Team profile

Dr. K. Sivakumar, M. Phil., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Scientist - F
Phone: 0135-2646217
E-mail: ksivakumar [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in
Dr. J. A. Johnson
Scientist - E
Phone: 0135-2646285
Mobile: +91 9410992211

E-mail: jaj [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in

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Project Scientist

Anant Pande

I have been involved in research on multiple taxa ranging from Antarctic Krill, tigers to baleen whales across diverse landscapes within India and abroad since last 10 years. My doctoral work focuses on understanding nesting ecology and population genetics of pelagic seabirds in east Antarctica. My research interests include polar ecology; marine mammal & seabird ecology and conservation; and Marine Protected Area management.

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Project Fellow

Swapnali Gole   

I have been working as a Project Fellow in the CAMPA_Dugong project in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands since 2016. For my doctoral programme, I am studying the seagrass habitats in the Andaman Islands with special emphasis on the associated macro benthic assemblages. In the past, I have worked on marine macroinvertebrates from rocky, sandy and muddy shores and briefly worked on holothurians and sea turtles. I have majorly worked on the behavioral ecology of the symbiotic sea anemones with crustaceans and fishes.


Rukmini Shekhar

Intriguing are the seas forever to me. My passion and love for life underwater, a master’s degree in Marine Biology and an undying love for travel has led me to my current position as a project fellow at Wildlife Institute of India’s CAMPA- Dugong Recovery Project. Apart from the conventional degrees, I have a Diploma in Biology from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, where I worked in an Evolutionary Biology Lab for three consecutive summers. My research interests lie in studying Cetacean Evolution.

Sameeha Pathan

During my 11th grade, I saw a video of a giant humpback whale breaching, and I completely lost it. Ever since, marine mammals have never once failed to awe me. Getting a masters in Zoology, with Avian and Wildlife biology as my core subject, I thought I was going off-track from my way to become a marine biologist. Instead learning comparative physiology and anatomy across the animal kingdom and watching Dr. Joy Reidenberg’s amazing work, made me appreciate the similarities and contrasts between the terrestrial and the marine mammals i.e. lifestyle strategies; foraging techniques, the way they breath, move, sleep, the way they shape their ecosystem etc. Every organism has something unique to provide, and this project has given me an incredible opportunity to help conserve one of the most neglected and extremely important marine mammal and its habitat i.e. the sea-cows and seagrass meadows.

Sagar Rajpurkar

After completing Bachelor's Degree in Zoology from D. G. Ruparel College, Mumbai, I spent 2 years in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands pursuing Master’s in Marine Biology from Pondicherry University. After Masters, I went back to the islands for volunteering for a study on Cetaceans with researcher Mahi Mankeshwar.  Nature exploration has always fascinated me and to keep my interest alive as I involved myself with Marine Life of Mumbai collective, which is involved in citizen science and research on the marine creatures found on this urban jungle’s shoreline. My main areas of interest lie in marine behavioural ecology and marine mammal research.

K. Madhu Magesh

On completion of my master’s degree in Marine studies and Costal Resource Management, I worked as a Project fellow in a Project: “An Evaluation of Comparative study of biodiversity and conservation of three hotspots of Asia”, at Madras Christian College, Chennai. I’m an enthusiastic researcher with proven abilities in field and managerial skills, experienced in diverse yet inter-related fields with focus on conservation of marine environment. A SCUBA diver specialized in Underwater Photography and deep diving, and an efficient, self-motivated and dynamic field worker. I’m currently doing my PhD on the Molluscan Resources in Pulicat Lake.


Sohom Seal, UGC Fellow & Ph.D. Scholar

Hailing from a small town of Chandannagar in Bengal, my thirst for exploring nature started ever since my school days through the shady lanes and by-lanes of my hometown, by the meandering bank of river Hooghly. Such aspirations led me to complete my bachelor's in science with Zoology (Hons.) from the University of Calcutta, following that up with a master's in Forestry from Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun. The serene and biodiversity-rich campus of FRI triggered my interest to explore the butterfly diversity, fluttering in contrasting numbers and forms through different seasons. Also, during the course curriculum, I was fascinated by the GIS and Remote Sensing technology used in ecological studies. Completing my post-graduation, I continued to work on the butterfly assemblages to map their diversity in the form of an atlas in different forest types of Uttarakhand.

