Conservation Biology

The Earth is currently going through what is popularly referred to as the ‘Sixth Extinction’ where human activity is largely responsible for a devastating impact on the earth’s biodiversity. To combat this we urgently require information on ecosystems and species at several levels answering the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ questions in evolution, ecology and conservation biology. Lacking information on these we could be randomly churning out conservation strategies without knowing which are effective, leading to a gross waste of resources, resulting in a failure of conservation goals.

Conservation Biology is a new department in SACON and our goal is to conduct studies, on various taxa, that include presence and monitoring surveys, basic ecological studies addressing questions related to resource use, genetic studies to identify crucial populations for immediate conservation attention and studies addressing evolutionary and ecological questions. We also intend to organise various workshops involving administrators and policy makers that will lead to framing of certain conservation policies.

Apart from this we plan on coordinating several courses for SACON students and faculty as well as some with participants from outside. These courses will include fundamentals in ecological theory, basic statistics, study design and sampling as well as more specialised courses in landscape ecology, GIS tools, conservation genetics and molecular ecology.

We are currently writing proposals to cover various aspects of training and research.


Dr. Shomita Mukherjee   Principal Scientist


Dr. H. N. Kumara   Senior Scientist

Arijit Pal  

Arijit Pal, PhD Student

Interests: I am interested in understanding parallels between primate society and cultural evolution of humans, by studying the macaques as the model animal. In addition, I would like to contribute to the wildlife conservation which requires our undivided attention.

Current Work:  I am studying the reproductive behavior, sexual selection and extractive foraging in Nicobar long tailed macaque at Great Nicobar Island. I am also deeply motivated to capitalize my effort on man-animal conflicts especially man-elephant conflict in Southern West Bengal. Contact :

SanthoshSanthosh, PhD Student

Interests: I am interested in addressing species conservation issues and conflicts using participatory management by prioritizing issues that need immediate action by providing inputs to policies and management plans.

Current Work:  I am working on conservation of lion-tailed macaques in Central Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. I am largely working towards devising strategies for sustainable resource use and sustainable development by local communities and administrators by means of participatory forest management involving the stakeholders.

Contact :

Partha Sarathi   Partha Sarathi Mishra, PhD Student

Interests: My interest lies in understanding how a group functions as a unit, faces challenges and communicates by considering macaques as the study animal.  I would like to work by collaborating with interested researchers on conflict and communication across various taxa with special emphasis on macaques and cetaceans.

Current Work: Currently I am studying conflict resolution in Nicobar long-tailed macaques at Great Nicobar Island. I am also looking at the gestural communication in the context of aggression to understand aggression in details. I am using Social Networking Analysis to understand the role of every individual in the society.

Contact :

Aditi Mukherjee   Aditi Mukherjee, PhD Student

Interests:  My fascination for nature and wildlife motivated me to pursue an in-depth study in the field of wildlife conservation science. I did my post graduation in Biodiversity and Conservation with specific interest in herpetology and phylogenetics. I am explicitly interested in behavioral ecology and ecology, social behaviour and inter-specific interactions.

Current Work: I am working in a DST_SERB project on Burrow-dwelling animals which aims to gather substantial information on the burrow use patterns by terrestrial vertebrates (Crested porcupine, Jackal, Python and Bat) in Keoladeo National Park. My work is intriguing in a sense that, it gives an opportunity to explore the elusive world of burrowing animals using camera traps and burrow video cameras. Contact :

Avadhoot D. Velankar - CopyAvadhoot D. Velankar, PhD Student

Interests:  Interested in watching animals and understanding them.

Current Work: I am working on population status of long tailed macaque in Nicobar islands, and their adaptability to changing conditions. I am also documenting their feeding ecology and ranging pattern in Campbell Bay, Great Nicobar.Contact :

Joydeep ShilJoydeep Shil, PhD Student

Interests: My interest of study is to understand the interactions between species and their environment with relation to habitat and niche modeling, species distribution and land use pattern and effect of climate change on species as well as landscape level.

Current Work: I am studying the troop dynamics, feeding and ranging behavior of golden langur in Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary, Assam, India. I am also working for conservation of golden langur and other flora-fauna of the region through community participation and by collaborative research work. Contact :


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