Department of Biology
University of Massachusetts Boston
I am interested in global change and biodiversity. The overarching theme is to generate knowledge about the impact of land use and land cover change, climate change and human use of natural resources on biodiversity. I am particularly interested in developing new paradigms of conservation that take into account alleviation of poverty and institutions. My research on climate change in the Eastern Himalayas is focused on modeling climate change, impact of climate chnage and biodiversity and agriculture , and development of adaptive strategies that assign a central role to local knowledge. Research on sustainable use of ecosystem services including such provisioning services as non-timber forest products constitute an important element of the overall global change program.I have recently led an initiative to define research priorities in tropical biology. I have also been a part of DIVERSITAS team that has developed a science plan for agrobiodiversity. At the regional level, I have led efforts to define research priorities in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot.Since I founded the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and cofounded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Environment and Development (CISED), which later merged with ATREE, I am particularly interested in institutional building to foster conservation and sustainability science.Finally, I still pursue my basic interests in plant population biology. I am currently writing a book, synthesizing my work on the impact of land use and climate change on genetics and reproductive traits of plants.
Elected to the Royal Society.