M.Sc. Students (XVI Batch 2017 - 2019)


Aaranya Gayathri
B.Tech. in Food Process Engineering (Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University)

My inclination towards wildlife conservation began while working at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (Chennai), post my graduation, and ever since then ‘herps’ have been a major part of my quest. Pursuing this interest, I have had the opportunity to learn some more in this domain through an internship with the Evolving Phylo-Lab, Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru) and a project with the Turtle Conservation Project in Rekawa (Sri Lanka). Later, my involvement in human-wildlife conflict based research studies with A Rocha India, an environmental NGO (Bengaluru), further contributed to my interests in reptiles and human-reptile interactions. I hope to supplement the existing knowledge available on the population status of reptiles, and comprehend, quantify and address threats, including the illegal pet trade and road kills. Though reptiles have adapted to live in a wide range of habitat type with varying levels of human domination, whether this adaptation is actually successful for the species or not is something that I am inquisitive about. I practice carnatic music and while away some free time with oil paints.


Abhishek B.
B.E. in Biotechnology (Visvesvaraya Technological University)

I was born and brought up in Bangalore. Being much obsessed with nature I started to learn the concept of eco-system from childhood. Subsequently, introduction to biology as a subject and exposure to medias like National Geographic, BBC earth my exploring senses were triggered. People like Bear Grylls and David Attenborough gave more thrust to my idea of understanding the nature. I did my BE project on purification of Bellandur lake, one of large and highly polluted lakes in Bangalore using biological waste materials. This also gave an opportunity to study the biodiversity dependent on water system. In future, I want to contribute my engineering knowledge in conservation of biodiversity. I joined WII to learn the concepts of biodiversity, ecosystem and its conservation in depth, and have better clarity to achieve my goals of working in biodiversity conservation. My hobbies are playing volleyball, gaming, Short movie, HAM, videography and editing.


Abir Jain
B.Sc. in Zoology (Mumbai University)

I find utmost joy in nature; more than I do anywhere else. The beauty, diversity, and remarkable complexity in even the tiniest of living organisms never fail to leave me awestruck. I consider the process of documenting as a vital tool for science communication and conservation and started working on filming micro fauna and life-cycles of butterflies. I have participated in numerous wildlife photography competitions, bird counts, clean-up campaigns and nature awareness programmes and other community-based conservation activities of conducting exhibitions, plantation drives and nature trails for students and animal rescuing. I have also worked as an Editorial Assistant in a compilation called, ‘A Pocket Guide to Butterflies of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park’ (2014). Learning more about ecological interactions, evolution, herpetology, entomology, conservation biology, documentary filmmaking and conservation photography excites me the most. My recent internship in Kanha National Park with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun was a part of an on-going study on invasive species of plants, and how they bring about changes in the community structures of insects and native plants species across a gradient of invasion.

I developed my fondness for sketching, and am highly appreciative of all art forms, poetry, and classical music.


Bhavya Iyer
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Zoology (University of Delhi)

Despite a city upbringing, I have had a keen interest in wildlife from a young age. However, until 2 years ago I was a ‘city-slicker’ who could not even distinguish between a kite and an eagle! My introduction to wildlife research was when I volunteered with the Wildlife Institute of India in the All India Tiger Monitoring Project for one month during college. This experience helped cement my decision to pursue wildlife research and conservation as a career. Soon after graduation, I joined WII again as an intern in a project studying the effects of helicopter noise on wildlife in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary. Being part of the project from its inception to the final report writing was an immensely rewarding experience, and observing the Himalayan wildlife under clear blue skies was a novelty! Subsequently, I joined the NMSHE project as a Project Assistant in July 2016, where I worked in Gangotri and Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, and also in Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh, for one year, until I joined the MSc Wildlife Science course at WII. I am interested in the different facets of ecology and natural history, and aim to learn more about them during this course. My hobbies include reading, listening to music, photography, birding, baking, and occasionally knitting badly.


