Rama Chandra Mohanty, born in 1949, just after his post graduation in Botany, has started teaching service in Regional College of Education, Bhubaneswar for some time in 1973 and then at G.M. College, Sambalpur for about two years. Thereafter, he has been teaching at Utkal University, Vani Vihar for over three decades since 1975 and has till now guided 50 research scholars for Ph.D./D.Sc. degrees in aquatic, terrestrial, microbiological and eco-toxicological areas of environmental biology in particular and plant sciences in general. He has published over 130 research papers and has written/edited several books. One of the pioneering studies by his team is the bio-monitoring of pesticides and toxic metals in the aquatic environment. Of crucial practical value are his investigations through nine major research projects leading to the management and understanding of the potential of the organisms to remove a toxic metal from the surroundings. Such findings will go a long way for prevention and control of polluted environments and will in long run become a boon to industries, governmental agencies and the public in general. The latter is important for employment generation, sustained yield and conservation of biodiversity of ecosystem. He visited counties like Canada, USA, USSR, UAE, The Netherlands, Thailand, Japan, UK and Germany in different academic assignments.
In bio-toxicity studies, his publications on negative growth rate (RE) of algae under insecticides exposure in a microcosm, arrest of mercury toxicity in phytoplankton utilizing various organic carbon sources, halo-tolerance of algae through nutrient enrichment, and chlorophyll-a fluorescence and plasma membrane integrity as indicators of pesticidal pollution are landmarks. The community-stability relationship studies through ecological classification in Similipal Biosphere Reserve are pioneering work in the state. The ethanol production from Mahua flowers is a novel approach to utilize bio-sources of the state. His efforts also circumspect designing Sidha and Mahasidha Ayurvedic formulations of some medicinal plants.
Apart from teaching and research, Prof. Mohanty has served Utkal University in various administrative capacities such as Registrar; Director, HRD, Director, CDC, Prof.-in, charge, Parija Library, Warden, PG Hostels, Chief of Employment Bureau and HOD, Botany. He has served as Scientific Coordinator for eastern India, DST, as a member, State Environmental Appraisal Committe, notified by MoEF and Climate Change, Govt. of India for two terms from 2009 to 2015. He has been selected as the Emeritus Scientist by UGC as well as CSIR. He also served as Visiting Professor, Department of Botany, Viswa Bharati, Santiniketan , West Bengal. Presently he is working as Distinguished Honorary Professor in Centre of Excellence, Environment, Public Health and Climate Change Utkal University since 25th November 2019.
Rama Chandra Mohanty is a man of many parts. He has been serving the cause of science in a wide spectrum of roles-educator, researcher, administrator, author of five books, popularization of science, promoter of talent and as a thinker and planner. His inputs to the functioning of educational institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and professional agencies are a legion.