PhD Programme in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies

The ATREE doctoral programme in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies is designed to impart training to research scholars, to develop and use integrated approaches in sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. The programme promotes interdisciplinary research and frameworks to integrate tools and approaches from the disciplines of ecology, economics, sociology, and climate science.

ATREE is a recognised centre of the doctoral programme of Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE)—the institution that awards the PhD degree. 

In accordance with the requirements of ATREE and MAHE, students seeking admission should have:

  • a background in natural or social sciences
  • exhibit academic excellence

Typically ATREE accepts new PhD students in odd-numbered years and provides research contingencies and stipend support. In addition students who have (i) qualified for a Junior Research Fellowship under the UGC or the CSIR schemes or (ii) are working on a research project at ATREE can enroll in the doctoral programme. Students are encouraged to check the ‘Research’ tab of the ATREE Jobs webpage to check for project-funded PhD opportunities at ATREE.  

Students admitted to the programme will work under the personal mentorship of an ATREE faculty member and will also be guided by a doctoral committee of 3-5 members. The committee will consist of ATREE faculty members and external scientists and will include representation of expertise from different disciplines

Doctoral training begins with rigorous coursework that is expected to take a year to complete. This will include a set of mandatory courses and a choice of electives. We have designed foundation courses in the natural and social sciences to introduce students to main concepts in both these disciplines, since students will have a background in one of these. 

  • Foundations in Natural Sciences - Ecology
  • Foundations in Natural Sciences - Environmental Science 
  • Foundations in Social Sciences - Economics
  • Foundations in Social  Sciences - Sociology

The foundational coursework in the natural sciences covers ecological concepts, ecosystem processes and species interactions, environmental processes and challenges, sustainability science and biodiversity conservation. The foundational coursework in the social sciences covers the basic principles of economics and sociology and focuses on classical and contemporary economic and sociological theory, and expanding into ecological economics and environmental sociology. 

The foundational coursework is supplemented by a novel course that introduces and encourages students to inculcate an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to address the persistent challenges of biodiversity decline, climate change, land degradation and natural resource governance. Beginning with a multidisciplinary approach, this novel course moves on to discussing integrated approaches that draws upon theoretical ideas and comparative analyses of case studies from across the world. Mandatory coursework concludes with the tools of conducting research in the natural and social sciences and the ethics and practice of disseminating science, through a series of research methods courses.

  • Practising Interdisciplinary Research on the Environment
  • Research Design and Methods ‐ Social Sciences
  • Research Design and Methods ‐ Natural Sciences
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Scientific Writing
  • Research and Publication Ethics
Anirban Datta Roy's picture

Anirban Datta Roy

Batch: 2009
Date of award: 14 Jun 2019
Current Affiliation:
Senior Programme Manager, Foundation for Ecological Security
Aniruddha Marathe's picture

Aniruddha Marathe

Batch: 2009
Date of award: 27 Jul 2018
Current Affiliation:
Post Doctoral Researcher, Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
Arundhati Das's picture

Arundhati Das

Batch: 2008
Date of award: 28 Oct 2015
Current Affiliation:
Post-doc at NCBS
Barkha Subba's picture

Barkha Subba

Batch: 2009
Date of award: 23 Jul 2018
Current Affiliation:
Senior Research Associate, ATREE
Bharath Sundaram's picture

Bharath Sundaram

Batch: 2006
Date of award: 20 Jun 2011
Current Affiliation:
Additional Professor, Environmental Studies, Krea University
Chandrima Home's picture

Chandrima Home

Batch: 2009
Date of award: 18 Jul 2018
Current Affiliation:
Grants Adviser, DBT Wellcome Trust India Alliance
Chetana H.C's picture

Chetana H.C

Batch: 2008
Date of award: 08 Mar 2013
Current Affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Conservation Science, TDU
Dhritiman Das's picture

Dhritiman Das

Batch: 2008
Date of award: 07 Sep 2018
Current Affiliation:
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust