Our team is our most valuable asset. We capitalize on the diverse backgrounds and perspective of our people who share the collective commitment towards our vision.


Advisory Council

Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej

Founder, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai. India

Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej is an art historian and a PhD in Ancient Indian Culture. In 1971, she founded the Cymroza Art Gallery and authored publications and curated highly-acclaimed exhibitions for leading National and International Museums. Dr. Godrej is the Chairperson of the Godrej Archives Council. The Godrej Archives not only preserve knowledge but are also actively used for disseminating the information.

As a member of the Apex Committee of the National Gallery of Modern Art and former Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, her valuable contribution enhanced the cultural fabric of the city and was recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

Dr. Godrej also serves as a trustee of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Impact India Foundation and Sea Cadet Corp India. She is Chairperson of the Museum Society of Mumbai, which stimulates interest in art and culture among the general public.

As President Emeritus of the National Society of the Friends of the Trees (F.o.T), she has been instrumental in raising awareness about the importance of trees. Through various plantation drives and nature trails, F.o.T. has played a significant role in bringing attention to the reducing green cover in Mumbai.

Earlier, she was the former Vice-President of the Bombay Natural History Society and helped raise money through art for the BNHS. Dr. Godrej is of the view that it is essential to bring in the younger generation, the likes of students and faculty of Botany and Zoology, to ensure a sustainable future.

Mr. Raj Khoshoo

Senior Vice President, Siemens Product Lifecycle Management, California, USA

Mr. Raj Khoshoo is Senior Vice President of Portfolio Management for Siemens PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) Software, a business unit of the Siemens Digital Factory Division. In this role, he is responsible for Mergers, Acquisition and Equity Investment planning in the context of specific initiatives, such as System Driven Product Development, Design for Environment, Application Lifecycle Management, Configuration Management, with a general focus on strategic initiatives that have measurable business impact. 

With over 34 years of experience, he has served in a variety of senior management positions in strategic planning, product development and strategic marketing. 

Mr. Khoshoo co-conducts the MBA Student Lab course on ‘Enterprises of the Future’ in Tepper School of Business of Carnegie Mellon and the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business.

In 2014, he was nominated as Senior Principal ‘Key Expert’ in Siemens PLM software.

Mr. Ranjit Barthakur

Founder & President of the Balipara Foundation, India
Ranjit Barthakur is an ardent social entrepreneur, with a special interest in improving health and education, and preserving culture and environment across the Eastern Himalayas. He is the chief architect of the vision behind NaturenomicsTM, developed in collaboration with Globally Managed Services (GMS), and has co-founded several initiatives in the same vein. Through NaturenomicsTM, Ranjit and his team have developed the Rural Futures project, aimed at strengthening ecological civilizations through community-based conservation and ecologically-driven social mobility. As the Founder & President of the Balipara Foundation, an organization focused on The Eastern Himalayas, he has worked towards achieving ecological neutrality and building knowledge on the region. He has been instrumental in developing a series of five volumes of Naturenomics™ compilations defining the interdependence between ecology and economics & outlining his vision for Rural Futures (RuFu) in the Eastern Himalayas. A member of the Advisory Council of British Asian Trust, he works towards developing catalytic grassroots solutions for uplifting the disadvantaged population of South Asia. Ranjit Barthakur is currently also a member of the Governing Board for the Centre for Microfinance & Livelihood, an organisation focused on researching, formulating and facilitating the implementation of Public Private Partnerships in Northeast India. 
His other notable associations include: 
  • Sir Dorabjee Tata Trusts-Senior Advisor, North East Programmes 
  • Tata Eastern Medical Trust – Trustee 
  • Tata Institute Of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati – Advisory Board member 
  • Northeast Initiative Development Agency – Member Governing Body 
  • Varanasi Welfare Trust – Trustee 
  • Moran Blind School – Member 
  • Sahapedia (online interactive encyclopaedia on the arts, cultures and histories of India) – Founding Member 
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Guwahati – Advisory Board member 
  • Myanmar Institute of Information Technology (MIIT), Mandalay – Advisory Board member 
  • APPL Foundation, West Bengal & Assam– Chair, Trustee 
  • Smile Asia (focus on Asia an NGO, Singapore)-Co-Chairman
  • Mission Smile-Co-Chairman 
  • A lover of Cricket, he is also the Chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals 

Mr. S.V. Ranganath

Vice Chairman, Karnataka State Higher Education Council and a Member of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission’s technical committee

S.V. Ranganath, is currently the Vice Chairman, Karnataka State Higher Education Council and a Member of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission’s technical committee. A former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, he retired as Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.

