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 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’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 is a PhD student in Columbia University’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program, in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B). His research interests are in carnivore movement ecology, specifically increasing knowledge of distribution and understanding of large carnivore movement in human-altered areas to inform conservation efforts. His current projects focus on tiger connectivity in central India and jaguar distribution and connectivity in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest. Jay is broadly interested in bringing wildlife science and conservation to the forefront of the public eye by inviting diverse audiences into conversations about balancing the well-being of nature and humans.
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 translates his interest in the regions where humans and wildlife actively share the landscape into research on the movement ecology of meso-carnivores in North America. His PhD research is on renewable energy landscapes, and specifically focuses on how solar energy infrastructure may influence the movement and habitat selection of bobcats through solar-dense regions of North Carolina.
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.
Anubhav’s research is geared towards achieving wildlife conservation goals in a human-dominated landscape, with an emphasis on integrating scientific research with on-ground implementation. His previous work with non-profit organizations in India explored the effective use of conservation technologies in addressing human-wildlife conflict. His doctoral research work will focus on human-wildlife interactions, landscape ecology and land-use change, and the intersection of policy, economics, and wildlife conservation.
Saransh is interested in forest conservation. His Master’s research will focus on the spread of the invasive plant Lantana in central India.
Shefang is interested in the intersection of cropland use change, food security, climate change, and water resource. Her previous work focused on analyzing the spatial dynamics of rice in past decades and the effect of climate change on the relocation of rice in Northeast China. As a visiting Ph.D. student, she is working towards integrating food supply, water consumption, and GHGs of cropland use and aims to find a feasible solution to sustainable agriculture in Northeast China.
Shivani’s research interest is to understand the patterns and processes behind landscape change from social, ecological, and political perspectives. She is also interested in understanding sustainable land use practices and its implications for land use governance. During her doctoral research, she studied the role of forest institutions in managing forests within and outside Protected Areas in the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra, India. Later as part of her postdoctoral research, she studied land use transitions in Nan Province, Thailand, a landscape dominated by swidden cultivation where deforestation has been a major concern following a rapid transition to permanent maize cultivation. So far, her research has demonstrated how information on spatial changes in pattern can be linked to social surveys to understand the underlying social drivers, thereby establishing a clearer understanding of the pattern process linkages. Here as a postdoctoral scholar, she will be evaluating nature-based solutions projects in the central Indian landscape. She aims to uncover critical social, ecological, and economic realities and practicalities of these initiatives.
Benjamin Clark received his PhD from the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology. He is now working on nature-based solutions for climate mitigation in India.