Meenakshi Wadhwa

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Meenakshi Wadhwa
Alma materWashington University, St. Louis
Panjab University
Scientific career
FieldsPlanetary science
InstitutionsArizona State University
The Field Museum
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of California at San Diego

Meenakshi Wadhwa is a planetary scientist and educator who studies the formation and evolution of the Solar System through the analysis of planetary materials including meteorites, Moon rocks and other extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft missions. She is director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University[1]. She is also a research associate at Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.


Meenakshi Wadhwa received her Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 1994 from Washington University in St. Louis. She was a postdoctoral research geochemist at University of California, San Diego (1994-95), and then became Curator of meteorites at Field Museum of Natural History (1995-2006). She served as director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University from 2006 till 2019, where she oversaw the curation of one of the largest university-based meteorite collections,[2] and a variety of research and educational activities[3]. She was appointed as director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration as of July 1, 2019[4]. She has hunted for meteorites in Antarctica with the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) Program during two field seasons (2002–03 and 2012–13). She has served as a science team member on a number of NASA planetary science missions including Genesis and Mars Science Laboratory. She was PI of a proposal for Sample Collection for the Investigation of Mars (SCIM) to the NASA Discovery program in 2010.

Awards and honors[edit]

Wadhwa became a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2019[5]. She participated in the American Council on Education Fellows Program in 2018-19[6]. She was recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru academic and professional excellence fellowship in 2015. She became a Fellow of The Explorers Club in 2012, The Wings WorldQuest in 2007 and of the Meteoritical Society in 2006. She received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. In 1999 she was awarded the asteroid name 8356 Wadhwa by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).[7] She was awarded the Nier Prize in 2000.


  1. ^ "ASU Discoveries: Meenakshi Wadhwa ready to lead earth and space exploration at ASU". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  2. ^ "Research | Meteoritics | Center for Meteorite Studies | ASU". Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  3. ^ "Space rocks Wadhwa's world at meteorite center". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  4. ^ "ASU News - Science & Tech: New ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration director selected". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  5. ^ "2019 Class of AGU Fellows Announced". Eos. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  6. ^ "ACE Fellows Class of 2018-2019". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  7. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 8356 Wadhwa".

External links[edit]