Leading environmentalist and conservation scientist with a special focus on the peaceful coexistence of man and wildlife. With a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University and an M.E.Sc from Yale University, Krithi Karanth’s research about wildlife conservation in India spans over 20 years. She mostly worked in the Western Ghats and has published more than 90 scientific and popular articles, including a children’s book. She served on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. She is one of the prominent environmentalists.
Jis Sebastian, a conservation ecologist who fought gender discrimination and stayed all alone in the forest to promote the environmental revolution. She works with plants and animals to help preserve and save the environment. She specialises in the distribution pattern of orchids in the Western Ghats. She has studied the distribution of epiphytic orchids to understand and elaborate on how their environmental conditions can indicate climate change. Sebastian is working on a project to restore orchids in Wayanad, Kerala.
Nandini Velho, a trained field biologist whose main purpose in life is to protect the biodiversity of the world and save the planet. Velho’s determination and quick wit for conservation is appreciable and she has left no stone unturned to achieve it. With a Master’s degree in conservation biology from the National Centre for Biological Sciences and Wildlife Conservation Society under her belt, and a doctoral degree from Australia’s James Cook University. Nandini is undoubtedly the face of modern conservation in India. Velho works closely with the forest department and civil society to facilitate provisioning and training of front-line staff.
Dr. Purnima Devi Barman
Dr Purnima Devi Barman is one of the most prominent environmentalists and popularly known and ‘’Hargila baido”. She is a conservation biologist with the NGO, Aaranyak, in Assam. She has been conferred with Nari Shakti Purashkar by the President of India which is the highest civilian award for Indian women. She is the founder of a group called “Hargila army” which provides a voice to rural women as protector of the tree and she has organized over 200 local women into this army to implement Hargila conservation. She now has 400 rural women as members of the group to voice for nature. Her immense dedication has given the communities a voice and she has set up a model for community conservation by building strong ownership.
Latika Nath India’sTiger Princess’ braves near-death experiences to study tigers in their natural habitats. She holds a PhD in Tiger Conservation from the University of Oxford and is India’s first woman wildlife biologist to hold this degree. Latika began her career at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) where she coordinated the activities of its 172 regional offices, working on the issue of river pollution in Rajasthan. She then conducted extensive research about the wildlife corridors in eastern Madhya Pradesh between 1994 and 1997 through the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). She was also involved in project design for Terai Wetland Conservation in Nepal, where she worked on creating new natural facilities such as watering holes and territories for the tigers there. In 2005, Latika Nath founded Wild India Resorts (Kanha) that aims to establish model eco-resorts across the country. Subsequently, in 2008, she founded the Singinawa Conservation Foundation that works with park authorities and tribal communities to protect the ecosystem through education and health drives, and alternate energy programmes. In 2018, she unveiled her book of wildlife photography titled ‘Hidden India’.
From the beaches of Madras to those of Honolulu, Yadav has made a good long and inspiring journey. Her fascination for everything underwater was triggered by a dive in the blue Andamans when she got eye to eye with marine life. For her Masters from James Cook University, she did a thesis on box jellyfish and spent hours every day studying them. Shreya Yadav is a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Her research is focused on trying to understand how corals resist and recover from climate change.
There are many youngsters who are taking up conservation as their career choice, and Yadav has some words of wisdom for all of them. She says, “Volunteer widely and spend time in places you find interesting.
Tiasa Adhya is a young conservationist and wildlife biologist. Adhya is a recipient of the Nari Shakti Puraskar from former President Pranab Mukherjee and the Wildlife Service Award from the Sanctuary Nature Foundation for her work on fishing cats. She is the co-founder of ‘The Fishing Cat Project’, the longest-running research on fishing cats.
“We believe in conservation becoming a societal decision. We strive to engage with people from different sections and design conservative approaches. For instance, a small goat bank project was initiated by the community in which pregnant goats were given to economically backward on the condition that they would kids to neighbors who had lost goats to fishing cat,” she said in an interview with SheThePeople.
Suprabha Seshan is an environmentalist and an Earth Studies graduate from the British Open University. She is also an educator at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary. They focus on finding and protecting the most horticulturally challenging and endangered plant species. It aims at the importance of nurturing existing links between people and their environment. Suprabha Seshan moves away from conventional theories about the simple conservation of existing landscapes and emphasizes their healing and restoration instead. Suprabha Seshan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005, Suprabha is the spokesperson of the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary and has received the 2006 Whitley Award (UK’s top environmental prize).
Conservationist Neha Sinha focuses on how we need to make the environment an everyday issue and not wait for June 5th to celebrate. Sinha Works on environmental advocacy and policy at BNHS. She undertakes conservation advocacy for threatened species and sites across India, with an emphasis on Important Bird Areas; and she also coordinates the Amur Falcon conservation program. She works on creating policy positions and briefs for BNHS and has taught environmental policy at Delhi University. Neha is also an environmental writer.