Speakers and resource persons

Plenary Speakers


Vivek Menon in Kanha 2014. Photo: Subhamoy Bhattacharjee/IFAW-WTI Vivek Menon

Conservation is the Art of the possible

Mr Vivek Menon is a conservation biologist, environmental commentator, author and photographer with a passion for elephants. He is member of Project Elephant Steering Committee, the Committee to revamp the National Wildlife Action Plan, CITES Advisory Committee as well as the Central Zoo Authority. A Senior Advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, he is also a member of the Species Survival Commission of the IUCN and on the International Jury of the Future for Nature Awards.


Society and the Science of Nature Conservation
Tara Gandhi’s work for nature and biodiversity conservation programmes in India and abroad includes assignments with the World Wildlife Fund and INTACH in New Delhi, the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and the National Biodiversity Authority in Chennai. She has carried out extensive surveys of wildlife and bird sanctuaries in different parts of India including in remote areas of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. Documenting the bird and animal life of cities and nature reserves in the countries such as Sri Lanka, South Africa, UK and Norway where she lived and travelled has always been an interest. Currently she serves on the board of several conservation organizations such as BNHS-India in Mumbai, Madras Naturalists’ Society in Chennai and is a trustee with the Wildlife Trust of India, involved in their community conservation programmes.A student of Dr. Sálim Ali, Tara Gandhi holds an M.Sc degree in Field Ornithology, the topic of her research being the study of birds in natural and human-modified habitats. She has authored three books, the latest one published in 2015 is titled Birds, Wild Animals and Agriculture – conflict and coexistence in India. She is the editor of A Bird’s Eye View, an anthology of Sálim Ali’s writings.

???????????????????????????????????? B.C.Choudhury

From species biology to conservation planning :the research journey of an Ecologist

Prof. Choudhury known to the conservation world simply as BC began his wildlife research career in the year 1975 with crocodilians, mentored by Bob Bustard who initiated India’s Crocdile Conservation Project.Soon,BC was all over the country looking for isolated populations of mugger crocodiles and their nests for collection and artificial incubation.This was the begining of his journey to save the declining population of crocodilians through the much talked about “Head Start” program.From 1975 to mid 80’s the crocodilian research was largely confined to captive populations but as the head start programme started showing results in the wild, he expanded his work to monitor and mange crocodile populations in the wild in over 30+ protected areas.Later from early 1990’s he was co-ordinating the National Crocodile Programme.He moved to the Wildlife Institute of India (WII)in the year 1984 and expanded his horizon of work to freshwater turtles and land tortoises, Sarus Cranes,Otters,Marine turtles and to the fresh water and marine wetland habitats.Mentoring a host of students who worked on species ranging from Monitor Lizards,pythons, freshwater and marine turtles ,herpetofauna of the islands and conservation breeding.After his radio telemetry work on Otters,He was the first to import in to the country the satellite telemetry technology and used it on bar headed geese and later on Olive Ridley and leatherback turtles.Till this date he has used this technology on other species such as the gharial and the whaleshark.He received the prestigious SCB award in the year 2005 for his work on cranes and sea turtles.After his retirement from the WII,he is now an advisor to the Wildlife Trust of India,BNHS and the WWF-India and is actively involved in marine conservation while continuing his work with the sarus crane in Eastern UP,gharials in northern tributaries of Ganges and on whaleshark and coral restoration in the Arabian sea.His most recent involvement is on trying to find solutions to Human-Crocodile conflict across the country.He is the current regional chair for the IUCN-SSC Crocdile and Marine turtle specialist Group for Asia and a member of the IUCN-SSC Cetacean,Conservation Breeding,reintroduction and Sustainable Use specialist Group. He was administering the WII-USFWS project and the activities of the IUCN in India while at the WII and now is a member in a host of MoEF and other institution committees. He often jokes that he moved on to work on waterbirds and sarus cranes because be strongly believes birds are only glorified reptiles !


Amal Kar

Thar Desert: Its Past, Present and Likely Future

Dr Kar superannuated in May, 2012 from Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur, India, and is involved in desert research since 1974. He was Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Natural Resources & Environment at CAZRI. The major fields of his research are geomorphology, desertification, natural resources assessment and monitoring, and applications of remote sensing and GIS. Some of his notable contributions are the discovery of the Saraswati River system and other paleochannels in the Thar Desert. Dr. Kar has contributed to the UNCCD as a Consultant, Resource person, and as a UNDP Trainer for international researchers (in Iran). He received an ICAR award for his work on natural resources assessment in the Luni Basin (1983). At CAZRI Dr. Kar served as Head of the Division of Natural Resources and Environment for 9 years, and Head of Research Coordination and Monitoring for 5 years. He is a founder member of the Indian Institute of Geomorphologists (IGI) and was elected President of IGI for 2009-2010.