Brihadeesh S
B.Sc. in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology (University of Madras) 

Born in Kochi, Kerala, I have lived in Chennai and Rishi Valley. I developed an interest in birds at a young age from many interactions with naturalists and numerous visits to protected areas. I did my bachelor's from Vivekananda College in Chennai. I have volunteered with SSTCN (sea turtle conservation) in Chennai, and later worked on the effects of Lantana camara on the dispersal and frugivory of native fruiting shrubs with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), and did a brief internship in the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) Hyderabad. These experiences led me to establishing a firm interest in not just birds but plants, herpetofauna and their conservation. My interests range from natural history, biogeography and evolution focusing on birds and herpetofauna and landscape conservation. Having lived in Rishi Valley all my life, I would like to work in the Eastern Ghats to protect the wildlife in this landscape. I actively write a blog on issues that need attention and about my experiences as an amateur naturalist. I also am an amateur photographer and do pencil and pen sketches.


Doli Borah
BSc. in Zoology,
(Pragjyotish College, Gauhati University)

I come from North Lakhimpur District of upper Assam and have been passionate about wildlife and nature from my childhood. My interest inclined towards wildlife when I started visiting “Satajan”, a small wetland in my hometown. The rich diversity of birds in the wetland caught my interest and I have done a small project to find out the diversity of avifauna and plant species in the wetland. Despite being a place of rich biodiversity and natural beauty the habitat of the wetland is degrading day by day due to lack of proper management and conservation strategy. That is why I want to learn the science of conservation and make myself a capable person to conserve such threatened paradises of nature. I have worked as an intern with Nishant Kumar on the ecology of Black Kites in Delhi. I also did two months internship in a project under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) at WII, entitled “Human-wildlife conflict resolution mechanism in the Indian Himalayan Region. I carried out my BSc. dissertation project on the conservation of urban biodiversity, entitled "Urban Green Spaces: A measure of conserving biodiversity in urban landscapes”. My hobbies include Bird Watching, Trekking, Travelling, Reading Books, Watching documentaries and I also have very keen interest towards Wildlife photography.


Himanshu Lad
B. Sc. in Zoology (MES Garware College, University of Pune)

I come from Pune, Maharashtra. Since childhood I have been moving through different states of India due to my father's service in the army and have lived in Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra. I was interested in observing nature, admiring it's beauty since childhood.  Which later took me into pursuing my graduation in Zoology from Garware college where I understood the various aspects of ecology, relationships of different species their importance, evolution etc. I used to spend a lot of time in the wild during my occasional visits to my hometown near Kankavali, Sindhudurg.  My passion towards understanding nature is what lead me to WII. I am interested in studying ophiology and learning population ecology. I believe patience and knowledge goes hand in hand while studying wildlife. It's a gradual process and you have to keep on learning about natural history and the current scenarios of anthropogenic effects till the time possible. My hobbies include sketching, bird watching and travelling. Other interests include watching documentaries, playing cricket.


Indira S
B.Sc. in Zoology (Kongunadu Arts and Science College, Bharathiar University)

I am Indira Srinivasan and hail from The Nilgiri district which is a part of Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu. I was inspired by my mother who showed unconditional love to all the living things in the world, especially for the birds that flock around her for the kitchen remains. Being a part of nature I loved to make friends with all the species around me and was always fascinated by their mutual co-existence. It was Kongunadu College, Coimbatore where I did my UG in Zoology, which brought out my innate passion for wildlife that made me to sacrifice my hard fought M.Sc. seat at Loyola College for having been selected at WII. Bird watching became a daily routine of my life. Birds have also taught me some basic lessons of life such as balance and how to be in tune with nature. To the nature that loves me so much, the return I give is very little from my part. I monitor birds around me every day and upload in ebird which is an International bird monitoring tool.My hobbies include reading fiction, cooking and doodling.