As a Civil Servant, he worked in various capacities both in Government of India and Government of Karnataka. Previously, Ranganath was the also the Chairman, Indian Coffee Board and Resident Director, Indian Investment Centre, Abu Dhabi. He also served as Principal Secretary to Chief Minister of Karnataka, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser in the Department of Space and also Member [Finance] to the Space Commission, Atomic Energy Commission and Earth Commission.

Post retirement from 2014-2017, Ranganath was the non-executive Chairperson of IFCI.

Ms. Manasi Tata

Executive Director and CEO of Kirloskar Systems Limited

Ms. Manasi Tata is the Executive Director and CEO of Kirloskar Systems Limited. She is a proud scion to one of India’s oldest and most reputed business families, which has a rich and timeless legacy of over 130 years. Apart from her day job as a leader of a business empire, she is also a trained painter, deep-sea diver, mountaineer, and avid tennis player. She was the first Young Business Champion for the UN's SDGs in India in October 2018.

Ms. Shruti Shibulal

Chief Executive Officer & Director, The Tamara Leisure Experiences

Shruti is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of The Tamara Leisure Experiences. She is one of India’s entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and was named one of World Economic Forum’s YGLs from India in 2017.  Through her hospitality venture, Tamara Leisure Experiences, she is at the forefront of promoting sustainable living and responsible tourism in India.

Shruti is a Trustee for both Advaith Foundation and the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation, organizations involved in providing educational opportunities and healthcare assistance to underprivileged sections of society. She is on the Management Council of The Samhita Academy. She serves as a Trustee of the Women’s Education Project, an NGO providing mentorship and scholarships to young women in need of support.

Shri. Manoj Kumar

Representative of Tata Trusts, Mumbai, India, Co-founder & CEO, Social Alpha

Manoj Kumar is the co-founder and CEO of Social Alpha, an initiative to strengthen the science and technology start-up ecosystem in India with a focus on “lab to market” enablement. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has nurtured more than 50 mission-driven start-ups. Manoj is also a senior advisor at Tata Trusts, where he is responsible for managing the innovation portfolio, promoting entrepreneurship and nurturing the academic/R&D relationships globally.

Prior to founding Social Alpha, Manoj has been an entrepreneur as well as an early stage investor in a number of enterprise software start-ups and social innovation experiments. Manoj has also worked for over two decades in investment banking and financial technology firms, including global leadership roles in the areas of Corporate Strategy, M&A, Product Management and R&D.

Manoj is a trustee of Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) and serves on the advisory and governing boards of a number of companies, non-profits and research institutions.

Manoj is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and lives in Bangalore, India.

Academic Advisory Board

Dr. Amita Baviskar

Associate Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. India

Amita Baviskar is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology & Anthropology.  Her research and teaching address the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India.  She focuses on the role of social inequality and identities in natural resource conflicts. Currently, she is working on the politics of food and changing agrarian environments in Madhya Pradesh and studying the social experience of air pollution in Delhi.

After studying Economics and Sociology at the University of Delhi, she received a PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University.  Besides working at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, and at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, she has been a visiting scholar at several universities including Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo, University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cape Town. 

Her first book In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley and other writings explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. Her recent publications include the edited books Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray) and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate.  In January 2020, she published Uncivil City: Ecology, Equity and the Commons in Delhi. 

Her contributions to developing the field of environmental sociology in India and to the study of social movements have been recognised by her peers.  She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences. 

Dr. Amita Baviskar, Faculty, YIF, talks about the necessity to tie one's education to the larger social, economic, and political issues in one's given context.!/amita-baviskar-1620

Dr. Gita Sen

Distinguished Professor & Director, Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation, Bengaluru. India

Professor Gita Sen, former Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, has been conferred the Dan David Prize for the year 2020 for her pioneering work to advance gender equality. The Dan David Prize is a prestigious international award endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

Professor Sen is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health at the Public Health Foundation of India. With a PhD in Economics from Stanford University, she is also an Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She was Professor in the Public Policy area at IIMB from August 1993 to October 2013. “A large part of my work in public policy was done when I was at IIMB, particularly at the Centre for Public Policy,” she said.

