Thavamani Jegajothivel Pandian received BSc (1960) and MSc (1962) from Madras University; and Dr.rer.net (1965) from Kiel University, Germany. After the postdoctoral stint at Bilogische Anstalt, Helgoland, Hamburg (1965-68), he worked as Lecturer, Bangalore University (1968-71); Reader, Madurai University (1971-76); Professor (1976-92), Senior Professor (1994-95) and National Professor (1995- ), Madurai Kamaraj University; Visiting Professor (1981-82), Columbia University, South Carolina and UNESCO Lecturer, Ghent University, Belgium (2003-04). He was also Visiting Scientist, Oxford University (1973); Visiting Professor, University of South Carolina (1981-82); Visiting Scientist, Ecology Institute, Germany (since 1984); Overseas Associate, Kyoto University (1989); National Fellow, UGC (1989-91) and Visiting Professor, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Madras (1996- ).
Academic and Research Achievements: Key research findings made by Pandian involve: (i) providing experimental evidences on sperm survival and fertilizability of the catfish that were post-mortem preserved at -20?C for more than 240 days (the technique of post-mortem preserved sperm has special implication in India where liquid nitrogen facility is not available in every city); (ii) generating the first Indian transgenic fish using borrowed constructs from foreign sources (for the indigenous fishes, transmission vectors for the growth hormone genes of rohu, Labeo rohita and catfish, Heteropneustes fossilis were generated for the first time); and (iii) using cadaveric sperm of a model fish and genome-inactivated eggs of a compatible alien species. The genome of the desired species was restored, and interspecific and intergeneric androgenetic clones generated in rosy barb and widow tetra, to restore an endangered fish species and also to mass produce seedlings of, say, carps almost throughout the year and obligate migratory fishes like the eel, from the eggs of the undesired fishes like tilapia. He also authored a dozen books and 250 research papers of which the very first became a citation classic. Thirty six students received PhD under his guidance.
Other Contributions: Professor Pandian was Founder Member and Governing Council Member of the Asian Fisheries Society. He served as Member of the Governing Body, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi; Academic Council, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Fisheries University, Bombay (1989-91); and Governing Council of Asian Fisheries Society, Manila (1992-95). He has been on the Editorial boards of several national and international journals: Journal of Asian Fisheries Science, Hydrobiologia, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, Current Science (Associate Editor), Korean Journal of Aquaculture (Consultant Editor); Proceedings of Indian National Academy of Science, Series B (Editor); and Guest Editor for special issues of Current Science and Hydrobiologia.
Awards and Honours: Professor Pandian was recipient of numerous awards, notably Hooker Award (1978) by Indian Agricultural Research Institute for his outstanding work in Energetics and Fish production, SS Bhatnagar Award (1984) for outstanding work in Energetics and Modeling in Ecology, Naga Award (1991) for Research on Fishery Biology in Asia by International Center for Living Aqautic Resources and Management, Philippines, Bahl Memorial Gold Medal (1994) by the Society of Biosciences, New Delhi, National Professorship (1996-2002) by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, National Lecturership by UGC (1985-86) and Tamil Nadu Scientist Award (1997) by Tamilnadu State Council for Science and Technology. He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1984), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1985), National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi (1992) and Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) (1999).