I am associated with the CAMPA-Dugong team since April 2019 and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of Forest Geo-informatics as a UGC Fellow. My research talks about mapping and modeling of seagrass meadows with particular reference to critical dugong habitats in India. My hobbies lie in the art of photography and am also a self-taught illustrator (

Contact: +91-9411589902 / +91-8981490390


Sharad Bayyana

I have been involved in understanding the tropical coastal ecosystems and biodiversity over last 3 years. At WII, I am engaged as GIS personnel, looking at the dugong distribution and occupancy patterns along the Indian coast line. Seagrass mapping and characterization is another aspect I am looking at, to delineate dugong feeding grounds, using geospatial tools.

Prior to this, I had the opportunity to work in the Lakshadweep, where I was working on the biodiversity of nudibranchs and polyclads using molecular techniques.
My research interests include the tropical marine ecosystems of the euphotic zone and the application of remote sensing and imaging techniques in understanding their physiological processes.

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Shivani Shashikant Patel

Tiny droplets add up to form an Ocean", so would I consider every effort of mine in the direction of research and conservation of Marine Ecosystem.   

I was born and raised in Vadodara, Gujarat. I have done my B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda with the specialisation in fisheries and aquaculture. In my Dissertation in M.Sc., I have worked in the findings of an antioxidant property of bioactive compound ‘Toluquinol’, that been normally extracted from the marine fungus such as species of aspergillus and penicillin that helped me in learning all lab techniques. I started working with the Wildlife Institute of India’s Dugong and Seagrass recovery project at Gujarat after getting master’s degree in 2017. The project helped me to increase my knowledge about seagrass ecosystem and marine mammals of India. The picturesque beauty of the seascapes and the potential of research in marine mammals has increased my interest to do photography and documentation to draw more attention of people towards the conservation of diversified marine life. In 2020, I fulfilled my passion of diving and got PADI Advanced Open Water diving licence. This field of marine biology offers too much for a person to study in a lifetime. My future interest is to document and showcase the important issues surrounding Marine ecosystem conservation.


Chinmaya Ghanekar  

I was always interested in Natural world and with the same interest I have done my masters in Biodiversity from Pune University. Having a special interest in Marine ecosystems, I am currently pursuing PhD in "Ecology of Seagrass associated fish and conservation perspectives on Seagrass ecosystems in Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu" in CAMPA Dugong Recovery Programme.


Project Assistants


Sumit Prajapati

After completing my graduation in Zoology and Chemistry. Later, I joined Master’s Course in Environmental Science from Mumbai University where I have done my dissertation study on "Shark and Ray fishery at Mumbai coast". I also worked as an Intern on a Research project titled "Ecological impact of garbage dumps on terrestrial vertebrates" and volunteered in numerous birds counts in Mumbai.

I am very interested in pursuing my career in the field of 'Wildlife Conservation' and study the behaviour of large marine animals.


Prachi S. Hatkar

Being wildlife enthusiast, I pursued my graduation and Post-graduate degree in zoology from Mumbai University with specialization in Oceanography and fishery science. After completion of studies, I got opportunity as researcher in CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography. I was fortunate to have experience in Marine ecology, Intertidal survey, Ecological survey of coral reef, Mangrove assessment and marine monitoring projects like Environment Impact assessments. Marine life had always captured my heart and mind. I grabbed second opportunity at marine science project in Wildlife Institute of India as I have lifelong interest in marine biodiversity conservation. Previously, I kept passionately pursued conservation for sea turtles conservation in my coastal state, Maharashtra. I was honored to accredited by National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) for Functional and Biodiversity expert (FAE) for Ecology and Biodiversity for ‘Category B’ EIAs in Terracon Ecotech Pvt. Ltd. I have ventured into sea life by joined for recovery of charismatic marine mammal (king of the sea)- Dugong to make difference in marine life conservation. My current research interests include understanding ecology of endangered species, diversity assessment of marine life, connecting the conserving ecosystem benefits along with livelihood. In my spare time, I sketch and make cross-stich designs. Due to inclination towards nature, I love to capture wildlife through my photography. I wish to perform my own research which can contribute to the knowledge of the field.