IIMB Director Professor G. Raghuram said, “The Dan David Prize is a wonderful acknowledgment of the tremendous body of work which Dr. Gita Sen has put together on population and development. We are especially proud of her long association with IIMB.” 

The Dan David Prize recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It aims to foster universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy, and progress and to promote the scientific, technological, and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our world. 

For over three decades, Professor Gita Sen has worked on population policies, reproductive and sexual health, gender equality, and women’s human rights, as well as issues of poverty, human development, and labour markets. Her work has helped to shape the global paradigm shift on gender and development, and on population and development.

Professor Gita Sen is a founder-member of the feminist network, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN). The United Nations System has sought out her expertise in several ways, including during intergovernmental processes, high-level events, and as an advisor to policies and programmes. She was the lead consultant for drafting UNFPA’s India Country Population Assessment document for the 2003–2007 period.

She currently serves on the Gender and Rights Advisory Panel of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research and was co-chair of Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Technical Advisory Group on Gender Equality and Health. She is a member of the UN’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent.

Dr. Gita Sen’s combination of advocacy, practical experience, activism, and analysis has won her several awards and honours, including the Volvo Environment Prize for her work on women, population and development and honorary doctorates from the University of East Anglia, the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), The Open University (UK), the University of Sussex, and the University of Edinburgh. In November 2019 she received the Dr Fred T Sai award from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for leadership and commitment to achieving rights and choices for all.

Dr. Navroz K. Dubash

Senior Fellow Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. India

Navroz K Dubash is a Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, where he conducts research and writes on climate change, energy, air pollution, water policy, and the politics of regulation in the developing world.

Navroz has been actively engaged in the climate debate as a scholar, policy adviser and activist for 25 years. He was instrumental in establishing the global Climate Action Network in 1990, and has since written widely about climate politics, policy and governance. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Sixth Assessment), advises the UNEP Emissions Gap Report Steering Committee, and has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit. Within India, Navroz has been a member of the group that developed India’s Low Carbon Strategy for Inclusive Growth and the Committee for a Long Term Strategy for Low Carbon Development for India; he continues to serve on advisory committees on energy, water and air pollution. In 2015, he was conferred the 12th T N Khoshoo Memorial Award for his work on Indian and global climate change governance.

Navroz has a long track record of publishing and writing, including two authored books, ten edited or co-edited books or special issues of journals, and more than seventy journal articles and book chapters. His recent paper entitled ‘India's energy and emissions future: an interpretive analysis of model scenarios’ was awarded the Emerging Regions Award for 2018 by Environmental Research Letters, and his book Tubewell Capitalism (Oxford University Press, 2002) was awarded the S.R. Sen Award for Best Book in Agricultural Economics and Rural Development. His recent work includes an edited volume, India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development­ (Oxford University Press, 2019), a collection of writing by leading scholars, practitioners and policymakers on climate change, and a co-edited book entitled Mapping Power (Oxford University Press, 2018), a state-by-state analysis of electricity politics in India.

As part of his academic work, Navroz serves as an associate editor of Climate Policy, and is a member of the editorial boards of Global Environmental Politics, Energy Research in Social Science, Environmental Policy and Governance, and the Journal of Environment and Development.

Navroz has previously worked at Jawaharlal Nehru University, the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and the World Resources Institute. He holds an MA and PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB cum laude in public and international affairs from Princeton University.

Dr. NC Narayanan

Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India

N C Narayanan works in the area of water policy and governance with normative concerns of sustainability and equity as pointers. He started his career as a hydrogeologist and worked in an interdisciplinary team for land use planning using remote sensing techniques. The involvement with a science movement led him to studies on participatory land use planning for decentralised governance. In his later studies he focused on the institutional aspects of water management and governance. After his M Phil in Applied Economics from JNU (CDS) and PhD in Development Studies (ISS, Erasmus University, The Netherlands) he joined as faculty in the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). He moved on as Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the South Asia Consortium for Water Resources Studies (Saci WATERs) mainly coordinating an academic programme to instil interdisciplinarity in Water Engineering programmes linking Wageningen University, NL and four South Asian Universities in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India. Since 2008, he teaches and contributes to the interdisciplinary M Tech and PhD programmes in Technology and Development and newly started public policy programme in IIT Bombay. He has been a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley for two semesters in 2016-17. He and his students have worked on issues of water governance, water conflicts, uncertainty and climate change, technology/institutional choices in urban sanitation, rural drinking water governance/reforms, scaling up technology alternatives etc. He also has two ongoing field projects working with local governments on canal rejuvenation (see here) and flood mitigation planning. He has published four books and contributed to book chapters and journals.

