The Academia Programme aims to enhance science-based conservation by enabling project staff to pursue their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees via the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and by offering targeted training workshops and graduate-level courses to the wider community. We collaborate with institutions like the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) to train their students and administer the Master of Science (M.Sc.) Wildlife and Conservation Programme. Additionally, we help build stakeholder capacity through workshops with State-level Ranger Training Institutes and train Forest Officials at the Central Government level. Through these initiatives, we strive to augment expertise and skills essential for effective conservation endeavours. 



Dr Arundhati Das

Arundhati is the Academic Coordinator for WCS-India. She earned her PhD in Conservation Science from the ATREE Academy, affiliated with Manipal University, in 2015. She then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Centre for Biological Sciences - TIFR, focusing on the shola-grassland ecosystem in the Western Ghats, studying factors affecting shola tree communities. Before her PhD, she worked on conservation planning projects in the Western Ghats and Southeastern United States. Arundhati is also interested in GIS and Remote Sensing tools for ecological research. In her current role, she is dedicated to building knowledge and capacity for biodiversity conservation and collaborating to study and conserve tropical montane ecosystems.


Recent Scientific Publications

  • Sengottuvel, RR., Mendis, A., Sultan, N., Shukla, S.Chaudhuri, A.Mendiratta U. From pets to plates: network analysis of trafficking in tortoises and freshwater turtles representing different types of demand. Oryx. 2024;58(1):78-89. Link 
  • Sengupta, A., Bhan, M., Bhatia, S., Joshi, A., Kuriakose, S., Seshadri, K.S. (2024) ‘Realizing “30 × 30” in India: The potential, the challenges, and the way forward’, Conservation LettersLink  
  • Sankararaman, V. and Miller, D.A.W. (2024) Life-history traits govern the habitat use of diverse amphibian assemblages in an agroforest landscape matrix. Animal Conservation, 27: 86-97. Link
  • Ganguly, D., Srivathsa, A. (2024). Ratel Mellivora capensis in a human-dominated savanna landscape in Kachchh, Gujarat, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 62. Link



Credits: Photo - Kalyan Varma (cover)






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