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Faculty

We draw facutly from researchers and practitioners in different fields of wildlife biology and conservation and allied disciplines.

The program meets its teaching requirements with a combination of faculty from NCBS, NCF and other institutions both within and outside India. In addition, several academics, forest managers, conservation practitioners, policy makers and members of the judiciary also give guest talks to the students throughout the year. The students are thus able to interact with a variety of academics and conservation practitioners and are exposed to the wide range of issues that affect the practice of this discipline.

Please follow the links provided to learn more about our faculty, their institutional affiliations, research interests and areas of expertise.

Faculty

 

Dr. Aaron Lobo is an interdisciplinary marine conservation scientist working at the interface of conservation, livelihoods and sustainable coastal development. At our program, he works closely with fellow faculty to create a curated marine biology course for our students. 

 

 

Dr. Abi Tamim Vanak is an animal ecoloist and conservation biologist. His current work focuses on the ecology and conservation of India's semi-arid savanna grasslands and it's unique set of endemic and endangered fauna. 

 

 

 

Dr. Ajith Kumar was Faculty at the Wildlife Institute of India and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, and was the Director of this program from 2003 to 2020. He is presently an Affiliate Scientist at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore.

 

 

 

Dr Anindya Sinha's wide-ranging research interests are in the areas of behavioural ecology and cognitive psychology of primates, animal molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and the philosophy of biology. At the master's program, he teaches behavioral ecology and Philosophy of Science and Conservation

 

 

 

Dr. Divya Karnad is an alumni of our program. She recieved her Ph.D in Geography from Rutgers University, USA. She consulted with the Bay of Bengal Program, an inter-governmental oranisation and co-founded In Season Fish, a sustainalble seafood intitiative. She currenlty teaches a course on Conservation Social Sciences - Ethics and Methods and is a professor at Ashoka University 

 

 

 

Dr. Divya Vasudev is an ecolgist applying field knowledge and state-of-the-art scientific approaches to solve global conservation problems. She specialises in landscape-scale conservation, that is, the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems in large, complex, heterogeneous landscapes. She co-teaches modules in population ecology and estimation and leads the landscape ecology course. 

 

 

 

Dr. Hari Sridhar is an independent researcher and an honorary fellow of the Archive at NCBS, Bengaluru. His Ph.D at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) focused on the causes and censequences of heterospecifics foraging associations in terristrial bird communities. He teaches basic ecology and ecological history in our program.

 

 

 

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy is interested in ecohydrology, landscape ecology and applications of bayesian statistics in ecology and environmental science. He applies these to questions about conservation planning, ecosystem services and the response of ecosystems to climate variability and climate change. He is involved with teaching multiple courses at our program. 

 

 

Dr. Jayashree Ratnam currently serves as Director for the Wildlife Biology and Conservation Program at National Centre for Biological Sciences. She was Associate Director from 2014 to 2020. Following a PhD from Syracuse University, USA, she worked as a research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Labs in Colorado State University, USA and a Facilitator for the Earth and Biosphere Institute, University of Leeds. She teaches Basic Ecology, Plant Animal Interactions and a seminar style readings course in Classical Papers in Ecology and Conservation Biology.

 

 

 

Dr. K. Ullas Karanth is the Founder, Managing Trustee and Director of the Centre for Wildlife Studies. He also served the Wildlife Conservation Society as India Program Director (1988–2010; 2012–2017) and as Senior Scientist (2010–2011). He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida, University of Minnesota, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research-NCBS and contributes significantly to the Conservation Ecology & Practice course.

 

 

 

Mr. Kalyan Varma is a wildlife photographer, filmmaker, naturalist and explorer specializing in environmental issues in India. He freelances with many of the world's leading magazines, environmental NGOs and television channels like National Geographicand BBC. He teaches our students the basics of photography and wildlife filmaking and the philosophy behind conservation photography.

