Project Scientists


Mrs. Sujata Upgupta
Contact me : sujata 
[dot] upgupta [at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in ; sujata [dot] upgupta1[at] gmail [dot] com

sujataAfter completing my B.Sc. in Physiology Honours from Presidency College, University of Calcutta, I pursued M.Sc. in Environmental Management from Forest Research Institute in 2007 and was awarded gold medal for top ranking. During my Masters study, I did one month internship from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and four months dissertation at Indian Institute of Remote Sensing. My great admiration for the field of remote sensing & GIS motivated me to join Indian Institute of Remote Sensing in 2009 for Master of Technology degree. During this course, I worked on “Aboveground biomass estimation using digital and terrestrial photogrammetry and remote sensing and GIS techniques” of Haldwani forest plantations. 

In 2013, I joined Indian Institute of Science as a Senior Research Fellow wherein my work was on vulnerability assessment of Western Ghats forests to show current and future climate change projections at landscape as well as National levels. I have also been trained in microwave remote sensing for two weeks at National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad. I am currently pursuing Doctoral Study at Indian School of Mines University on the ‘Impact of coal mining and allied activities on land use/land cover and vegetation in the east Bokaro coalfields of Jharkhand’.

My ardent interest to work in the Himalayan region led me to join NMSHE project in WII. My specialization is in Forestry, Ecology and remote sensing and my research interests include satellite remote sensing applications, climate change and geo-informatics. Apart from these, I love to spend my free time reading scientific books and travelling to new places.

Key Publications:

  1. Sujata Upgupta, Sarnam Singh and Poonam S Tiwari (2015). Estimation of Aboveground Phytomass of Plantations using Digital Photogrammetry and High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data with Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 43(2):311–323.
  2. Jagmohan Sharma, Sujata Upgupta, Rajesh Kumar, Rajiv Kumar Chaturvedi, G Bala and N H Ravindranath (2014). Assessment of inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level: a case study from Western Ghats in India. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Climate Change. DOI 10.1007/s11027-015-9659-7.
  3. N. H. Ravindranath, I. K. Murthy, Joshi Priya, Sujata Upgupta, Swapan Mehra and Srivastava Nalin (2014). Forest area estimation and reporting: implications for conservation, management and REDD+. Current Science, Vol. 106, No. 9: 1201-1206.

Dr. Tapajit Bhattacharya
Contact me : tapajit 
[at] wii [dot] gov [dot] in ;  tapajit [at] gmail [dot] com

I have done my graduation in Zoology (Honors) from University of Calcutta and the completed post-graduation in Forestry from Forest Research Institute. I love to be in Himalayastapajit and to explore new or little known wilderness areas. I like to work on different modes of animal habitat interactions, distribution modelling of threatened taxa and demographic patterns of mammals and birds of Himalaya. These particular academic interests and passion for high altitude hiking helped me to select Wildlife Institute of India as the most appropriate place to pursue my research. During my 10 years research and professional experience, I was engaged as a Junior Research Fellow in Wildlife Institute of India to study animal habitat interaction in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and continued research in the same landscape till 2007. Then I ventured my research interests in Eastern Himalaya and in 2013 completed my doctoral thesis on spatial database development and habitat modelling for mountain ungulates in Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, Sikkim. As a wildlife professional, I also worked as a technical officer in Species Recovery division and Quality Enhancement cell of Wildlife Trust of India, NCR for two years.  Although, I am focusing on mammals and birds thematic groups in NMSHE project, I am keen to use my team management capacities, field experiences and academic expertise to get the best achievable results for this project surpassing the tough challenges of multi-theme objectives, ardent field work and complex analytical approaches.

Key publications:

  1. Bhattacharya, T., Bashir, T., Poudyal, K., Sathyakumar, S., & Saha, G. K. (2012) Distribution, occupancy and activity patterns of goral (Nemorhaedus goral) and serow (Capricornis thar) in Khangchendzonga, Sikkim, India Mammal study 37:173-181.
  2. Bhattacharya, T., Kittur, S., Sathyakumar, S., & Rawat, G.S. (2012). Diet overlap between wild ungulates and domestic livestock in the greater Himalaya: implications for management of grazing practices Proceedings of the Zoological Society, Kolkata, 65: 11-21DOI 10.1007/s12595-012-0025-4.
  3. Bhattacharya, T & Sathyakumar, S (2011). Natural Resource Use by Humans and Response of Wild Ungulates: A Case Study from Bedini-Ali, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India Mountain Research and Development 31(3): 209-219.

Dr. Ishwari Datt Rai, Project Scientist 

Being native to the Himalaya and grown in the lap of it, I have seen and felt the wilderness of Himalaya. I did my schooling from my village in remote location of Kumaun region and used to go on foot for long distances with hours of walk in the tough terrains. There I learnt the lessons of hard work and patience which was there in my daily life and ultimately turned my interest towards nature and natural phenomenon. I did my masters in Botany from Govt. P.G. College, Pithoragarh (Kumaun University). I joined Wildlife Institute of India in 2007 as JRF and worked in a project focused on ecology of timberline ecotone in the Western Himalaya. This project provided me opportunity to explore the vegetation of high altitudes with respect to taxonomy and ecology. Subsequently, I got awarded doctoral degree from Kumaun University in 2013 where my study was focused on the structural and functional aspects of the timberline vegetation and their phenological responses to climatic variations. I also worked as field coordinator in World Bank funded project on biodiversity conservation and rural livelihood in Askot landscape of Uttarakhand which provided me unique opportunity to work with team, lead the team, coordinate with various line agencies and local community for project implementation. From the learning of my doctoral work I developed project proposal to study plant phenological responses in high altitude ecosystems with modern tools like time-lapse Phenocam and data loggers to record plant phenology along treeline ecotone and I got awarded DST-Young Scientist Fellowship for it in 2013. My areas of interest include field botany, which is my passion too, plant ecology, long term ecological monitoring and tracking natural phenomenon especially on high altitude ecosystems. I believe that my inherent linkage with nature as a field botanist will help to fulfill and fine tune the project goals and objective. So far, I have published more than 25 research paper in national and international journals. I have discovered 3 new species of flowering plants to science and recorded several for Western Himalaya.

Key Publications:

  1. Ishwari Datt Rai & Gopal Singh Rawat. 2015. Oxygraphis kumaonensis sp. nov. (Ranunculaceae) from Western Himalaya, India, Phytotaxa 230 (1): 92-96.

  2. Ishwari Datt Rai, Gajendra Singh & Gopal Singh Rawat. 2013. Bistorta tenuifolia var. gidarensis (Polygonaceae), a new variety from India, Phytotaxa 92 (1): 13–19.

  3. Ishwari Datt Rai & Bhupendra S. Adhikari. 2012. Rhododendron rawatii (Ericaceae), a new species from the Western Himalaya, India, Phytotaxa 71: 10-16.