Researchers' Corner

In this series, we bring you the journeys of young ornithology researchers, as written by them. Read on to find out what got them interested in birds, the challenges they faced and what advice they have for students who wish to pursue ornithology or ecology as a career. If you have questions for them, you can leave comments at the end of the blog or email them personally.

Shivona Bhojwani

"If someone asked me the most favourite part of my work, without doubt I would say data collection and observation in the field. I find that being adept in one's natural history can help one conceptualise more insightful research in conservation sciences. It also takes me back to the "why" of my work i.e. I do this research because I love being in nature and learning about relationships between humans, natural ecosystems and wildlife."

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Viral Joshi

“When I heard a lark mimicking a few years back, I started recording its calls with a basic phone. As a teenager from a middle-class family with limited pocket money, I could not afford professional equipment. So I did some research and started making my own recording gear 'jugaad' (DIY) using truck headlights and other random things from a scrapyard. From utensils to cattle fodder, I tried every possible thing and built my recording gear from scratch.”

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Priyanka Hari Haran

“Like many ecologists, I love being in the field! I don’t know if I could be happy in a city for very long anymore. I also love writing about my work, and the birds and animals I see – my greatest joy is to show other people what I see in the field (with words, I am not artistic in the least). It is an extraordinary honour to be able to live in these wild places, and I am always looking for ways to communicate both science and natural history to an audience that is far removed from it. How can you be passionate about something you don’t know about, or care about?”

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Priyanka Hari Haran

Ashish Jha, PhD

"I have a background in Engineering, and never had any formal education in Ecology. I have always had an interest in wildlife and nature, but had no idea of how to make a career in this stream. Internet was not as easily accessible as it is today and like most other school goers, I knew only about a career in the Engineering and Medical professions. Things were clearer to me only after Post Graduation in Biotechnology, when I applied for a PhD to only those institutions which had ecology. When I started off with my PhD, I had no preferred taxa or species, nor any specific research question. I was just happy to be able to visit the forests and relished the idea of being surrounded by wilderness."

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