Srabani Bose

My interest and gratitude for nature led me to do my masters in Wildlife and biodiversity conservation from North Orissa University and my dissertation was on Prevailing Human Elephant Conflict. After I completed masters in 2018, I joined a local NGO where I was working on mitigation on HEC for couple of months. Then I joined Wildlife Institute of India in November 2018 as Intern in the CAMPA Dugong project where my interest on study of Aquatic habitat got a boost. Now I am working as Project assistant in CAMPA Dugong Project. My field of interest lies on ecological study of Aquatic Habitat, mammals and herpetofauna


Vabesh Tripura

After completing a year in the wildlife institute of India working as a graphic designer for the CAMPA- dugong recovery program. I've learned so much about the human and their relations with the wildlife and developed quite an interest to work for wildlife animals both terrestrial and marine species which opened a new chapter in my career where I can contribute as much as I could for the wildlife even though without having any background in the wildlife field. I had no professional training in fine arts or graphic designing but I was confident in my ability to create expressive and interesting pieces that matched the needs for this CAMPA-dugong project.

As i have completed my masters in Disaster Management from Pondicherry University in June 2017. With that, I have gained practical experience through internships at the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and under a private organization Pragya(NGO). Gaining the experience from working in both private and government sectors and learning how social surveys and awareness programs were carried out has perfectly shaped me to do well in social aspects to spread awareness about the endangered species and human and wildlife conflict etc.

Now that i am promoted in the CAMPA- Dugong project as a project assistant(outreach & awareness) I'm confident in this field to do even better work than before and to contribute even more for the sustainability and betterment for the wildlife of India.


Gem Christian

Growing up caring for the numerous different pets, plants and rescued animals in my garden regardless of their species, from jungle fowls and Indian peacocks to Star tortoises, I learnt to love and nurture nature from a very young age. This interests was soon followed by a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Zoology. After Master's I got a an opportunity to work on Coral Reef restoration using Electricity in Gulf of Kutch. My current Research interests are marine mammals specially dugongs their habitats and associated fauna.

Project Volunteers/Field Assistants/Interns
  • Aditya Salvi
  • Akshya Shinde
  • Andrew
  • Bikramaditya Sahoo
  • Herlin Rosmi
  • Madhesh
  • Prasad Gaidhani
  • Rajesh
  • Shivani Patel
  • Mouli Bose
  • Sneha Mane
  • Tarun Das
  • Thangapandi
  • Unnati G.
  • Sweta Balasubramanian Iyer
  • Srabani Bose
  • Rashmi Semwal
  • Ankit Pacha
  • Pradhyuman Sindha
  • Esha Gokhale
  • Harini V.
  • Astha Walia
  • Sonalika Mamgain
  • Adithya Pillai
  • Ashish Gokhale
  • Ankita Anand
  • Bhargav Bhadreshvara
  • Chitrangee Bose
  • Sonal Yadav
  • Kanak Prajapati
  • Satyam Gupta
  • Sandhya Chak
  • Elis Parmar
  • Ronak Maradiya
  • Maksud Chhatra
  • Fatema Hirkani
  • Rajat Joshi
  • Karnik Bose
  • Riddhi Makwana
  • Jyotil Dave 
  • Dheer Bhatt
  • Prakash Doriya
  • Akram Bhaya
  • Hamid Kadar
Previous Researchers
  • Diksha Dikshit, Project Fellow

  • Deven Mehta, Project Assistant

  • P.V.R. Prem Jothi, Research Fellow

  • Devanshi Kukadia, Research Fellow

  • Dr. Marimuthu Nithyanandam - Project Scientist

  • Himani Sain, Project Assistants

  • Sohini Dudhat, Project Fellow