Kushagra Meshram
B.Sc. in Forestry (Dolphin Institute, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University

I hail from Raipur, Chhattisgarh. My first rendezvous with wildlife took place when my father took me to Kanha NP when I was 7. Enamoured by the majestic tiger and the tranquillising ambience, I couldn’t think of being anywhere but in wilderness. In this pursuit, I completed my graduation in Forestry, and my passion for wildlife brought me to WII. I have documented birds in Pilibhit tiger reserve and have done attachments with Chhattisgarh Forest Department learning about the impact of Non-Wood Forest Produce in tribal economy. I am member of Dehradun-based wildlife group “VISION” that conducts birding trips and awareness campaigns in schools. Our efforts with Jhajra administration helped in lowering the number of deaths of Eurasian Griffon Vultures by electrocution. I look forward to work for the conservation of endangered species and find solutions for human-animal conflicts with effective policy making and implementation. I am a back-packer and I love exploring different places and learning about their geography, wildlife, people and language. Apart from the aforementioned my life revolves around cups of coffee, camera, food and birds. If not doing any of the above, I find myself reading books and learning about different schools of thought in philosophy.


Laxmi Langlang
B.Sc. in Forestry (College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University)

I belong to the land of rising sun and dawn-lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh. Living along the fringes of Pakke Tiger Reserve, I grew up with a deep love and appreciation for nature and wildlife. Watching documentaries in Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet piqued my interest in wildlife. Once I got the opportunity to care for a leopard cub that made me enthusiastic about big cats, tigers in particular. I have seen great transformation in people’s perspectives towards conservation in my village because of conservation work and awareness activities by various conservationists. This has motivated me to follow their footsteps and pursue my dream of becoming a conservationist. I have actively participated in several awareness campaigns targeted towards tribal communities for the conservation of hornbills and tigers in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve. I aim to become more proficient in the management and conservation of forests. My background in Forestry has made me extremely fascinated about all that concerns flora and fauna. My hobbies are cooking, watching anime, music and trying local cuisine.


Mohit Mudliar
B.Sc. in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology (Loyola College, Chennai)

I am from Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. From childhood itself I got addicted to the wildlife documentaries and shows in Animal Planet and Discovery. My interest grew with age and most of my play time was spent catching dragonflies, butterflies, frogs, lizards and later rescuing snakes. I got to learn more about the natural world from friends volunteering in different fields. During my graduation I started volunteering with Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and most of my weekends were spent helping the staff for education and maintenance purpose where I fell in love with reptiles. Many of my nights from January to March were spent walking along the beaches of Chennai, collecting and relocating eggs of Olive ridley turtles. During my volunteering at Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, I got to experience the rich diversity of Western Ghats. I volunteered with Center for Wildlife Studies and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation for large herbivore survey and national synchronised elephant population estimate respectively. I am interested in herpetology, elephant ecology and human-animal conflict and I am open to exploring other aspects of conservation biology. Trekking, photography, bird watching and travelling are a few among many of my hobbies.

Nisam Mang Luxom
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Zoology (Hansraj College, Delhi University)

Hailing from the sleepy town of Kalimpong, known for its rich forests and bustling fauna, I have always had a deep fondness for nature and all things that comprise it. Visits to sanctuaries and national parks only reinforced my curiosity and interest in wildlife that had been instilled in me at a young age. While further pursuing my interest, I worked under different projects at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, where I was able to observe and compare the behavior of captive species and their wild counterparts as well as gain knowledge about several breeding programmes. This volunteering stint instigated my fascination towards the integration of genetic methods in conservation and management practices. I hope to become a valuable contributor to the field of wildlife forensics and conservation genetics by gaining a better understanding about the subjects. With the knowledge base acquired through the completion of my Zoology degree, I am eager to gain even more experience and work towards becoming a competent wildlife biologist in the future. Being an outdoor enthusiast, I enjoy going on treks and exploring new terrain during my free time. My other interests include music, comics and graphic design.


Pratik Das
B.Sc. in Zoology (Guru Charan College, Assam University)

I was born and brought up in the peaceful town of Silchar, Southern Assam. Before joining WII, I completed one year of M.Sc. in Life Sciences in Assam University’s huge biodiversity rich campus located on the outskirts of Silchar. Being an admirer of Science and worshiper of Life every aspect of Biology intrigues me, starting from the molecular mechanisms inside a cell to functioning of the biosphere, though a slight biasing towards Live Nature study exists. My upbringing and childhood heroes viz. Jeff Corwin and Steve Irwin, resulted in this attachment to ‘multi-faceted forms of life’ and its wonders. I have worked on the concept of ‘Bio indicator species’ to designate pollution levels of 5 distinct sites in Silchar (under different type and varying degree of ecological stress) on a relative basis. My primary mission in WII is to learn and develop scientific Wildlife-conservation solutions and sustainable development measures. I am also looking forward to work with non-human primates; decipher its cognitive ability and social communication especially focusing on pheromones. Apart from trekking & exploring new places my other hobbies include martial arts, food experimentation, watching movies, & dog-training.


Sakshi Nulkar
B.Sc. in Microbiology (MES Garware College, University of Pune)

I was bewitched by the great outdoors at the age of 9, when I saw my first tiger in the wild. Ever since then, I've been visiting many wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and gone on various treks in the Sahyadris near my hometown in Pune (Maharashtra) as well as in the Himalayas. Also, watching channels like National Geographic, Discovery and Animal Planet without a doubt increased my attraction towards the wilderness. I did my B.Sc in Microbiology from Garware College, Pune, and was doing M.Sc part 1 Environmental Sciences, Fergusson College,  till I got the opportunity to join WII. I am interested in landscape ecology, land-use patterns and interactions of humans and wildlife, and community conserved areas. I have previously volunteered with some local NGOs in Pune and Mumbai, working on human-elephant conflict mitigation in Karnataka with Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, and conflict awareness programmes in Kanha and Bandhavgarh NPs with Last Wilderness Foundation. I have also volunteered for a project which studied the ecology of leopards in Tungareshwar WLS. My hobbies are trekking, painting, cooking, exploring places and cuisines; and reading a good book with a cup of coffee. 


Sayanti Basak
B.Sc. in Zoology (B. Borooah College, Gauhati University)

With a slate and a small metal box in hand, admiring the lush greenery with colorful butterflies, birds and lizards along the way, I used to arrive at my kindergarten school. The gleeful canvas of Nature inspired me since childhood. I was born and brought up in Guwahati, which harbors a mosaic of habitats ranging from bustling city to serene hills and the magnificent Brahmaputra that runs through it. My passion grew as I read and learnt more about Nature. I did my graduation in Zoology from B.Borooah College, Gauhati University. I have been engaged in activities such as bird watching and participating in community awareness programs with local NGOs. I also did morphometric studies on a few herpetofaunal species. After completing my graduation, I got an opportunity to volunteer for the Northeast Sambar project in Wildlife Institute of India during which I performed non-invasive biological sampling in Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, Meghalaya; also, I learnt the basic techniques used in conservation genetics including DNA extraction and sequencing. My interests lie in herpetology, entomology, conservation genetics and man-animal interactions. Apart from academics, my hobbies include painting, reading, cooking and travelling to less-trodden places.


R. Siva
B.Sc. in Forestry (Tamil Nadu Agricultural University)

I am from Keeranur, Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. I was fascinated by birds, animals and nature since my childhood, and visited all the National Parks and Tiger Reserves of Tamil Nadu. During my B.Sc. in Forest College and Research Institute, I had great exposure to wildlife. My team has bagged the best birding team shield in our campus. I have documented faunal diversity of our college campus. I was further engaged with Forest department and trained in various forest activities of Anamalai Tiger Reserve and undergone my wildlife stay program in KMTR. I was also actively involved in snake rescue, wildlife and bird census and awareness activities, and did my dissertation in avian diversity of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve. I am also a member of WCCB. Currently I am very much interested in studying large mammals and I would like to get exposure in the fields of endangered species management, wildlife management, animal ecology and conservation biology. My hobbies are wildlife photography, bird watching and trekking.