Dr. Jayant Biswas

Jayant Biswas
Challenges and perspectives in the field of Biospeleology

Biswas holds a PhD in Biospeleology and is considered a pioneer in this field. He has an experience of working for more than 25 years in cave science. He has published more than 40 research/review Cave Science related articles in various reputed national / international peer reviewed journals. Biswas won Young Scientist Award in 1990 from Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology and Life Time Achievement Award from “Indian Institute of Oriental Heritage in 2010. Various students are pursuing their PhD dissertation works under his direct supervision in various aspects of cave science.Biswas founded a national level Research based NGO “National Cave Research and Protection Organization” in 2006 (registered on 2009), under which besides various research output in 2010 Biswas stood side by side with the people of Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) to oppose a big mining project so as to protect the longest cave of India (Krem Liat Prah) from damage. Under the Directorship of Biswas a well-established research laboratory is functioning in Raipur (headquarter of the organization) equipped with all the cutting edge infrastructure required for studying various aspects of cave sciences. Biswas also started a peer reviewed journal “Ambient Science” which publishes field related articles mainly based of Ecological issues and cave science.

Honnavalli Kumara Honnavalli Kumara

Behavioural Ecology and Conservation issues of Indian Primates

Started my carrier in 1995 by observing the primates of Anamalai hills, spent nights with lorises and other creatures of night, walked the reserve forests of Karnataka, sat with many hunters, followed the Sheppard’s, identified the populations of many lesser known mammals, lobbied for conservation and mentoring the students. I am interested in the behavioural ecology of primates, and work for the conservation of mammalian fauna over a range of habitats within and outside protected areas in peninsular India.


Popular Talk Speakers

Prerna Bindra Prerna Singh Bindra

Saving Wild India: A historical perspective, and the challenges ahead

Prerna Singh Bindra is a leading wildlife conservationist and writer. She has served on the National Board for Wildlife in its last term, and was also part of its core Standing Committee. She has also served on the State Board for Wildlife, Uttarakhand. Prerna is the editor of the journal TigerLink and has recently set up a trust, Bagh to take forward her mission to conserve wildlife. She has authored The King and I: Travels in Tigerland and her anthology on contemporary wildlife writings Voices in the Wilderness was released in June 2010. She is currently working on a book on tigers for children.

Prerna’s key expertise is conservation policy, advocacy and communication. Her primary focus is protecting wildlife habitats and critically endangered species.

She lives in Gurgaon but her heart, she says, resides in the forest.

Picture1 Ravi Chellam

Linking Science, Policy, Advocacy and Conservation Action – Translocation of Asiatic Lions and more!

Ravi Chellam (55) serves as an Executive Director of Greenpeace India (Bengaluru) since January 2016.

Ravi has been involved with wildlife research, education and conservation since early 1980s. Prior to joining Greenpeace he has worked with the Wildlife Institute of India, United Nations Development Programme, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Wildlife Conservation Society (India Program), Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Gharial Conservation Alliance, Asian Nature Conservation Foundation and Foundation for Ecological Security.

He has played leadership roles in many of his assignments.  His current interests include conservation of large carnivores, conservation and management of wildlife and biodiversity outside Protected Areas, human-wildlife conflicts and restoration of wildlife habitats.

In addition to his primary assignment at Greenpeace, Ravi is associated with other conservation NGOs in governance roles; Vice-President of BNHS and serves on BNHS’s Governing Council, Board of Trustees of Samrakshan, Board of Advisors of Nature Conservation Foundation, Secretary & member of the Management Committee and General Body of Equations.  He has served as an expert adviser to the Amicus Curiae of the Forest Bench of the Supreme Court of India which dealt with the lion translocation case.  He has worked closely with the government on several conservation projects as well as on policy issues.  He is currently a member of the expert committee appointed by the Government of India to guide the translocation of Asiatic lions and also of a committee of the State Government of Madhya Pradesh which is involved in planning and implementation of conservation projects for gharials.  He is part of the Organising Committee of the Student Conference on Conservation Science-Bengaluru. Apart from his scientific, technical publications and academic teaching, he writes for the general public in newspapers and magazines and gives public talks on wildlife and conservation.

Ravi Chellam has a Masters Degree in Wildlife Biology from AVC College, Bharatidasan University and a Ph.D. from Saurashtra University based on his work on the ecology of Asiatic lions, research which was conducted through Wildlife Institute of India.

K Ramesh K Ramesh

Conservation conundrum and beyond the comfort zone: the story of tiger recovery in Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Krishanmurthy Ramesh is a scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, with interests in landscape ecology and technological integration in wildlife research and management. He is involved in tiger recovery and monitoring efforts in Panna Tiger Reserve, Central India and climate change related studies in the Himalaya. He focuses on drivers of landscape change, conflict resolution mechanism and implementation of advance technology such as un-manned aerial vehicle (also known as drone) and wireless sensor networks. He is currently involved in establishing the Indian Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology to enhance landscape level research and policy inputs in India and neighbouring countries.

NPS Chauhan NPS Chauhan
Human-Wildlife conflict scenario in India
Dr. N.P.S Chauhan did his M.sc in reproductive physiology and endocrinology from university of Delhi and completed his Ph.D. in Ecology and Reproductive biology of small wild mammals from from the same in the year of 1976 and 1983 respectively. Dr. Chauhan is the Director of Amity Institute of Wildlife Sciences , he has research experience of more than 36 years . His research interests are Biodiversity conservation, Wildlife Management, Trade in body parts of bear species, Training & consultancy on Wildlife Damage Problems & Control, Use of Wildlife barriers, Electric fencing, Environment impact assessment, Rodent Biology & control, Zoology, Reproductive biology & Endocrinology of mammals, Fertility control in regulation of animal populations.
jaym Jay Mazoomdaar

Simplistic is not simple: Pitfalls of not questioning the apparent in media and research

Jay Mazoomdaar is a journalist, traveller and, occasionally, a filmmaker. Born in Calcutta, he grew up riding Bon — the black family dog — by a pond under a large mango tree; and later feasting on, among others, Gavaskar, Maradona, Satyajit Ray, Mujtaba Ali, Bibhutibhushan, Conan Doyle and Corbett. He moved to Delhi after scraping through Joyce, Foucault, and a university degree in 1996.

