FLAME University


Learning from some of the best minds in education and in the industry
Prof. Chaitanya Giri
Associate Professor – Environmental Sciences
Email: chaitanya.giri@flame.edu.in
Ph.D. in Astrochemistry from University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (now Côte d'Azur University), Nice, France and the IMPRS Solar System Science Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany; M.Sc. in Biophysics from University of Mumbai; B.Sc. in Chemistry from Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai.

Chaitanya Giri is Associate Professor – Environmental Sciences at FLAME University. Chaitanya’s research interests traverse between analytical astrochemistry and planetary science, exploration technologies for applications in the global commons, technostrategy and ethics, space economy, and science diplomacy.  

Chaitanya’s Ph.D. thesis, “The Organic Composition of Cometary Nucleus, the COSAC Experiment on Philae,” was one of the crucial scientific investigations of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. As a co-investigator of the Cometary Sampling and Composition Experiment (COSAC) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry payload on Rosetta’s Philae Lander, he was involved in the first ever in situ scientific exploration of any comet. COSAC, on landing identified sixteen molecules native to comet 67P, of which four were never detected before astronomically. For his Ph.D., advised by Prof. Uwe Meierhenrich (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis) and Dr. Fred Goesmann (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research), he received the prestigious 2014 Dieter Rampacher Prize from the Max Planck Society Germany.

He later moved to the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, as an ELSI Origins Network (EON) Early-Career Fellow studying astromaterials. During this fellowship, funded by the John Templeton Foundation of the US, Chaitanya traveled as a visiting scientist to the Geophysical Laboratory (now Earth & Planets Laboratory) of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. His work during the fellowship led to the first confirmed detection of naturally-synthesized nanoscale graphene in ~4.5 billion years old meteorites.

Chaitanya transitioned from a laboratory scientist to a strategy analyst when he joined as a Fellow for Space and Ocean Studies at Gateway House, Mumbai. Since 2021, he has been a Space Diplomacy Consultant at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, an autonomous body of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. He has also consulted the National Security Council Secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office. He was a committee member of the International Cooperation Review of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

He sits on the Advisory Board of the Satcom Industry Association-India; is a Member of the NITI Aayog Committee on Space Economy; a Contributor to the Center for International Governance Innovation, Canada; and is a Nominated Senate Member of the University of Mumbai. He regularly speaks at public fora and teaches at various domestic and international institutions. He takes a keen interest in music, automobiles, and spirituality.



Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publications

  • R. Afrin, C. Chen, D. Sarpa, M. Sithamparam, R. Yi, C. Giri, I. Mamajanov, H. James Cleaves II, K. Chandru, T.Z. Jia. The Effects of Dehydration Temperature and Monomer Chirality on Primitive Polyester Synthesis and Microdroplet Assembly. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 223, 23, 2200235.

  • G. Leseigneur, Jan Hendrik Bredehöft, T. Gautier, C. Giri, H. Krüger, A.J. MacDermott, U.J. Meierhenrich, G.M. Muñoz Caro, F. Raulin, A. Steele, H. Steininger, C. Szopa, W. Thiemann, S. Ulamec, F. Goesmann. ESA’s Cometary Mission Rosetta - New characterisation of the COSAC mass spectrometry results. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 61(29), 202207055 (2022).

  • G. Leseigneur, Jan Hendrik Bredehöft, T. Gautier, C. Giri, H. Krüger, A.J. MacDermott, U.J. Meierhenrich, G.M. Muñoz Caro, F. Raulin, A. Steele, H. Steininger, C. Szopa, W. Thiemann, S. Ulamec, F. Goesmann. COSAC’s only 6 gas chromatogram taken on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ChemPlusChem 87(6), 202200116 (2022). 

  • C. Giri, A. Steele, M. Fries. Evidence for Protosolar Graphene in Allende and QUE 94366 CV3 Meteorites. Planetary and Space Science 203, 105267 (2021). 

