Avik Banerjee | Project Associate – Marine Programme
Avik works as a Project Associate in the Marine Program at WCS-India. Since joining the organisation in 2019, he has helped the marine team fulfil objectives towards strengthening the country's Marine Protected Areas and mitigating megafaunal bycatch. With an M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Avik has helped provide technical input towards different components of the marine program. In the past, Avik has worked on research on several marine species- from dolphins and turtles to octopuses. His primary interests lie in understanding the interactions between marine mammals and fisheries and helping reduce the emergent concerns to wild species and fishing communities. He aims to incorporate relevant aspects of the social sciences into this work. More.
Mrunal Ghosalkar | Conservation Assistant – Great Indian Bustard programme
Mrunal is a Conservation Assistant with WCS-India’s Great Indian Bustard programme in Rajasthan. She has previously worked with various organizations dealing with community engagement. She was a part of Ovitla Landga project with Maharashtra Forest Department, where she worked with the Dhangar community – one of the largest pastoral communities in India – to understand conflicts over fodder and resources in Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. She has been a part of the Janata Waghoba program in collaboration with WCS-India, Maharashtra Forest Department and Rufford Foundation, for stakeholder engagement to mitigate negative human-leopard interactions in the rural landscapes of Maharashtra. She has also worked with the Centre for Wildlife Studies as a Project Coordinator for the Wild Shaale program focusing on conservation education. She is a National Geographic certified educator and has a keen interest in community awareness and engagement. More.
Nikit Surve | Research Associate – Human-Wildlife Interactions Program
Nikit has been working with WCS-India in the Human Wildlife Interactions Program since October 2015. He completed MSc. in Wildlife Science from Wildlife Institute of India. Nikit has volunteered with several projects aimed at understanding negative human-wildlife interactions with respect to crop damage and livestock depredation by large carnivores. At WCS India, he is associated with a project in Mumbai, Maharashtra which has a unique Protected Area situated in the heart of a megapolis. At this study site a high density of leopards regularly interact with people at the edge of the Protected Area. The project aims at understanding the dynamic relationship between leopards and humans in this urban landscape. Nikit is keen to collaborating with other like-minded researchers for interdisciplinary research work to be carried out in this landscape. His aim is to further strengthen the understanding we have of the relationship between these two most adaptable species. More.