Nehru Prabakaran


Nehru PrabakaranDr. Nehru Prabakaran, Ph.D
Phone: +91-135-2646337
Email: nehrup [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in

The curiosity for plant life that developed mainly from the strong family roots in agriculture has made me chose botany for the higher studies. After graduating from the Madras Christian College, Chennai (2003-2008), I worked with Care Earth trust as a Botanist and contributed in many of their projects as a plant expert. I received Ph.D. in botany from Bharathiar University, for which I worked with Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (2009-2012) on the succession of coastal vegetation in the Nicobar Islands that are highly affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and tectonic subduction inflicted sea level increase. This study has provided basics for the restoration of coastal habitats across the Nicobar Islands. After Ph.D., I worked with the Himalaya Drug Company, Bangalore as a Scientist during 2013-2014 and developed a taxonomy based authentication system for the herbal raw drugs. As a Leibniz-DAAD post-doctoral fellow at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Germany (2014-2015), I studied the successional dynamics of mangroves using high-resolution satellite data and cellular automata model. In a collaborative project with Indo-American Wildlife Society and the University of Kassel, I studied the impact of key invasive alien plant species on the plant and soil microbial communities in Shola-Grasslands of the Western Ghats and Coastal plains in Tamil Nadu. I Joined Wildlife Institute of India in 2016 as a Himalayan Research Associate to study the response of traditional agriculture systems in the Western Himalaya to various factors including human migration, climate change and wildlife crop depredation (on-going project).   

My research focus includes mangrove responses to sea-level change; vegetation community responses to various disturbance factors; restoration of invasive alien plant species impacted habitats; plant-soil feedback; and, the vulnerability of traditional agriculture system in Himalaya to anthropogenic and climatic factors. My long-term goal is to establish a coastal research group that can monitor the inter-tidal habitats across our country focusing on mangroves.

Key publications

  • Nehru, P. and Balasubramanian P. 2018. Mangrove species diversity and composition in the successional habitats of Nicobar Islands, India: A post-tsunami and subsidence scenario. Forest Ecology and Management 427: 70 – 77. (IF: 3.06)
  • Nehru, P. and Balasubramanian, P. 2014. Rate of vegetation change in the tsunami impacted littoral forests of Nicobar Islands, India. Forest Ecology and Management 313: 243 – 253. (IF: 3.06)
  • Nehru, P. and Balasubramanian, P. 2012. Sonneratia ovata Backer (Lythraceae): Status and distribution of a Near-Threatened mangrove species in tsunami impacted mangrove habitats of Nicobar Islands, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4: 3395 3400.
  • Nehru, P., Gnanasekaran, G., Muthukarthick, N. and Narasimhan, D. 2012. Angiosperms of Nanmangalam Reserve Forest, an urban forest in Metropolitan Chennai, India. CheckList 8(1): 57 76.
  • Nehru, P. and Balasubramanian, P. 2011. Re-colonizing mangrove species in tsunami devastated habitats at Nicobar Islands, India. CheckList 7: 253 256
  • Gnanasekaran, G, Nehru, P.and Narasimhan, D. 2011. Spermacoce remota Lam. (Rubiaceae)- A potential invasive weed of wetlands. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 35(4): 645 647.
  • Nehru, P. and Balasubramanian, P. 2010. Notes on the distribution of Capparis grandiflora Wall.ex Hook.f. & Thomson, An endemic shrub of peninsular India. Indian Journal of Forestry, 33(2): 271 272.