Bengaluru,31st January 2024 – The Habitats Trust, in collaboration with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), proudly introduces their new batch of “The Habitats Trust Fellows 2022-24.” This innovative program, curated by The Habitats Trust in collaboration with NCBS, marks THT’s efforts to promote and support youth in conservation. The initiative aligns seamlessly with The Habitats Trust’s vision to conserve India’s lesser-known species and habitats.
The Master’s Program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at NCBS serves as a breeding ground for emerging conservationists, providing a unique platform for students to delve into the complexities of wildlife conservation. The Habitats Trust Fellows program supports three students in their master’s program, facilitating their training and dissertation research in field sites nationwide.
New Scholars for The Habitats Trust Fellowship 2022-24:
This year’s selected scholars for the fellowship program bring diverse expertise and passion to their respective research areas:
Aksha Chowdhary: With a focus on the riverine grasslands of Assam, Aksha will systematically examine the expansion of woody vegetation. Her work promises to shed light on crucial ecological changes in these habitats and their implications for biodiversity conservation.
Maria Anjum: An aspiring conservationist, Maria will explore human-animal interactions among Gee’s Golden Langur in the isolated population in the Kakoijana Reserve Forest in the Bongaigaon district of Assam. Her research delves into behavioral differences across Langur groups in various habitats to inform effective conservation strategies.
Yamini Srikanth: A dedicated researcher, Yamini will dive into understanding the drivers of bio invasions in the oceans and their effects on coral reefs. With a specific focus on seaweed cover and its potential impact on coral, Yamini aims to contribute to understanding marine ecosystems and strategies for their preservation.
Rushikesh Chavan, Head of The Habitats Trust, expressed excitement about the potential of the new cohort, saying, “The Habitats Trust Fellowships embody our commitment to fostering talent in the field of conservation. We are very happy to collaborate with NCBS in nurturing the passion and dedication of these emerging conservationists. We eagerly anticipate the impact of their research on the conservation landscape.”
Professor Uma Ramakrishnan, a core faculty in the Wildlife Program and Head of Outreach at NCBS, said, “We are thrilled to welcome and mentor the promising new THT Fellows. At NCBS, our commitment to contributing to the survival of wild species is unwavering. The selected students’ research reflects diverse topics in conservation today, and The THT Fellowships will enable these projects to contribute to evidence-based interventions to safeguard nature.”
Update on the previous cohorts
Siddhi Jaishankar, now a research assistant with the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, expands her focus to seagrass habitats and their use by dugongs
Sidharth Srinivasan, working with the high-altitude program of the Nature Conservation Foundation, monitors raptor populations in the Trans-Himalayas and analyzes long-term bird survey data from Spiti. Reflecting on the impact of the fellowship, he said, “The fellowship enabled me to complete my dissertation efficiently in a remote location such as Eaglenest. I could focus on fieldwork without worrying about essential equipment and supplies for a prolonged stay.”
Yashendu Joshi, a doctoral fellow at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, continues to explore crocodile-human interactions in Gujarat and broader human-wildlife dynamics. He also recently received the prestigious Inlaks-RSF Conservation internship to study Mayan culture and human-crocodile relations with Dr. Marisa Tellez of the Crocodile Research Coalition in Belize.