Rahul Muralidharan

PhD Candidate, ATREE
Email: rahul.muralidharan@atree.org

PhD research topic
Conservation on a contested coast: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and fisheries interactions in Tamil Nadu, India

Supervisor
Dr. Nitin Rai, Fellow, ATREE, Bangalore

Research interests
I am interested in the study of marine mammals and artisanal fisheries, especially the pragmatic issues associated with marine mammal-fisheries interactions. The issue of marine mammal-fisheries interactions overlap ecological and human processes as well as the social and political dimensions of conservation. Thus, I'm broadly interested in learning how biodiversity conservation is conceived and practiced.

For my PhD work, I focus on studying the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and artisanal fishing communities in Southern Tamil Nadu. My work draws on ecological studies of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, anthropology of artisanal fishing communities and political economy of conservation practice to explore how coastal environments become contested places due to the nexus of marine conservation and fisheries development efforts.

Education
B.Sc. in Microbiology (2006-2009)
M.Sc. in Marine Studies and Coastal Resource Management (2009-2011)
Institution: Madras Christian College

Peer reviewed publications
Muralidharan, R. (2013). Sightings and behavioral observations of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765) along Chennai coast, Bay of Bengal. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(15): 5002–5006; http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3454.5002-6

Book chapters
Sutaria D., Panicker D., Jog K., Sule M., Muralidharan R., Bopardikar I., (2015). Humpback Dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An Overview of Status and Conservation Issues. In: Thomas A. Jefferson and Barbara E. Curry, editors, Advances in Marine Biology, Vol. 72, Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 229-256.

Awards
Global Fellowships in Marine Conservation (2014) at Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, NC, USA

Grants awarded
Small grants in aid of research (2014), Society for Marine Mammology, USA | Project title: Assessing the presence and movements of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in the south-east coast of India

Mini-Grants in Marine Conservation (2016), Duke University Marine Lab, USA | Project title: Exploring data-collection methods for cetacean stranding in Chennai coast, Tamil Nadu, India

Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation (2016), The Rufford Foundation, UK | Project title: Conservation on a contested coast: Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and fisheries interactions in Tamil Nadu, India.