Marine team

 

Vardhan Patankar, PhD

Vardhan has been associated with WCS-India since 2015 as a DST INSPIRE Faculty Fellow. Currently, he works as a 'Program Head' in WCS-India's Marine Program. He holds Master's in marine sciences and PhD in coral reef ecology and local community resource utilisation patterns. Over the past few years, he has worked (alongside colleagues) on a range of basic and applied studies in marine systems. This includes socio-ecological resilience, illegal marine trade, marine protected areas, interactions between dugongs & sea-grass meadows, dolphins and coconut crabs. He has strong interests in coral reef ecology, socio-ecological resilience, reef fish communities, community dynamics of the marine ecosystem and conservation of marine systems. In his current profile, he gives strategic direction to different projects of the marine program by working with a network of individuals as well as national and international organisations. To know more about his work, please visit: https://seafan.in/





Abhimanyu Anand Singh
Abhimanyu has been associated with WCS-India since August 2020. He works as a Project Assistant with the Marine Program. Having completed his post-graduation in Natural Resource Management, he has worked on conservation of migratory species and Human Wildlife conflict mitigation. He has worked on a few research projects including biodiversity conservation, protected areas, livelihood support with experience in field work with local communities. He is interested in marine wildlife conservation with ensuring sustainable livelihood to relevant communities and pursue relevant research. Within the Marine Program of WCS-India, he is involved in implementing activities under the Marine Protected Area project of the Program. In particular, he will be involved in assisting with liaising with the government authorities and relevant stakeholders.


Avik Arnab Banerjee 

Having joined WCS-India in 2019, Avik is currently a Project Associate with our Marine Conservation Program. A post-graduate in Wildlife Biology and Conservation (NCBS, 2016), he has worked on various marine conservation and ecology projects across India. He is responsible for the implementation of all Marine Protected Area activities within the Program, and is also interested in the conservation of marine mammal species in India.


 

Deepika Sharma 

Deepika has been a Project Assistant with the Marine Program since January 2020. She received MA in Environment and Development from Ambedkar University Delhi in 2018. After completing her master’s, she worked on socio-economic research projects on Marine Protected Areas and tourism in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. She is inclined to work on marine conservation policies and developing action-research projects in conservation using interdisciplinary research methods. In her current role she assists the team in implementing activities under various projects of the Program.


 

Giridhar Malla

Giridhar has been associated with the Marine Program since June 2020 as a Project Associate for Sharks & Rays project. He obtained his Master of Science in Marine Sciences from Andhra University and is presently pursuing his PhD from Wildlife Institute of India, focusing on ecology and conservation of fishing cats in Andhra Pradesh. He has worked exclusively on conservation and ecology of fishing cats in mangroves of Andhra Pradesh and is a member of Fishing Cat Conservation Alliance. His interests include conservation of threatened species, particularly in coastal and marine habitats and illustrating children comic books for educational activities for local schools and fishing communities. In his current role, he is working on strengthening sharks and rays management and addressing the issue of overfishing along the Indian coast.


 

Jisha Jacob 

Jisha has been associated with WCS-India since September 2019 and has been a part of various teams within the organization. She holds double master’s degrees, in Environmental Engineering (Anna University, 2014) and in Tourism Management Studies (Pondicherry University, 2017). Presently, she works on the Ecotourism Program and is also a Project Associate with the Marine Program at WCS-India. In the past, Jisha has been a part of the Combating Wildlife Trafficking team as an educator,  environmental education officer, and has also performed in the fields of environmental impact assessments as environmental engineer. She is an ardent advocate of responsible tourism and believes in interdisciplinary approaches to looking at things. In her present roles, she works on tourism carrying capacity assessments, as well as on monitoring and evaluation techniques for training programmes and workshops.

 


Karan Deshpande

Karan has been associated with WCS-India since August 2019. He works as a Project Assistant with the Marine Program. Having completed his post-graduation in Oceanography, he aspires to work as a marine biologist within the broad spectrum of conservation sciences. He has worked on several research projects including Marine Protected Areas, coral reefs, elasmobranchs and protected marine invertebrates. Within the Marine Program of WCS-India, he is involved in implementing activities under various projects of the Program. In particular, he will be involved in  assisting a project that assesses the impact of diving on coral reefs in the Lakshadweep islands.


 

Moon Bhandari 

Moon has been associated with the Marine Program since June 2020 in the capacity of Project Manager. Having completed her masters in Environmental Science from University of Mumbai in 2012, she has worked across various corporate foundations in the space of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Her interests lie in fundraising, corporate communication, project management, designing and social media marketing. In her current role, she handles coordination, communication, and outreach activities of the marine team. 


 

Nupur Kale

Nupur has been working as a Project Associate with the Marine Program since January 2020. Since completing her M.Sc. in Conservation Biology from DICE, University of Kent in 2012, she has worked on several sea turtle research projects across India in Odisha, Maharashtra and the Lakshadweep islands, as well as for short periods in Sri Lanka and Costa Rica. Her main research interests are sea turtle biology and conservation, and by extension all things marine. She is also interested in working with communities to ensure effective conservation and sustainable livelihoods. In her current profile, she is leading a project that assesses the impact of diving on coral reefs in the Lakshadweep islands.


 

Zoya Tyabji

Zoya has been associated with WCS-India since 2018 where she was part of a team that put together a scoping study. Currently, she works as a Project Associate in the Marine Program at WCS-India. Since completing her Masters in Biodiversity, she has worked in the marine education sector, been involved in several projects including sea kraits, coral reefs and fisheries, amongst others. For the past two years, she has been studying the ecology and fisheries aspects of sharks and rays in the Andaman Islands of India. She has an interdisciplinary interest of conserving marine biodiversity while working with stakeholders to safeguard their livelihoods. Within the Marine Conservation Program of WCS-India, she is leading the shark and ray project to strengthen their management and address overfishing. 



 

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