My students, colleagues and I work mainly on anthropogenic impacts on forests and forest bird communities, with the aim of informing conservation policy and direction in our study landscape in Kumaon. We study human impacts at varying spatial scales from forest stands to landscapes, including changes caused by forest degradation, modification, fragmentation and forest conversion to other land uses. Recently we have initiated longterm monitoring of forest birds in the Himalayan oak forest, in response to synergistic effects of climate change and forest degradation. Of special interest to us is to explore the underlying reasons for the varying vulnerability/adaptability of forest taxa, which face threats in the landscape: this often develops into basic natural history studies on specific taxa. I have also worked extensively on woodpeckers and their habitats, in this context, with a focus on large woodpeckers. All of these are ongoing projects within which students are facilitated to develop their own research ideas. All of my interns and students are expected to contribute to outreach activities and nature education among local communities where we work.
Kumaon Himalayas (Uttarakhand), Aravalli Hills (Delhi-Haryana)
Both interns (maximum period of 3 months) as well as Master’s students are generally paid a basic field allowance (to cover accommodation, meals and local transport) and a stipend: however, the degree of support depends on qualifications and experience. Project assistants are hired (at government rates) when their is a need for specific data collection in a project. I also host, mentor and facilitate PhD students and post-docs, but they are expected to raise their own funds independently (including their fellowship).