Profiles of Women Working In STEM

Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

Paleobiologist

Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan is a palaeobiologist based at the Zoology Department of the University of Cape Town. She is a global expert on the microscopic structure of the bones of extinct and extant vertebrates. Her work has been recognized by several highly acclaimed awards: For example, in 2005 she won the South African Woman of the Year Award, which acknowledges her contribution to science both in terms of research and science communication. In 2005 she also won the “Distinguished Women Scientist Award” from the South African Department of Science and Technology. Professor Chinsamy-Turan ha published extensively – both in international scientific journals (including 4 publications in Nature) and in the popular press. Prof. Chinsamy-Turan is President of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE), and she has also served as Director of Iziko Museums Natural History Collections (which includes the SA Museum) where she was able to actively pursue her interests in communicating science to the wider community.

Prof. Chinsamy-Turan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South African and Fellow of the University of Cape Town. She is the author of the first book entirely devoted to fossil bone microstructure: The Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone – Deciphering Biology Through Fine Scale Techniques (Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, 2005) which has been internationally acclaimed. Her latest book, published in 2008, is entitled “Famous Dinosaurs of Africa” (Struik) and is specifically written to excite children about our fabulous African heritage of dinosaurs.

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