Dr. Paul Robbins

Director Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he guides the institute in serving as a world leader in addressing rapid global environmental change. He is spearheading several new initiatives in educational innovation, including the establishment of a professional master's degree in Environmental Conservation. He also oversees a rapidly growing undergraduate environmental studies program.

Robbins is also strengthening the Nelson Institute's commitment to the Wisconsin Idea through the expansion of its innovative service-learning and internship programs, partnerships across campus and with outside agencies and organizations, and community programs and public events.

Robbins has years of experience as a researcher and educator, specializing in human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management. He has taught topic ranging from environmental studies and natural resource policy to social theory. His research addresses questions spanning conservation conflicts, urban ecology, and environment and health interactions. He has done extensive fieldwork in rural India, where he has focused his work on the politics surrounding forestry and wildlife conservation in Rajasthan, India, as well as recent research examining the wealth of biodiversity (frogs, birds and mammals) in commercial coffee and rubber plantations throughout south India.

Robbins has also led national studies of consumer chemical risk behaviors in America, including research on the abiding passion of Americans for their lawns and mosquito management policies in the Southwest. In addition, he has studied the complexities of elk management policy on the settled fringes of Yellowstone Park.

With writing focused on diverse interdisciplinary audiences and the broader public, he is author of the foundational textbook Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction and numerous research articles in publications that address conservation science, social science, and the humanities. His award-winning book Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are is widely recognized as one of the most accessible books on the environmental politics of daily life.

Robbins previously led the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, which he helped establish and served for two years as director. A UW-Madison alumnus with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, Paul Robbins also holds a master's degree and doctorate in geography, both from Clark University. He was raised in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Robin L Chazdon

Professor, University of Connecticut, USA

Robin Chazdon is professor emerita in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut, USA. Her long-term and on-going collaborative research focuses on successional pathways, forest dynamics, drivers of land-use change, and functional ecology of trees in Neotropical forests. Chazdon served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biotropica, as President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and as a member-at-large of the governing board of the Ecological Society of America. She is a member of the Board of Directors of EcoLogic Development Fund. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and Director of the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network PARTNERS (People and Reforestation in the Tropics), focused on understanding the social and ecological drivers of reforestation in the tropics. After 28 years as a university professor, Dr. Chazdon is moving into the science-policy arena in forest landscape restoration. She has taken on new positions as a Research Professor with the Tropical Forests and People Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast and as Senior Research Associate with the International Institute of Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She recently became a Senior Fellow with the World Resources Institute Global Restoration Initiative, where she is working to enhance decision support tools for landscape restoration and promote natural regeneration in restoration planning. She is an author of over 140 peer-reviewed scientific articles and co-editor of two books on tropical forests. Her sole-authored book “Second growth: The promise of tropical forest regeneration in an age of deforestation” was published in 2014. Her home base is now Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Ruth de Fries

Environmental Geographer Columbia Univesity, New York, USA

Ruth DeFries is a professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University in New York and co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School. She uses images from satellites and field surveys to examine how the world’s demands for food and other resources are changing land use throughout the tropics. Her research quantifies how these land use changes affect climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, as well as human development. She has also developed innovate education programs in sustainable development. DeFries was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s highest scientific honors, received a MacArthur “genius” award, and is the recipient of many other honors for her scientific research. In addition to over 100 scientific papers, she is committed to communicating the nuances and complexities of sustainable development to popular audiences through her books “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis and “What Would Nature Do?: A Guide for Our Uncertain Times”.

DeFries is committed to linking science with policy, for example through her involvement with the  Environmental Defense Fund, Science for Nature and People, World Wildlife Fund, and reconciling conservation and development in central India.