While intermittently mixing up his prepositions and priorities, Mazoomdaar has worked for and independently contributed to a range of publications in India and abroad, winning a few awards along the way for investigative journalism. His longest professional association has been with The Indian Express where he unearthed the extermination of tigers in Sariska. His first solo book — The Age of Endings and Other Essays — is due in the summer of 2016

Vishnupriya (2) Vishnupriya Kolipakam

Your place or mine? How culture & genes help decipher human history

A Genticist by training, Vishnupriya has broad interests in anthropology, evolution and molecular ecology. For her masters in Bioscience (biological anthropology) from University of Leeds, UK, she worked on the peopling of Island Southeast Asia using genetics as a tool. For her PhD, at the Max Planck Institute, she studied the concept of employing language, culture and genes in a consilient evolutionary framework to decipher human history, where she worked on Polynesian and Dravidian societies. She was also involved in conservation genetics projects at NCBS and IISc. She is currently a senior research biologist at WII, heading the genetics component of the All India Tiger monitoring project.

Suresh R Suresh Kumar

Flight for freedom – satellite tracking the long distance migration of Amur falcons

My primary interest is in researching on lesser known and threatened fauna, their ecology and conservation. By training I am a wildlife biologist (M.Sc Wildlife Science from the Wildlife Institute of India). I started my research career with a study on pheasant distributions in the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot in the north-east India where I discovered a new subspecies of Sclater’s monal pheasant Lophophorus sclateri. Following which I was involved in carrying out an ecological study on a new species of monkey – the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. On completion of this study, I moved to yet another challenging area and subject of study, to determine the offshore distribution of Olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea along the east coast of India. This study involved the use of satellite telemetry to understand the movements and migration of the ridley turtles, and it was the topic of my doctoral research. In 2008, I joined the Wildlife Institute of India as faculty where I am involved in both teaching and training assignments. My sea faring experiences took me to Antarctica as part of the 29th Indian Scientific Expedition there in 2009, where I conducted aerial surveys for marine mammals and birds

Tanu Jindal Tanu Jindal

Groundwater and surface water pollution and mitigation strategies in urban environment

Prof. Tanu Jindal has Doctorate in Ecotoxicology from University of Delhi. She is Director and Professor, Amity Institute of Environmental Science and Amity Institute of Environmental Toxicology, Safety and Management. She is also incharge of Amity Institute of Water Technology and Management and Amity Centre for Antarctic Research and Studies. She has filed five patents on lysimetric-device, apparatus to estimate the loss of xenobiotics by volatilization and mineralization, natural pesticide, photochemical method to dispose of dilute pesticide waste and water testing kit.

She has extensive research experience in surface and ground water. Currently she is working on “Environmental monitoring studies in water and snow at Antarctica with NCAOR, Goa; Development of a Cost Effective Lysimeter for leaching studies to ground water under Department of Science and Technology (DST); Mobile Phone Cell Tower radiation and biological correlations, DST. Establishment of the Pesticide Referral Laboratory and MRL fixation of pulses and spices were her research endeavors at ICAR. Her expertise area is ISO-17025, GLP-studies, radio and stable isotope tracer techniques, GCMS and LCMS studies etc.
She is Chief Editor of Amity Journal of Energy and Environment and Associate Editor, special Issue, Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. She has Prestigious Scientist of the year Award – 2015 and Environmentalist of the Year Award-2014 by NESA, New Investigator Award at American Chemical Society, and DST Young Scientist Award Project to her credit. She has developed water testing kit which is cost effective and easy to use by students and housewives. She is devoted to water contamination and studies with special reference to ground water.

Workshop Resource Persons

Phylogenetic Biology: Using Trees

R Geeta R Geeta
After getting undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the Department of Botany, University of Delhi (1969-74) and teaching for two years at Miranda House, University of Delhi (1974-76), I joined the Agricultural Research Service, working at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research and then at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (1976-1987). I then went on to get a Ph.D. degree at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, working under Michael Donoghue (1987-1993). I was awarded the Katherine Esau Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the University of California at Davis with Jim Doyle, Judy Jernstedt and Neelima Sinha (1994-1997). I joined the faculty of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at SUNY Stony Brook and was there from 1997 to 2009. I left Stony Brook and the US to join the Department of Botany, University of Delhi, in 2009. Full circle.Website: http://people.du.ac.in/~rgeeta/

Designing a robust social science based research – how to avoid some common pitfalls

Asmita Kabra Asmita Kabra
Asmita Kabra (asmita@aud.ac.in) is presently Dean, School of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi. She is an academic, practitioner and policy advisor on issues of land use change, agrarian transformation, displacement and resettlement among people living in and around forest areas. Trained as a development economist, Dr. Kabra’sdoctoral thesis on the impact of conservation-induced displacement was among India’s first such full length studies. Her current research interests are critical agrarian studies, political ecology,poverty and rural development. She has been a consultant for the World Bank, the IFC, the Ministry of Rural Development (Government of India), the IUCN and reputed corporate firms on issues of displacement and resettlement. She also leads a grassroots NGO working for livelihood reconstruction and education among a displaced tribal population in central India. Dr. Kabra has studied conservation-displacement in several Protected Areas in India and has published and presented papers on these themes in reputed journals and international/national conferences.

Conserving Non Protected Areas

Neha Sinha Neha Sinha
Neha Sinha works on environmental policy with India’s oldest nature conservation organization, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). She undertakes legal and conservation advocacy for threatened species and sites across India and also coordinates the Amur Falcon conservation programme for BNHS. Neha is also an environmental writer, and her work appears regularly in the Economic and Political Weekly, The Hindu, and as a column in DailyO, India Today‘s opinion portal. Neha studied Biodiversity Conservation at Oxford University, and also serves as Guest Faculty in Delhi University. She is a member of the Central Zoo Authority’s Expert Group on Research and Publications.Website: www.indienvironment.com

Quantitative methods for young ecologists

Suhel Suhel Quader

I have two major interests. The first is in Evolutionary Ecology, which is a fancy way of saying that I’m interested in why animals and plants do what they do. That is, how does what they do make sense? For example, why do crows chase away koels from their nests; or why do mosquito larvae move less when they smell danger?

My other main interest is in Citizen Science, or what is often now called Public Participation in Scientific Research. The idea here is that the world is large and complex and is changing rapidly; and to better understand the world we need to work together, all of us, regardless of our background or formal training. Our Citizen Science programmes are run in collaboration with the National Centre for Biological Sciences, as well as other partners. The two main projects we run are MigrantWatch, which looks at the timing of migration of birds; and SeasonWatch, in which we investigate seasonal patterns in leaf-flush, flowering and fruiting of trees. Everyone is welcome to participate!

Email: suhelq@ncf-india.org

Managing research workflow: An introduction to reference management to learn, discover, organise and write up your research

Narayan Sharma Narayan Sharma
I study community and behavioural ecology and the conservation biology of the primates in the fragmented landscape of Upper Brahmaputra Valley of northeastern India. I am also interested in political , human and landscape ecology as well as ecological history. Currently, I am part of a collaborative project entitled ‘Landscape level conservation planning for elephants in Karnataka’. I am collating data on the distribution of elephants, their habitats, and on anthropogenic factors affecting elephant distribution from across the state, and to assist with the delineation of elephant habitats, respectively, into conservation, co-existence and removal zones, based on objective ecological and social criteria.
Rishi Sharma Rishi Kumar Sharma
Rishi is an ecologist with interests in large carnivore conservation, high altitude ecosystems, rangeland ecology and human wildlife relationships. Currently pursuing his PhD with Nature Conservation Foundation, he leads the snow leopard conservation program at WWF-International.

How R you doing? Using the R platform for managing and analyzing ecological datasets

Raman 1 Raman Kumar
Raman Kumar works on bird community ecology, and his research has examined impacts of forest management and forest degradation due to anthropogenic activities on bird communities. Raman Kumar coordinates citizen science programme to monitor bird distribution and phenological patterns. Raman is working to set up a long-term ecological monitoring for forest birds in the Western Himalayas. He is involved in development of interpretation and awareness programmes.
Soumya-Prasad Soumya Prasad

Soumya Prasad is tropical ecologist and her work has focussed on seed dispersal and its consequences for maintenance of ecosystems and forest management in the Western Ghats and Western Himalayan regions of India.

Marine wildlife – Research gaps and the way ahead

Dipani Sutaria
Dipani has been working in the marine and aquatic environment since 1998. She has studied Olive Ridley turtles, Smooth-coated otters, Irrawaddy dolphins, Humpback dolphins and more recently sharks. In the past five years, post her PhD she has been independently building capacity of interested students to further their research or conservation aspirations in the field of marine species, and systems research. She is currently advising students studying marine mammals in Lakshadweep, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa.

The Importance and Future Trends of Sharing and Publishing Biodiversity Data

GT Gautam Talukdar
Dr Talukdar obtained his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS). He has been in the field of geoinformatics for more than ten years and have experience with several reputed institutes such as the Forest Survey of India (FSI) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). He has worked in several national and international level projects, for example on landscape dynamics and its impact on ecosystem composition, biodiversity characterization at the landscape level and the Natural Resources Census (NRCENSUS). His research interests include advances in remote sensing, geospatial modelling for issues relevant to sustainable development, data interoperability, ecological modelling and climate change. He is also involved in teaching geoinformatics for wildlife management.

Field techniques for studying herpetofauna

Abhijit Das Abhijit Das
Dr. Das is a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He did his masters in Zoology from Guwahati University, Assam and PhD from Utkal University, Orissa. He did his PhD on Snakes of Eastern Himalayan region. Before joining WII, he was associated with Aaranyak, Primate Research Center, Guwahati University and Madras Crocodile Bank Trust. His primary research interest is Systematics and biogeography of Reptiles and Amphibians. He is particularly interested in Himalayan and Southeast Asian herpetofauna. He believes that addressing “Linnean” and Wallacean” shortfall is the key to conservation of our biodiversity.
Twitterd935e6f Chetan Rao
My primary research interest lies in understanding ecology and evolutionary biology of reptiles and their conservation. I completed my Masters from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun in 2009, and presently I am a research affiliate with Dakshin Foundation Bangalore. I have worked on research projects during my master’s course and after, that covered aspects pertaining to my academic interests such as studying habitat ecology of the king cobra in Agumbe, which got published in the peer reviewed journal Hamadryad; I then worked on a research project assessing species diversity of terrestrial herpetofauna in Nicobar islands from October 2012 to April 2013; Later that year I joined Dakshin Foundation to work as a field coordinator while my work involved monitoring and researching on nesting biology of sea turtles in Orissa etc. Presently I am studying the sea snake assemblages in south Maharashtra as a research affiliate with Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore.