 

 

Dr. Krithi Karanth is Chief Conservation Scientist and Executive Director at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore. She is also Adjunct Faculty at Duke University and National Centre for Biological Sciences. Her research in India and Asia spaning 22 years encompasses many issues in human dimensions of wildlife conservation. She has conducted macro-level studies assessing patterns of species distributions and extinctions, impacts of wildlife tourism, consequences of voluntary resettlement, land use change and understanding human-wildlife interactions. Other than being a strong supporter of this program, she also teaches Conservation Ecology and Practice

 

 

Dr. Kartik Shanker is one of the founder trustees of Dakshin Foundation. An ecologist by training, Kartik has interests in both mountain and marine systems. Currently, he is a Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore where he conducts research on a range of taxa including frogs, reptiles, birds, plants, and reef fish and other marine fauna. His work with marine turtles in the last 20 years has led to broader interests in coastal and marine conservation. His work at Dakshin is embedded in the belief that social, cultural and political contexts largely determine conservation outcomes.

 

 

Dr. Mahesh Sankaran is an ecologist based at NCBS. He specializes in climate-vegetation-disturbance linkages and biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships. The core of his research seeks to uncover mechanisms underlying the distribution, structure and function of savannas and grasslands worldwide, and to predict the ecological future of these biomes under global anthropogenic climatic forcing in the form of altered precipitation, temperature, elevated CO2 and nutrient deposition. At the program Dr. Mahesh engages with the students is closely involved in teaching multiple courses such as statistics, community ecology and plant-animal interations

 

 

 
Dr. Madhuri Ramesh teaches at Azim Premji university, Bangalore. She primarily works on nature-society relations in coastal spaces and is interested in inclusive, interdisciplinary approaches to conservation and sustainability. She began by studying the ecology of rare reptiles but with field experience, became interested in political ecology. Hence her recent work weaves together strands from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. Her research has spanned diverse landscapes ranging from hill forests in the Western Ghats to arid grasslands in the Thar desert and densely inhabited islands in the Bay of Bengal. She has been closely involved with teaching Ecological history to ur students over the past three years along with a team of other professors.
 
 

 

Dr. Meera Anna Oommen holds a doctoral degree in life sciences from the University of Technology, Sydney. At Dakshin Foundation, Meera contributes to institutional growth by coordinating research activities,and institutional development of the Andaman Nicobar Environment Team (ANET). Her current work also focuses on research at the interface of environmental history, anthropology and ecology, and their interactions in the context of traditional practices and species such as elephants and wild pigs. 

 


Dr M. D. Madhusudan is the first recipient of the Obaid Siddiqi Chair in the History and Culture of Science at the Archives at NCBS, a public centre for the history of contemporary biology in India. Dr Madhusudan is an independent researcher and co-founder of the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF). He will lead a much-needed effort to bridge the gap between the sciences, social sciences and humanities, and will foster a diverse and inclusive community of academics across disciplines. At the program, he engages with the students to teach them about ecologoical history - Conservation, Science and Society.
 
 
 

 
Dr. M O Anand is an alum of our master’s program.He has completed his postdoctoral research from NCF and Columbia University, USA, during 2016-19. He works mainly in the Western Ghats and primarily conducts research in forest ecology, with a focus on plants, plant-animal interactions, and carbon cycling. Most of his research is of an applied nature, and looks to address topics that are relevant to conservation and restoration of forests, biodiversity and ecosystem functions in the face of an expanding human footprint and a changing climate. At the program he teaches our students the basics the R programming software.
 
 
 

 

Dr. Naveen  Namboothri  is one of the founder trustees of Dakshin Foundation and currently serves as its Director. Trained as a marine biologist, he has worked in diverse coastal, marine and island systems across India. His engagement cuts across regional, national and local agencies including government and non-government sectors. He co-teaches the marine ecology course. 

 

 

Dr. Ravindersingh Bhalla is a field based ecologist involved in community based management of natural resources and ecosystem services. He has a PhD in ecology and he makes extensive use of hydro-meteorologic equipment and participatory frameworks for data collection. He is adept in the use of quantitative methods and analysis which includes a range of GIS and remote sensing software and programming in R.  He is currently an adjunct faculty at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) Bangalore and teaches the course on GIS and remote sensing to our masters students.

 

 

Dr. Ravi Chellam is currently the CEO of Metastring Foundation since 2018. His research interests include conservation of wildlife and biodiversity outside the Protected Areas, human-wildlife conflicts and urban ecology. At the program, he engages with the students and teaches a course on conservation law, policy and management.

