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Dr. Anjana Khatwa - The Award-Winning Earth Scientist Revealing the Secret Stories of Rocks


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Anjana is an Earth Scientist, a writer and an advocate for greater diversity in the natural heritage sector. She started running 8 years ago and her weekly fitness regime consists of 10k runs, HIIT, Iyenga yoga and swimming. She has completed four half marathons to date. Anjana is also a keen walker and has been an Ambassador for the Ramblers to encourage more people of colour into nature.

Anjana describes herself as a time traveller using clues locked away in rocks, fossils and landscapes to reveal the hidden mysteries and stories about ancient life on earth. She helps people to understand how our planet evolved, changed and survived over 4.6 billion years and how this knowledge can help us prepare for an uncertain future. As a South Asian woman, she proudly weaves this into her work, bringing an informed and intelligent richness to narratives about deep time, landscapes and natural history.

Anjana has worked in protected landscapes for over 20 years helping audiences of all backgrounds learn about the amazing rocks and landscapes around us. She has been recognised for her work through multiple awards including The Geographical Award from the Royal Geographical Society, The RH Worth Award from the Geological Society of London and most recently The Halstead Medal from the Geologists Association.

But these accolades have not come easily. Challenge is something that Anjana has experienced her whole life. From becoming a lone parent to a young baby overnight through to racism and discrimination, Anjana has always fought back and sought to carve her own path in life. She is now writing a non-fiction popular science book, The Whispers of Rock, due to be published in the US and UK in September 2025 revealing the secret stories of rocks and how they connect us to each other and the world we live in.

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Listen to Anjana Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Anjana and what she does

  • Living in Dorset, close to the Jurassic Coast

  • Her passion for rocks, fossils and landforms

  • Her love for rocks and where it came from

  • Growing up in Slough (a town on the outskirts of London)

  • Not having access to green spaces

  • Being interested in science

  • Being inspired by the Shetani Lava Flow, Tsavo West National Park, Eastern part of Kenya

  • Wanting to be an Earth Scientist

  • Not being supported and encouraged to follow her dreams

  • Expectations and pressures on South Asian Women

  • Deciding to get her PhD - Staying the impact of climate change on ice and how ice had shaped and carved our landscapes

  • Female Mentors and role models

  • Being ignored and talked over at conferences

  • Needing to prove herself over and over again

  • Doing a post doctoral research fellowship in America.

  • The West Antarctic Ice Stream Initiative - A Multidisciplinary Study of Rapid Climate Change and Future Sea Level

  • Moving to live in Utah, America for 3 years

  • Not being able to go to Antarctica due to visa issues and time constraints

  • Spending time in the outdoors and what that looks like

  • Walking and walking in the landscape

  • Becoming an Ambassador for The Ramblers UK

  • Getting into running

  • What is this rock?!

  • Why chalk is her favourite rock

  • What her work week looks like

  • Working on her new book - The Whispers of Rock - to be published in 2025

  • A global story of rocks across the world

  • Going travelling with her mother

  • Visiting Australia and Malaysia

  • Wanting to understand the spiritual connection that communities have with rocks

  • Taking rocks and the link to bad luck

  • The destruction of rock to make limestone for cement

  • Rocks being an infinite resource

  • The spiritual connection with rocks

  • Tips to encourage children to be passionate about the outdoors and to connect with nature

  • Using the outdoors to process trauma

  • Walking with her daughter

  • How rocks are connected to tea and coffee drinking

  • How to connect with Anjana

  • Advice for following your passion

  • Dealing with self doubt and worry

  • Why your voice matters

  • Surrounding yourself with people who believe that you can do it

 

Social Media

Instagram @jurassicg1rl

Youtube - @dranjanakhatwa


 

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