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Interview with Prof. Soumyajit Mukherjee

By: , Posted on: November 12, 2020

 “Books bring together ideas in more detail and mostly in easier language, as due to brevity, journal papers cannot serve that purpose. Readers can use these books as self-learning tools to a great extent.


Soumyajit Mukherjee is a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India. He received his Ph.D. degree in Geology and M.Tech. in Applied Geology from IIT Roorkee in 2007 and 2002, respectively. He was a recipient of the Hutchison Young Scientist Award from IUGS in 2004. He has served as Guest Researcher at the Hans Ramberg Tectonic Lab, Uppsala University 2005-2006. Dr. Mukherjee is a structural geologist and tectonician, and performs fieldwork, microstructural studies, and analogue and analytical modelling, mainly on ductile shear kinematics and collisional tectonics. His research and editorial experience spans 15 years and to date has (co)authored and (co)edited 14 books and thematic volumes. He presently serves as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Earth Sciences (Springer), Book Advisor (Springer), and Series Editor for Developments in Structural Geology and Tectonics (Elsevier).

What is your current role and where are you based?

I am a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Bombay, India. I am involved in teaching structural geology (and also beginners’ stratigraphy) in the classroom, lab and field to students of geology, geophysics and petroleum geoscience at Master’s level. I am also the Series Editor for the Elsevier series Developments in Structural Geology and Tectonics.

What is your area of expertise?

My expertise is structural geology. I perform fieldwork, microstructural studies, analogue and analytical models of deformation and deformed geometries.

What first inspired you to study your subject matter?

I was fascinated by documenting structures under an optical microscope. Under cross polars, structures are more ubiquitous than those seen in meso-scale in the field! My first research started from microstructural observations and measurements. Subsequently, Prof. Chris Talbot (Professor emeritus at Department of Earth Sciences, Mineralogy Petrology and Tectonics, Uppsala University) has been a great inspiration.

What are you currently researching and where do you hope that research will lead?

I work with students on their chosen research topics. Preparing the next generation of (structural) geologists is interesting work! Presently we are analyzing paleostress from Indian sedimentary basins.

You’re a Series Editor the book series Developments in Structural Geology and Tectonics. What are the major benefits for readers of this book series?

Books bring together ideas in more detail and mostly in easier language, as due to brevity, journal papers cannot serve that purpose. Readers can use these books as self-learning tools to a great extent. The series is valuable for anyone in the field of structural geology and tectonics and deals with upcoming fields and theories.

What would you consider some of the emerging developments or areas of importance in structural geology and tectonics?

Structural geology has moved from field-based work into instrument-based analytical subjects. This however, does not mean that fieldwork has become obsolete. Structural geology and tectonics have developed several specializations, such as EBSD in the field of microstructures. Integrating different specializations into unified knowledge will be the next significant development. Finally, (super) specialized branches will address single research problems.

What are your hopes and goals for the series?

That the series will inspire students to take up structural geology and tectonics as their thesis topics. Actually, this is already happening! Eventually, these students will be the next generation of modern scientists working in these fields.

What advice would you give to researchers just starting out in their career? In science in general, and specifically within the Geology discipline.

Good science will come from the disciplines chosen by the individuals but there are no superior or inferior disciplines. Only individual efforts matter. Never forget applied science is firmly based on pure science.

Ready to explore the series?

Developments in Structural Geology and Tectonics covers a wide range of topics in the field. Current volumes in the series include Map Interpretation for Structural Geologists, The Omega-Theory, Tectonic and Structural Framework of the Zagros Fold-Thrust Belt, Tectonic Setting and Gondwana Basin Architecture in the Indian Shield, and Problems and Solutions in Structural Geology and Tectonics. “Volume 6 – Processes, Products and Cycles of Tectonic Geomorphology” – is due to publish in late 2021. This volume focuses on the process of landscape evolution more than the qualitative landscape description that is commonly available in geomorphic texts.

All volumes, including Volume 6, are available for purchase or pre-order on the Elsevier bookstore. Save 30% + get free shipping on your bookstore purchase with promo code STC30.

Contribute to the series

If you would like to discuss a contribution to the series please contact the Acquisitions Editor Peter Llewellyn at

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