Current Lab Members


Pooja Choksi

Pooja is interested in landscape connectivity and human- wildlife interactions in central India. She previously worked on a community- based wildlife conservation model in and around the Pench Tiger Reserve. She aims to take her work in this region further through her doctoral research that she hopes may benefit local communities and wildlife.


Sarika Khanwilkar

Sarika is drawn to issues of social and ecological justice. She is interested in answering questions related to human livelihoods and the conservation of endangered species in places outside protected areas. In habitat corridors within the central Indian highlands landscape, her aim is to understand spatial dynamics of resource use by humans and wildlife.


Vijay Ramesh

Vijay’s research interests lie at the intersection of conservation biology, spatial ecology and landscape genetics. He started his career working on molecular phylogenetics of amphibians and proceeded to get a taste of what animal behavior entails. He fell in love with the field of spatial ecology during his Masters course in conservation biology and as a PhD student, he will be working towards integrating his expertise in genetics and spatial ecology to understand issues of habitat fragmentation and loss, functional connectivity and genetic diversity.

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Jay Schoen

Jay Schoen is interested in landscape connectivity in the rapidly-changing landscape of Paraguay.


Rupinder Bakhshi

Rupinder is interested in coupled socio-ecological systems inclusive of community-based forest management, human wildlife conflict and coexistence, and landscape ecology. She worked on diverse aspects of community engagement for conservaon at WWF-India for four years, and received a Fulbright fellowship to pursue a master’s degree at Duke University (2018-2020). Her doctoral research will likely explore intersecons between resource tenure, forest management, conflict and conservaon outcomes in central India.


Michael Levin

Michael’s interest in the regions where humans and wildlife actively share the landscape has translated into research on the movement ecology of carnivores in the American west. His PhD research will build along those lines and involve parallel explorations of landscape genetics to explore applied opportunities for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation. He is co-advised by Ruth DeFries and Deren Eaton.


Erich Eberhard

Erich is interested in using emerging technologies to better understand the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services in tropical landscapes, with the goal of informing land-use strategies that advance conservation and human wellbeing. To complement his research, he develops multimedia projects that explore environmental narratives and enable community participation in research and management. He is co-advised by Ruth DeFries and Shahid Naeem.