 

 

Dr. Rohan Arthur is a senior scientist and founding trustee of the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) in Karnataka, India. He heads NCF’s Oceans and Coasts program, an interdisciplinary group that works on a range of issues, including understanding human-wildlife interactions in aquatic environments. At NCBS, he has been teaching marine ecology as part of the master's course

 

 

Dr. Sanjay Sane's laboratory combines the input from physics, engineering, biomechanics, neurobiology, muscle mechanics and behavioural biology to address diverse insect flight-related phenomena. To study these questions, they use diverse techniques such as high-speed videography, behavioural measurements, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. At NCBS, he is currently the Scientific Dean and also is faculty  at our program where he teaches invertebrate ecology.

 

 

 

Dr. Shannon Olsson's lab, the Naturalist-Inspired Chemical Ecology (NICE) at the National Center for Biological Science (NCBS) in Bangalore, India works on Chemical Ecology, a field examining the role of chemical interactions between living organisms and their environment. Shannon aims to uncover the chemical language in which nature communicates such that steps can be taken to maintain the homeostasis of all life forms in nature. She teaches a module in the invertebrate ecology course to our masters students.

 

 


Shekar Dattatri is one of India’s leading wildlife and conservation filmmakers. During the last 25 years, his films have received 4 National Awards and numerous international awards, and have aired around the world on channels such as National Geographic and Discovery. He actively conducts a short course on wildlife filmaking for our students.

 

       

 

Dr. Suhel Quader is interested in engaging with the larger public in better understanding the natural world and how it is changing. He has a formal background and training is in the field of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology. Over the years, he has studied various aspects of animal behaviour: flocking in Cinereous Tits, mate choice in Baya Weavers, and brood parasitism by Koels on Crows. At NCBS he teaches the masters students of our program a module on study design, basic statistics and research methodology.

 

 

 

Dr. Teresa Pedrola Alcoverro's current research interests examine (1) the role of biotic processes, and human perturbations, in controlling the flow of energy among trophic levels both within and between marine habitats, with emphasis on submerged vegetated habitats, (2) the use of biodindicators in seagrass ecosystems to detect water quality assessment and ecosystem change. AT NCBS, she teaches about seagrass and benthic systmes as part of the marine ecology course conducted during the masters course.

 

 

 

Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan is an Indian molecular ecologist and professor at National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. Her research investigates population genetics and evolutionary history of mammals in the Indian subcontinent, including work to save India’s tigers. She is a professor NCBS, and teaches conservation genetics to our master's students.

 


 

Dr. Umesh Srinivasan is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Ecological Science, Indian Institute of Science (CES-IISc), Bangalore. He completed a postdoctoral research at Princeton University, prior to which he completed his PhD & Master's at NCBS. The doctor in parenthesis refers to an MBBS he did before he became obsessed with ecology and conservation! Dr. Umesh is primarily interested in all forms of global change (especially land use and climate change) and the impacts of global change on biodiversity. At ur program he teaches our students the facets of community ecology.

 

      

Dr. Varun Goswami is a senior scientist with Conservation Initiatives, an organization based in Northeast India. His research straddles the fields of ecology and conservation biology, with particular focus on applied population, landscape and behavioural ecology. A lot of his work is on threatened large mammals and in heterogenous landscapes with a strong human–wildlife interface. He and his team often investigate questions of interest using quantitative approaches such as capture–recapture, occupancy and matrix population models.

 

 

 

Mr. Vinod Kumar Uniyal, is an IFS officer and he teaches conservation law, policy and management at our program. Before he served as an IFS officer, he worked as a lecturer in Botany in a government Post Graduate College in Uttarkashi.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Vivek Ramachandran is Academic Fellow at the Wildlife Biology and Conservation Program, National Centre for Biological Sciences. His interests are in the ecology and distribution of lesser-known taxa especially, small mammals and endangered species research and conservation. He teaches Vertebrate Ecology and leads the field components of the program

 

 

 

Past Faculty

Late Dr. K Chandrashekara

Dr. Deepa Agashe

Dr. Devcharan Jathanna

Geoffery Hyde

Dr. Krushnamegh Kunte

Dr. Mahesh Rangarajan

Dr. Meghna Krishnadas

Prerna Singh Bindra

Dr. Rajah Jayapal

Dr. Shreekant Deodhar

Dr. Sumanta Bagchi

Dr. Vidya Athreya