Prudhvi Raj Guntur

I am a Post Doctoral fellow (DBT RA Fellowship) at Wildlife Institute of India and my primary research interest is the study of frogs (batrachology) particularly those belonging to South Asia. My doctoral work was larval morphology of anurans from India and my current research is focused on Systematics and Biogeography of Dicroglossid frogs from India. My research interests are quite broad ranging from molecules to morphology, community ecology to conservation biology, and behavioral biology to biogeography etc. As a zoologist, amphibians among vertebrates gives me scope to carry out research on such broad areas of biology.

Writing grants in Ecological Sciences

Monica Monica
I am interested in understanding the role of ecological and anthropogenic factors in governing the patterns of species distribution. I have a special interest to learn about the impacts of non-native species on native seed-dispersal mutualism. I am currently involved in a UNDP-WII collaborative Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) project, where I am identifying the schemes/policies of the Indian government relevant for biodiversity conservation to ascertain the funding gap to achieve National Biodiversity Targets by 2020. In an attempt to learn more and disseminate findings of my doctoral and independent research, I secured few national and interventional grants. I am recipient of Fulbright-Nehru fellowship 2013-14 and received research grants (Salim Ali 2011, RRCF research grant 2012-13, Sigma Xi 2014-15). I strongly believe in knowledge sharing and therefore try to help my colleagues and friends in their grant writing endeavors.
Sabuj Sabuj Bhattacharyya
My broad research interests include alpine small mammal ecology and behaviour with emphasis on occupancy pattern, survival and its response to climatic fluctuations. At present, I am working as post doctoral research associate at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore to understand dispersal and gene flow of a high altitude small mammal,”Royle’s pika” in Western Himalaya. I am also interested in evidenced based conservation studies. Previously worked as selector for US-Fulbright programme 2010-11 at University of Colorado, Boulder and also mentored several Indian candidates for Fulbright, DAAD, Inlaks, CSIR , DBT fellowships and travel grants.

Leveraging Technology for Conservation

sashank Shashank Srinivasan

Shashank is a conservation scientist currently working with WWF-India in Delhi as a spatial analyst and cartographer. He has an MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management from the University of York and an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge, and has worked extensively in the Indian Himalaya and trans-Himalaya.

harshad Harshad Karandikar

Harshad works on the community-conservation interface for WWF-India in New Delhi, and currently leads the organization’s efforts in preventing and managing Human Wildlife Conflict, apart from working on leveraging technological solutions for conservation. A graduate of IIM Kozhikode, Harshad has previously worked with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Skill Development and the corporate sector.

Introduction to Occupancy Surveys and Estimation

Sutirtha Sutirtha Dutta

Sutirtha Dutta is a Research Associate at the Wildlife Institute of India. He holds a Bachelors degree in Zoology, Masters degree in Forestry, and Doctoral degree in Wildlife Science on conservation biology of the Critically Endangered great Indian bustard. His current research focuses on bustards, associated grassland fauna, and agro-pastoralists for formulating viable strategies to the growing crisis of biodiversity conservation in human-use landscapes. Sutirtha is interested in population and behavioural ecology, and specializes on biodiversity and habitat assessment techniques.

The web of design: Untangling complexities of research design for ecological studies

Hore Upamanyu Hore

He holds Ph.D. in Wildlife Science and Masters in Environmental Science. He has 10 years of research experience in Wildlife Science and Conservation Biology. His areas of research interests are in wildlife survey, conservation planning, community ecology, behavioral ecology, climate change and ecosystem processes. He has extensive experience in developing computer simulation models of populations, communities and ecosystem processes. He is currently teaching courses on wildlife management, biostatistics, research methodology, natural resources management, and sustainable development. He is actively involved in research projects dealing conservation of endangered primate species in North East India. He has more than 10 publications in various national, international journals and in edited books.

