Meenakshi Wadhwa

Director, Center For Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University & Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

Meenakshi Wadhwa is Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies and Professor in the School  of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. She received her PhD in Earth and  Planetary Science in 1994 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on the  origin and evolution of the Solar System and planets through studies of meteorites, Moon rocks  and other extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft missions. She has hunted for meteorites  in Antarctica with the NASA- and NSF-funded Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET)  Program. Dr. Wadhwa serves on several national and international advisory committees,  including the National Academies Space Studies Board (which advises US policy makers on all  aspects of space science and applications) and the NASA Advisory Council’s Planetary  Protection Subcommittee (which provides recommendations on matters relating to the biological  planetary protection of Earth and all Solar System bodies to which NASA spacecraft will be  sent). She currently also serves as Vice President of the Meteoritical Society. She is a fellow of  the Explorers Club (2012) and the Meteoritical Society (2006). She is a recipient of the  Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award (2015), the Guggenheim  Fellowship (2005) and the Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society (2000). Asteroid 8356 has been named 8356 Wadhwa in recognition of her contributions to planetary science.