic response and evolutionary implications during the rifting, drifting and collisional phases of the Indian Plate. He authored over 200 publications and also guided 25 doctoral students.
Other Contributions: Professor Sahni has been closely involved in popularization of science and setting up museums and natural history parks. He has also served on the INSA Council.
Awards and Honours: Professor Sahni was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). He was nominated as Honorary Life Member by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, USA. He also holds the rare distinction of being Associe Etranger, Geological Societe, France and is also Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation, Bonn. He was awarded the National Geoscience Award for excellence (2009) in 2011 by the Government of India.