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.


Sohini Dudhat

I have been working as a Project Fellow in the CAMPA ‘Recovery of Dugongs and their habitat in India’ in Andaman and Nicobar Islands since October 2017. I completed Master’s in Marine Biology from Pondicherry University Department of Ocean Studies and Marine Biology (Port Blair) in 2017. My interests include studying fishes associated with seagrass meadows and understanding cryptic behavior of juvenile fishes.


Diksha Dikshit

Having been born and raised in a landlocked concrete jungle, seas were an alien realm to me till I registered for a Masters course in Marine Biology with the Pondicherry University, who run this course at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With a Bachelors degree in Zoology, from the University of Delhi, I readily made ocean my home and its dwellers my family. Currently, I work in the project, ‘CAMPA- Recovery of Dugongs and their Habitats in India’ and am posted in Gujarat to study the disturbances which are affecting the local dugong population. My major interests lie in conservation biology and behavioural ecology of marine megafauna.

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.


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


Himani Saini

I am from Himachal Pradesh. I did my Masters in Ecology and Environment Studies from Nalanda University in 2017.  My master’s Dissertation was on Hot springs which fascinated me more towards aquatic ecosystems. With the same interest, I have joined WII as a Project Assistant in CAMPA Dugong Recovery Programme. 


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.


Deven Mehta

I have completed Masters in Zoology, with Avian and Wildlife biology as my core subject from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. My research interests include Zoology, Avian and mammal ecology; Behavioral biology and conservation


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.


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
Previous Researchers
  • P.V.R. Prem Jothi, Research Fellow
  • Devanshi Kukadia, Research Fellow
  • Dr. Marimuthu Nithyanandam - Project Scientist