I am an ecologist interested in the applications of quantitative techniques to community based natural resources management and ecosystem services and processes. I have led a number of projects in this area over past fifteen years and have a PhD on GIS and remote sensing based tools and models for water resources management. I regularly teach GIS, remote sensing and spatial analysis to researchers in ecology and NRM and have worked extensively with communities and NGOs across India, and recently in North East Africa, on adapting these tools for local decision support for NRM and disaster risk reduction. Some of these courses are available online on the FERAL Moodle site and most of my publications are downloadable from the publications section of this page.
I am a founding trustee of the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning and head its NRM programme.
2005 -- 2012 PhD. (Ecology). Pondicherry University, Pondicherry India. Thesis topic: Landscape Ecology and Watershed Modelling. 1992 -- 1994 Master of Science ,Ecology. Pondicherry University, Pondicherry India. Thesis topic: Agro-ecosystems. 1988 -- 1991 Bachelor of Science. Panjab University Chandigarh India.
2012 -- present, Research Associate, FERAL Pondicherry. Coordinate various action research projects and conduct workshops on applications of GIS/RS in conservation and NRM. Current projects deal with ecosystem services, sustainable fisheries and fisheries livelihoods and training on GIS/RS applications for conservation and ecological research.2003 -- 2012 Senior Research Fellow, FERAL Pondicherry. 2000 -- 2003 Project Coordinator, Auromitra Foundation Auroville Tamil Nadu. Coordinated projects on participatory irrigation management, tank rehabilitation and community based natural resources management. 1996 -- 2000 Principal Investigator, Centre for Ecology and Rural Development Pondicherry. Coordinated projects dealing with integrated pest management and farmer field experiments for promoting appropriate agriculture. 1991 -- 1992 Field Assistant, Indian Institute of Public Administration New Delhi. Worked on human-nature conflicts in four National Parks in North India.
Professional InterestsEcosystem services and natural resources management
Quantification and monitoring of ecosystem services, particularly hydrological services and processes and their management are the core of my professional interests. My work in the Upper Nilgiris district in the Western Ghats is related to this. The role of social and political institutions and issues of equity and representation of women and weaker sections in NRM are another key area where I am presently working with marine artisanal fishers along the east cost of India.
I conduct workshops and seminars on the applications of spatial tools for natural resources management and conservation. These include formal courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as short 5 day workshops attended by a mix of conservation professsionals and researchers pursuing masters and PhD programmes. Most of these programmes have been located in institutions in south India and have been supported by educational institutes and conservation and research agencies. I have prepared a number of manuals on-line courses to facilitate this work, some of which are available at the FERAL website and its online Moodle site.
GIS, remote sensing and other software
I am proficient in the use of GIS and remote sensing tools, spatial analysis and models in watershed management. I prefer to use free and open source software and train in, and advocate the use of FOSS particularly for science, education and development organisations. I am an advanced user of GRASS, Q-GIS, the R package for statistical computing and LaTeX with the LyX front-end. I also use commercial software such as ArcView/ArcGIS, IDRISI, FRAGSTATS and SWAT for my work on a less regular basis. I am well versed in office software (Open/LibreOffice, Microsoft Office) and regularly use relational databases (PostgreSQL/postGIS, sqlite/spatialite)