  • C. Giri, M. Meringer, H.J. Cleaves, K. Chandru. The Post-COVID-19 Era: Interdisciplinary Demands of Environmental Mass-Spectrometry For Future Pandemics. MDPI Sustainability, 13 (14), 10.3390/su13147614 (2021).

  • M. Meringer, C. Giri, H.J. Cleaves. Fitting cometary sampling and composition mass spectral results using non-negative least squares: Reducing detection ambiguity for in situ Solar System organic compound experiments. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 2 (12), 1256-1261 (2018). 

  • K. Chandru, N. Guttenberg, C. Giri, Y. Hongo, C. Butch, I. Mamajanov, H.J. Cleaves. Simple prebiotic synthesis of high diversity dynamic combinatorial polyester libraries. Nature Communications Chemistry, 1(30) (2018).

  • H. Krüger, F. Goesmann, C. Giri, I. Wright, A. Morse, J.H. Bredehöft, S. Ulamec, B. Cozzoni, P. Ehrenfreund, T. Gautier, S. McKenna-Lawlor, F. Raulin, H. Steininger, C. Szopa. Decay of COSAC and Ptolemy mass spectra at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy & Astrophysics 600, A56 (2017). Impact Factor: 6.209

  • C. Giri, C.P. McKay, F. Goesmann, N. Schäfer, X. Li, H. Steininger, W. Brinckerhoff, T. Gautier, J. Reitner, U.J. Meierhenrich. Carbonization in Titan Tholins: Implication for low albedo on surfaces of Centaurs and TNOs. International Journal of Astrobiology 15 (03), 231-238 (2016). Impact Factor: 1.514

  • F. Goesmann, H. Rosenbauer, J.H. Bredehöft, M. Cabane, P. Ehrenfreund, T. Gautier, C. Giri, H. Krüger, L. Le Roy, A. McDermott, S. McKenna-Lawlor, U.J. Meierhenrich, G.M. Caro, F. Raulin, R. Roll, A. Steele, H. Steininger, R. Sternberg, C. Szopa, W. Thiemann, S. Ulamec. Organic compounds on comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko revealed by COSAC mass spectrometry. Science 349, 6249 (2015). Impact Factor: 41.037

  • C. Giri, F. Goesmann, A. Steele, H. Steininger, T. Gautier, H. Krüger, U.J. Meierhenrich. Competence evaluation of COSAC Flight Spare Model mass spectrometer: In preparation of arrival of Philae Lander on comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Planetary and Space Science 106, 132-141 (2015). Impact Factor: 1.815

  • C. Meinert, S.V. Hoffmann, P. Cassam-Chenaï, A.C. Evans, C. Giri, L. Nahon, U.J. Meierhenrich. Photon-energy controlled symmetry breaking with circularly polarized light. Angewandte Chemie 125, 1-6 (2013); Angewandte Chemie International Edition 53, 210-214 (2014).

  • G. Komatsu, P. Senthil Kumar, K. Goto, Y. Sekine, C. Giri, T. Matsui. Drainage systems of Lonar Crater, India: Contributions to Lonar Lake hydrology and crater degradation. Planetary and Space Science 95, 45-55 (2014).

  • A.C. Evans, C. Meinert, J.H. Bredehöft, C. Giri, N.C. Jones, S.V. Hoffmann, U.J. Meierhenrich. Anisotropy spectra for enantiomeric differentiation of biomolecular building blocks. Topics in Current Chemistry 341, 271-300 (2013).

  • C. Giri, F. Goesmann, C. Meinert, A.C. Evans, U.J. Meierhenrich. Synthesis and chirality of amino acids under interstellar conditions. Topics in Current Chemistry 333, 41-82 (2013). 

  • A.C. Evans, C. Meinert, C. Giri, F. Goesmann, U.J. Meierhenrich. Chirality, photochemistry and the detection of amino acids in interstellar ice analogues and comets. Chemical Society Reviews 41, 5447-5458 (2012).

Peer-Reviewed Think Tank Publications