Dr. Sudhir Chella Rajan

Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences and Co-ordinator (Land-Use) Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai. India

Academic Background:

  • D.Env. Environmental Science and Engineering Program (cross-disciplinary doctorate), UCLA, 1994.
  • M.S. Meteorology, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 1985.
  • B.Tech. Aeronautical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 1983.

Research Interests:

  • Automobility
  • Climate policy
  • Grand corruption
  • Sustainable development

Professional Summary:

Sudhir Chella Rajan teaches at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. He was formerly Head of the Department (2011-2014) and was Coordinator of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (2010-2016) and Area Coordinator for Land-Use (2016-2020). He obtained an inter-disciplinary doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles and has worked in progressively senior positions in government, research consultancies, NGOs and academia. His interests are primarily at the interface of political theory and the environment; in particular, on the new challenges that enter politics within democratic societies in the face of composite social and environmental encounters.

Dr Rajan has worked on emergent policy dilemmas in automobile pollution regulation in California, the politics of power sector reform in developing countries, conflicts in relation to energy access and climate change policy, the patterns of social change needed in transport in the United States for fair climate policy, ethical approaches to addressing climate change and sea level rise, new interpretations of the resource curse in resource-rich developing countries, changes to the periurban landscape in South India and the shifting meanings of corruption in environmental and everyday discourse. His latest book is A Social History of Corruption: Notes from the Indian Subcontinent.

Research Interests:

In very broad terms, my intellectual concerns lie at the interface of the environment and political theory. What normative claims do problems such as pollution, climate change, and loss of biodiversity place on human societies, and how adequate or not are prevalent institutional arrangements to respond to them? What does it mean to describe these in emergent socio-technical formations influenced by power dynamics among other factors? How, for instance, does sovereign, territorial power identify legitimate and effective means of environmental governance, and what strategies does it use to navigate among competing concerns? I am also interested in examining situations, particularly in the context of planetary crises, where such state practices run into trouble at the edges of liberal democratic theory, and in exploring whether these boundary concerns in turn shift the terms of political discourse. What roles might, say, emerging practices of food sovereignty play in escaping contemporary settlement camps and other bypasses?

In the past, I have used liberal political philosophy as a lens to investigate the state’s commitment to sustaining automobility in Western democracies, in the face of severe local pollution concerns. I have explored how bodily dispositions such as automobility constitute globalized phenomena having cultural dimensions but are also associated politically with interlocking elite networks.

I do a fair amount of scenario-based analysis on transport, energy and climate change, primarily as a means to provide my conceptual interests a strong grounding in specific policy questions. In this regard, my team and I have built climate and energy scenarios for India, one of which have a strong normative focus on reducing carbon emissions while raising incomes and livelihoods for the bottom quintile. Other work of this nature includes developing sustainable transport policy both in Indian cities and in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where I have been working in collaboration with respective UNDP offices. Along with Sujatha Byravan, I have been working on sea level rise as a possible driver of political and ethical shifts in the discourse on climate change.

In terms of social and policy impact, my current research, in collaboration with a broader team making up the periurban initiative and PERI-CENE, is to address the many harms arising from bypasses in the hinterland. The pooled threats from industrialized agriculture, new enclosures of land, particularly in developing countries, and risks to local livelihoods from these social forces as well as climate change need to be considered in toto, not by analytically separating climate impacts from all other impacts. Our focus is on creating ‘living laboratories’ of climate resilience through documented trials in community gardening, natural farming and re-use and repair cultures.

Teaching Interests:

  • Corruption and Development
  • Democracy Theory and Practice
  • Foundations of Social and Political Thought
  • Indian Constitution: Text and Practice
  • Perspectives in Social Sciences
  • State and Development

Professional Experience:

  • 2007-present: Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras
  • 2000-2007: Senior Fellow, Tellus Institute, Boston, MA
  • 1999-2000: Consultant, UNDP, New York
  • 1995-1999: Director (Operations and Asia), International Energy Initiative, Bangalore, India
  • 1989-1994: Air Resources Engineering Associate, California Air Resources Board, El Monte, CA, USA
  • 1988: Air Quality Scientist, ENSR, Camarillo, CA

Dr. Tamara Ticktin

Professor, Department of Botany, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