Understanding Insects

1617243 Abesh Kr Sanyal
Though my initial interest in wildlife biology was about birds during my master’s day, the focus changed to insects after joining Wildlife Institute of India. I worked in Western Himalayan Landscape of Uttarakhand on nocturnal Lepidoptera. My thesis was on “Diversity & Distribution of moth assemblages along altitudinal gradient in Gangotri Landscape, India” awarded from Saurashtra University. My current research interest focuses on studying nocturnal Lepidoptera in Indian Himalayan Region for tracking climate change and to use the taxa in conservation context for assessing ecosystem health.
profile picture_angshuman Angshuman Raha
Like everyone, my association with nature started since the day I was born. But I became an entourage of this mere fact during the days of my graduate degree. The belief turned me into an amateur bird, butterfly and nature watcher. Some influential persons and situations helped me to strengthen my belief. Thus, gradually turning this belief to the sole interest of my life which is inclined towards wildlife and its conservation. With this interest I joined as a researcher at Wildlife Institute of India just after the completion of my Masters degree in Zoology. There I was initially involved in the status survey of otters in the southern Western Ghats and then in the biodiversity assessment of Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Delhi, for preparing its management plan. Gradually, my sole interest which was broad and vague started taking up some specific shape and I intended to work on the distribution, population and habitat ecology of ‘non-charismatic’ species or group. Again I was blessed to have some influential persons around me whose passion and dedication assisted me to refine my interest and I started working on moths, a member of the most ignored faunal group in the field of wildlife conservation i.e. insect. In spite of knowing the fact that insects comprise more than half of the total fauna and act as one of the efficient indicators of habitat and environmental changes they have always been neglected. Although some insects, like Lepidoptera, Coleoptera etc. are appealing enough to qualify as ‘flagships’ for conservation. Presently, I am working as a research fellow at Zoological Survey of India and pursuing for the doctoral degree on taxonomy and diversity of moths of Chhattisgarh state. With the hope of getting new influences I wish to work on the molecular Phylogenetics of Indian moths in future.

‘Bio Telemetry: A Conservation Tool’

ujjwal1 Ujjwal Sinha
I started my journey of wildlife science from 2007 after joining MSc course from AMU Aligarh. As a part of MSc curriculum I did my Master’s thesis on Reintroduce Captive Horn Rhinoceros. These Rhinoceros were rescued when they were young during flood or their mother was poached at Kaziranga national Park. They were hand raised in the centre for wildlife rehabilitation and conservation Bokahat, Assam run by Wildlife trust of India. After attaining 5 years of age they were translocated to Manas National park. My objectives were to monitor these Rhinoceros through radio telemetry and study their home range and activity pattern. After completing MSc, I joined Wildlife Institute of India. My research work includes the population dynamics and resource selection studies through Radio-telemetry and camera trapping in the forested landscape of Kanha tiger reserve Madhya Pradesh. My future research interest includes large mammal ecology with special emphasis on Carnivores.
AyanPIC Ayan Sadhu
I did my MSc in forestry from Forest Research Institute in 2011 than subsequently joined Wildlife Institute of India as a junior research fellow in the project “monitoring source population of tigers in Ranthanbore Tiger Reserve. My areas of interests are carnivore community interactions, human dimension in wildlife

Do’s and Don’ts : from field sample collection to molecular genetic analysis for ecological studies.

Randeep Randeep Singh
I have a Master degree in Ecology and Environment science from Sikkim Manipal University Gangtok (Sikkim), Post graduate diploma in Remote Sensing and GIS (Forestry and Ecology) from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun (Department of Space) and a PhD degree in environment science (Wildlife Ecology) from Wildlife Institute of India (a research affiliate centre of Gurukula Kangri Vishvavidhyala, Haridwar). I have been actively involved in research have contributed extensively towards carnivore ecology, natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. During my PhD research work with Wildlife Institute of India (2005-2011), I have compared non-invasive methods for population estimation of tiger (Panthera tigris) and also describing the quantifying the impact of spatial-temporal variation in habitat use pattern and habitat suitability analysis of tiger.I was actively involved in to assess forest change detection after a interval of 5 year period and also gain experience for using high-resolution satellite data in preparing an accurate and reliable forest and wildlife database at 1:25,000 scale for all the Biosphere Reserves of India located in distinct biogeographical zones of the country, while working with G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, AlmoraI assessed the population status and habitat quality for conservation of sloth bear (Melursus urisinus) in Phulwari-ki-Nal and Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuaries, Rajasthan, India working with Foundation for Ecological Security, Gujarat, during 2013-2014. Additionally studied the social and ecological dynamics of arid landscapes of the Rajasthan with intertwining principles of mutualism for improvement in the living conditions of the poor peoples and sustainable development of natural resources.Presently I am working with Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh. At my present work place, I taught to post-graduate student of Wildlife Science in their course modules, conducted field labs and mentored students enrolled in ecological work.
Mukesh Mukesh Thakur
Dr. Mukesh Thakur has earned his M.Sc. (Biotech.) from CCS University, Meerut and PhD (Biotech.) from Kurukshetra University, Haryana and passionately working in wildlife conservation since past ten years. He is specialized in conservation genetics and has studied genetics of several species like Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus murghii), Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), Cheer Pheasant [Caterus wallichii] and Hangul deer (Cervus elaphus hanglu). He has published over 18 research articles of high scientific merits and has also been awarded DST/SERB–Fast track Young Scientist award. His current research interests lie at the interface between wildlife ecology and population genetics theory to investigate population differentiation and identify the genetic mechanisms of adaptation. Further, he is keen to explore the genetic consequences of species reintroduction programs, the use of genetic markers in applied wildlife management and conservation programs, the use of genetics and ecological information to elucidate mating systems, movement behavior, and population structure of wildlife species in the fragmented or in human intervened landscapes.Dr. Thakur has joined Amity Institute of Wildlife Sciences (AIWS) during June 2015 as Assistant Professor and intriguing his interest in further development of teaching, training & research programs at AIWS.

