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Program Management

Ajith Kumar has been the Director of the Wildlife Biology and Conservation Program since its inception in 2004. He has a PhD from Cambridge University on the ecology of the lion-tailed macaque, and was a faculty at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore. His research interests include  the ecology of primates and small mammals in the Western Ghats and Himalaya. He has mentored several students of the MSc course on research topics ranging from primate food choice to the effects of human disturbance on small carnivores. An enthusiastic field biologist, he  often accompanies students on field trips.


Jayashree Ratnam came on board as the Associate Director for Wildlife Biology and Conservation programme at National Centre for Biological Sciences in 2014. 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 is a community and ecosystems ecologist with interests in tropical terrestrial systems. Her current research focuses on the biophysical and anthropogenic drivers of tropical savanna and rangeland structure and function, forest-savanna transition zones and long-term tree dynamics in tropical forest communities. She is also interested in curriculum and programme development at the graduate level. She teaches Basic Ecology, Plant Animal Interactions and a seminar style readings course in Classical Papers in Ecology and Conservation Biology.