Research Interests

  • Drivers of persistence or decline of plant populations; especially the interactive effects of wild plant harvest, fire, grazing, invasive species and climate change on plant population dynamics.
  • Local and indigenous resource management systems, especially non-timber forest product harvest and traditional agroforestry systems
  • Population ecology and conservation of Native Hawaiian dry and mesic forest plants
  • Population dynamics of epiphytic bromeliads and orchids
  • Drivers of resilience in social-ecological systems, including island land-sea linkages
  • Biocultural approaches to conservation and restoration

Research Statement

I am broadly interested in understanding the ways in which local use and management of tropical forests can be compatible with biological and biocultural conservation and restoration. Ninety percent of the world’s tropical forests lie outside of formally protected areas and most are used and valued by the people who live in and around them. My students and I employ a combination of ecological monitoring and field experiments, demographic modeling, and interviews with local resource users. Our focus in on biocultural and participatory approaches.

Dr. Upmanu Lall

Professor & Director, Alan & Carol Silberstein & Columbia Water Centre & Senior Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate & Society, Columbia University, New York, USA

Dr. Upmanu Lall is the Director of the Columbia Water Center and the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering. He has broad interests in hydrology, climate dynamics, water resource systems analysis, risk management and sustainability. He is motivated by challenging questions at the intersection of these fields, especially where they have relevance to societal outcomes or to the advancement of science towards innovative application.

His current research covers 3 major initiatives that are developed through the Columbia Water Center. The Global Water Sustainability Initiative addresses global water scarcity and risk. The Global Flood Initiative is motivated by the need to predict, mitigate and manage floods at a global scale recognizing their climate drivers, and supply chain impacts. America's Water seeks to develop sustainable water management and infrastructure design paradigms for the 21st century recognizing the linkages between urban functioning, food, water, energy and climate. These programmatic initiatives are backed by research on systems level modeling of hydrology, climate, agronomy and economics.

Dr. Lall has pioneered the application of techniques from (a) nonlinear dynamical systems, (b) nonparametric methods of function estimation and their application to spatio-temporal dynamical systems, (c) Hierarchical Bayesian models, (d) systems optimization and simulation and (e) the study of multi-scale climate variability and change as an integral component of hydrologic systems.

He has published in journals that focus on hydrology, water resources, climate, physics, applied mathematics and statistics, risk, economic development, policy and management science. He is the current editor-in-chief of the journal "Water Security".

He has been engaged in high level public and scientific discussion through the media, the World Economic Forum, and with governments, foundations, development banks, and corporations interested in sustainability. He has served on several national and international panels. He was one of the originators of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, and is a past President of the Natural Hazards Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union.

He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded the Henry Darcy Medal by the European Geosciences Union, and the Arid Lands Hydrology Award by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Dr. Vijay Raghavan

Principal Scientific Adviser Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, New Delhi

Dr. Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan is a distinguished professor and former director of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, and currently serves as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the The Government of India. His research interests are in the fields of developmental biology, genetics and neurogenetics, and on the important principles and mechanisms that control the nervous system and muscles during development and how these neuromuscular systems direct specific locomotor behaviours. In 2012, Dr. VijayRaghavan was elected a fellow of The Royal Society and was conferred upon the Padma Shri in 2013 by the Government of India.


Dr. VijayRaghavan graduated with a B.Tech degree in 1975 and a master's in 1977 in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. He completed his doctoral research from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1983 in the field of molecular biology. During his postdoctoral work from 1984 to 1985, he was a research fellow and then, from 1986 to 1988, a senior research fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

Prof. VijayRaghavan is a member of the board of governors of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, and a senior editor of the journal eLife. He also served as the secretary of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India. Dr. VijayRaghavan was conferred upon Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2003 by IIT Kanpur.

Achievements and Honors

  • Appointed as Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, 2018.
  • New species of gecko was named after him, Hemidactylus vijayraghavani, 2018.
  • Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, 2014.
  • Padma Shri by the President of India, 2013.
  • H K Firodia Award for his original contributions to the field of life sciences, particularly to developmental biology, genetics and neurogenetics, 2012.
  • Fellow, Royal Society, 2012.
  • Fellow, The World Academy of Sciences, 2010.
  • J.C.Bose Fellowship, 2006.
  • Recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2003 by IIT Kanpur.
  • Member, editorial board of Journal of Genetics, 2000.
  • Member, Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network, 2001.
  • Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, 1999.
  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, 1998.
  • Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1997.