Basics of Wildlife Photography

Udayan Udayan Borthakur

Udayan is a wildlife biologist by profession with specialisation in conservation genetics, working with Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) as the founder head of Wildlife Genetics Division since 2008. He has 12 years of experience in the field of ecological and population genetic research and have worked previously in places like University of Chicago, Wildlife Institute of India, University of Pune and Bombay Natural History Society. Udayan has so far worked on population genetics of several species such as Greater one-horned rhino and tiger in India, Javan and Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia, White-bellied Heron and snow leopards in Bhutan etc. Udayan is an avid wildlife photographer and have been documenting wildlife through his camera in India and abroad for past one decade. As a photographer, his prime interest lies in capturing rare mammals and birds of North East India and to use photography as a media for mass awareness towards conservation. His photography work can be seen in his website (www.udayanborthakur.com) as well as in form of publications in several magazines, books and reports of national and international repute.

Concepts and Methodologies in Animal Behaviour Research

Rishi_photo Rishi Kumar
I have been studying behavior, biogeography and ecology of primates for last 10 years. I looked at the biogeography of rhesus and bonnet macaque across central India / peninsular India. I also studied mixed-species troops along this distribution zone and their behavioural ecology. In Mehgalaya state of India, I have been also working on issue related to conservation of western hoolock gibbon. In addition to primatology I have been involved in habitat restoration, creation of CCAs, REDD+ and biodiversity assessment of non-PA areas in different parts of north eastern India. I am interested in evolutionary basis of behavior, gestures and studying the behavioural dynamics of species and their mixed-species troops.
Shuvankar Subhankar Chakraborty

Introducing QGIS for wildlife research

Swati Swati Saini
I am an engineering postgraduate from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT, Vellore), with specialization in Remote Sensing and GIS. After completing masters, I have been associated with the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Forest Survey of India and the Wildlife Institute of India, where I have worked on a variety of natural resource management projects involving geospatial techniques . I am also associated with the Dehradun based firm, SCIENCE, as a Sr. GIS executive. I am currently a research affiliate at the Wildlife Institute of India, and have been working for the All India Tiger Monitoring project here since 2010. My work profile includes ecological data mapping, processing and spatial modeling and software training. I am also pursuing my doctoral research on “A Geospatial framework to assess ecological connectivity & their persistence for Central Indian Landscape” with Prof. Qamar Qureshi at the Wildlife Institute of India.
Ridhima Ridhima Solanki
I am pursuing Ph.d in carnivore ecology in Wildlife Institute of India. I did Masters in Forestry from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun in 2009, post which i have been involved in various projects in Wildlife Institute of India. My interest and experience is in carnivore ecology, landscape ecology as well as socio-economic studies which involves extensive use of GIS and remote sensing. I worked for preparation of management plan of Okhla Bird Sanctuary which introduced me to urban ecology and importance of spatial understanding for management decisions. I worked in Cheetah Reintroduction in India as well as All India Tiger Monitoring which required understanding ecology at landscape level as well as help decision makers by providing them better spatial understanding. Besides this I love travelling and writing and people can reach my blog on https://wildernessandme.wordpress.com/.
Ninad Ninad Mungi

One of the initial things that I tried to find on Google Earth was a vast forest on the mountains away from the city. It was only during my bachelors in Botany, when I started volunteering for a research program on plants and visited the northern Western Ghats, the first experience into the wild. It triggered my interest to understand larger ecological dynamics that shape what I observed in the field. Hence, I switched for a specialized master’s course in Geoinformatics at the University of Pune. During my master’s I used the GIS and Remote Sensing domain to understand the invasion extent of Lantana camara in India. The macroecological complexities fascinated me to further register my doctoral studies under the supervision of Prof. Qamar Qureshi and Dr. Y.V Jhala on ‘Modeling plant invasions in tropical forests of India’ at the Wildlife Institute of India. Along with this, I have been working for different projects concerning the conservation programs of flagship species in India like, All India Tiger Monitoring Project 2010 and 2014, Vulture conservation program in the western Indian landscape, Identifying habitat corridors for tigers in India and MSTrIPES. My common research theme in these projects was spatial ecology for long term conservation program.

Prafull Singh Prafull Singh

My research interests include Water Resource Assessment and Management using Earth Observation data sets. My Ph.D. works involved in generating groundwater potential zones at watershed level using geological, geophysical and remote sensing techniques. Currently I involved in groundwater pollution modeling, urban heat island estimation, landslide hazard zonation mapping, watershed modeling, Groundwater pollution and prediction modeling using remote sensing and GIS techniques. I am taking classes at PG level on Water Resource assessment and management, Geoinformatic in Geosciences, basic concept of Remote sensing , Watershed Modeling, disaster and supervises number of Ph.D. students on various problems related to land and water management using Remote sensing , GIS and Geophysical approach.

Animal handling techniques

Sanath Sanath Krishna Muliya

Sanath Krishna Muliya is a Veterinarian by profession. He holds a Bachelors degree in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Bangalore and a Masters degree in Wildlife Medicine from Institute of Wildlife Veterinary Research, Kodagu. After a short stint in Wildlife SOS, wherein Sanath was responsible for the rescue and rehabilitation operation of cyclone Phailin affected migratory birds, he joined Bannerghatta Biological Park as veterinary officer and served there for two years. During his tenure in Bannerghatta Biological Park, he was also a part of frontline team of the forest department of Karnataka, wherein he used his veterinary expertise to capture and immobilize conflict animals. He is currently working as Project veterinarian in Dept. of Wildlife Health Management, Wildlife Institute of India, under NTCA sponsored project entitled “Strengthening Veterinary Interventions in Tiger Reserves”. His areas of interest include Wild animal capture and restraint; marine mammal medicine and wildlife disease diagnostics and management.