Subhashini K.
B.Sc. in Advanced Zoology and Bio-technology (Bharathiyar University)

I grew up with domestic flora and fauna around me, always more comfortable outdoors, with a budding fascination for the myriad ways of nature. Thus began my pursuit of its whats and whys and hows, a journey that intrigues me to date. I am a native of Chennai but spent my major growing years in Coimbatore bordered by the majestic Western Ghats. As an undergraduate student at PSGR Krishnammal College, I got an opportunity to intern at Nature Conservation Foundation where not only did I learn research methodology and insights on Indian conservation issues, the fieldwork placed me in a scenario where I longed to be. Subsequently,  I volunteered at SACON, learning more about bird watching and bird sound recording and also volunteered as a Science teacher at a local tribal school; an experience that had me wake up to the peaceful coexistence of elephants, Malabar hornbills, and a classroom full of students. I am interested in primatology and conservation of primates. An avid dancer and a gardener, I also love to travel and conflate in bucolic regions.  I always look forward to learn life through the bounty of nature, and empower myself to contribute to the protection of our rich biodiversity.


Sumashini P S
B.Tech. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (National Institute of Technology, Surathkal)

I am from Bangalore and grew up in Rail Wheel Factory Quarters, a beautiful place, with tall trees, flower gardens and space to play. Engineering brought me to Mangalore and gave me ample chances for exploration in and around the Western Ghats. I developed a keen interest in life sciences in the third year and took up a course on bioinformatics and  project in bio-medical electronics. Following my graduation, I worked with Citibank for a year and used my spare time to read up and watch documentaries.  I went from being an unassuming nature lover to someone with lot of curiosity about the myriad ways of life and the processes that bring about such diversity. I worked in GKVK, Bangalore, where I assisted a PhD student with his work on the impact of urbanization on pollination. I was delighted when WII opened up their MSc course to Engineers and it still feels surreal to be here! With a broad interest in Evolution, I hope to be a naturalist, an ecologist and an evolutionary biologist, in this order, while compulsively thinking about bio-engineering/design. I enjoy reading, singing and playing volleyball.


Sutirtha Lahiri
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Zoology (Hansraj College, Delhi University)

I’ve been interested in wildlife ever since I began birding and exploring the various wildernesses that surround the city of Guwahati, Assam. I have been travelling ever since, always in pursuit of birds. In the summer of 2015, I worked with Nature Conservation Foundation in their hornbill research and conservation project, where, apart from seeing hornbills from enviably close quarters, I also had the chance to work with the local Nyishi People. In 2016, I joined Rohit Chakravarty, an NCBS graduate, in his Bat research project in Uttarakhand, where we caught bats by the night and birded in the daytime. In Delhi, I have been associated with WWF-India, leading birding trails for school students and corporate employees. I am also involved with WildRoots, a Guwahati Based organization working towards biodiversity surveys and conservation education. I love to write and photograph and some of my stories have made it to magazines like Creature Companion, Sanctuary Asia and National Geographic Traveller India. When I am not birding, I am usually seen with a cup of tea, ready to discuss travel, music, movies and (sometimes) the trivialities of life. 


Varun Kher
B.Sc. in Zoology (Fergusson College, Pune University)

I am from Pune, Maharashtra. My curiosity towards nature was sparked by the documentaries of David Attenborough and the intriguing writing of Kenneth Anderson and Jim Corbett. A visit to Kali Tiger Reserve in 2012 structured the curiosity into an academic fascination. I was subsequently associated with a local NGO ‘Insearch Outdoors’ where I received basic training in natural history and ecology. I was then part of multiple projects studying amphibian diversity and natural history in the Northern Western Ghats under the guidance of Dr. Anand Padhye (Garware College, Pune). In 2015, I volunteered for a project on diversity and abundance of rodents in Pakke Tiger Reserve at NCBS. I was selected for IISER TVM Summer Research Programme in 2017, and the research exposure with Dr. Ullasa Kodandaramaiah’s Lab has now got me interested in experimental and controlled investigation of ecological questions. I am broadly interested in Evolutionary Biology, Biogeography, Taxonomy & Systematics (especially of amphibians), Bioacoustics, Animal strategies etc. In the future, I wish to investigate evolutionary questions with both controlled and wild habitat based experiments. Apart from wildlife, I am interested in Cricket, Football, Classical Music, Wildlife photography etc.


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