Charuta is a broadly trained earth scientist with academic training and research spanning across three continents. Integrating knowledge-techniques from geology, archaeology, and palaeoecology, her principal research interests lie in exploring environmental histories of regions and their relationships with contemporaneous societies across the Common Era.
She completed undergraduate/BSc and graduate/MSc degrees in Geology from Fergusson College, Pune and Savitribai Phule Pune University (previously, University of Pune) and subsequently obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology from Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, India. Building upon natural and social science training, she joined the City University of New York (CUNY), Graduate Center to pursue her PhD. Working with an international group of researchers from CUNY, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Serbian universities and archaeological institutes, her doctoral dissertation reconstructed the environmental history of the Central Balkan landscapes and discussed it in the context of the Little Ice Age climatic variability and societal impacts of the time. Post-PhD, she continued to cultivate her integrated socio-ecological approach and collaboration with Columbia University researchers in synthesizing pollen-based land-cover datasets with historic land-use and demographic scenarios for New England, USA.
During this journey, she has developed a track record of communicating her research and ideas with peers and public through several peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters, conference presentations, and popular science articles in international newspapers and magazines. She has also been a dedicated science teacher all along and has developed-taught several fundamental as well as advanced earth-climate science courses for undergraduate-graduates in Hunter College of CUNY, USA and Fergusson College, Pune, India.
She is currently recruited as European Union’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellow 2018-2020 to advance her interdisciplinary research in a European setting. Teaming up with environmental scientists, ecosystem modellers, and policy experts from The Open University, University of Southampton, University of Oxford, UK and Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France, her MSCA work will investigate long-term transformations of the human-dominated forested landscapes of India, examining their resilience against climatic and social scenarios in the light of India’s new landscape management policy. This scientific research, Project EARNEST will test and comment on their resilience against human impacts, especially anthropogenic fires and monsoonal variations in the light of India’s new land management policy and its wider relevance to other tropical countries.
Quaternary palaeoclimate-palaeoecology, human-environmental interactions, socio-ecological resilience, palynology, geochemistry