Panel Discussions
Forester Researcher Relations

2006-01-17 11-14-16 J C Kala
Born in 1946, Mr. Kala did his Masters Degree in Physics-specialized in Electronics in 1965. After a brief spell of teaching in a degree college, he joined Defence Research and Development Organization as Scientific officer where he was involved in designing and developing infra-red sighting and vision instruments for Tanks.In 1968, he joined Indian Forest Service in its first batch and after a long satisfying career spanning nearly four decades rose to the rank of Secretary to Government of India and the Director General of Forests.Several policy initiatives both in the field of environment as well as forestry and wildlife, Animal welfare are at his credit. Management of Hazardous waste, Cleaning of Rivers, conservation of lakes, wetlands, mangroves, the joint forest management, eco-development around National parks and Sanctuaries, Tiger conservation Authority and wildlife crime control Bureau, to cite a few. As Chairman of 21st Session of Asia Pacific Forestry Commission, he gave special thrust to Forestry’s contribution to tackle Global warming.He represented India in various International conventions concerning forestry, wildlife, Animal welfare and Environment.After superannuation, he headed the National Environment Appellate Authority, for four years, to hear and decide appeals against the Environmental Clearances granted by Central and State Governments. Currently, he is Chairing a Committee set up by MoEFCC to write ‘National Wildlife Action Plan’ for 2016-2030. He is the Advisor ‘Institute of Global Warming and Ecological Studies’ Amity University Noida, India. (jckala@yahoo.com)
Jagdish Kishwan Jagdish Kishwan

Dr. Kishwan, Indian Forest Service (Retd) is Chief, Policy and Programme Implementation, Wildlife Trust of India. Former Additional Director General, Wildlife, Government of India. As a distinguished member of the Indian Forest Service, he held important assignments including that of the Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), the prestigious forestry research organization of national and international repute, and the Head of Forestry Force, Jammu and Kashmir State. He retired in 2012 as Director Wildlife Preservation, Government of India. Presently, he is Chief Advisor- Policy with the Wildlife Trust of India.

He is an acclaimed authority on the subject of Climate Change and Forests with deep knowledge of the likely impacts of global warming on natural resources including forest and biodiversity, and possible ways of mitigating such impacts. He is an acknowledged expert on mitigation potential of forests. Till recently, he served as the member of the Core Negotiating Group of the Government of India, discharging the role of chief Indian negotiator/expert on forestry issues in UNFCCC. It is at his initiative that ‘Policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries” was included in the Bali Action Plan at COP 13 in Bali, which is now popularly known as REDD-plus.

He has authored/presented more than 2 dozen papers on various aspects of climate change related to forests, forestry, and agroforestry in journals and in national/international workshops, seminars and meetings.

Ethics in Ecological research

indrani Indrani Chandrasekharan

Dr. Indrani Chandrasekharan was formerly the Advisor (Environment and Forests), Planning Commission and Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India. She has undertaken multifaceted responsibilities and contributed to policy formulation, drafting of legislations and implementation of pollution abatement measures in industries. A specialist in waste and chemicals regulation and management has published over 78 research papers and a number of reports.She has served as negotiator for India and as member of committees of International Convention on waste, chemicals, biodiversity, climate change and ozone depleting substances. As member of expert committee/groups of Government of India drafted and enabled finalization of reports of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (WTE), High level working group on Western Ghats and Experts Group on low carbon strategy during the last three years.


Special Session

Wildlife Crime: Regional, National & International Concern

Arvind Jha Arvind Jha
Protecting wildlife in general and flagship species such as Tiger, Leopard, Lions, and Elephants etc. in particular- in its natural habitat is the passion which drives him after the wildlife criminal(s) resulting into the busting of their networks. Successfully prosecuting criminals responsible for the conversion of “Tiger Project Sariska” into “Tigerless Project” leading to their several years of rigorous imprisonment, hitherto unheard in the History of wildlife crime and thereby establishing the new trend of successful prosecution in wildlife offence cases on pan India basis. He was also one of the core team members of the rehabilitation of tiger in Tiger Project Sariska (2008). Sensing the need of the control of the ever-expanding wildlife criminal networks, he developed informer networks in almost all the crime infested tiger reserves and important national parks during his tenure as Assistant Director, Wildlife Crime Control Control Bureau, New Delhi. With the active cooperation of local police & forest authorities, several Rhino poachers were put behind bar in Kaziranga and thereby unfolding the involvement of terrorism angle of the crime. Similarly, active involvement of some of the members of the “Makeria Tribe”of Sambalpur district of Odisha in the elephant poaching was also unfolded. Following the leads, meticulously extracted from the criminals arrested/detained led to startling revelations of well-established transnational route for sending the consignment outside India. Realizing the need of the enhancement of capacity of the frontline staffs engaged in the protection of wildlife, he has been devoting ample time in providing training/ organizing workshops etc. in association of “Wildlife Trust of India” so that wildlife criminals can be successfully prosecuted in the court of law & an element of deterrence can be established among habitual wildlife offenders .He is a “Post Graduate in Physics” from University of Delhi and presently serves as “Faculty, Forestry Training Institute, Jaipur(Govt.Of Rajasthan).

Vadodara Weather

Location Map