Researchers profile

Research Supported by RAMBLE Indraji Thaker Research Fund

The Indraji Thaker fellowship, named in the honour of a senior botanist who worked diligently on the flora of Kachchh, supports researchers who wish to work in the Banni landscape. The socio-ecological system of Banni offers numerous possibilities of conducting research on subjects ranging over a broad spectrum that involves grassland ecology, environmental science and anthropology among other topics. In addition, the research centre in Hodka provides logistic support that includes accommodation, basic equipment, travel and field assistance. Following researchers are currently undertaking projects under this fellowship in Banni-

Anusree A. S.

I work on the Holocene Paleoecology of the Banni grasslands for my PhD in NCBS (National Centre for Biological Sciences). Through this work, I try to understand the role of various drivers of ecosystem changes over the past several millennia in shaping the vegetation of Banni. This is done based on the reconstruction of past vegetation, climate, fire events through and the past levels of herbivory using multiple proxies such as pollen, stable isotopes, charcoal, herbivore dung fungal spores etc. from sedimentary archives after determining age of the sediment. Such studies are important in the context of present day scenarios of changing climatic, edaphic and grazing and fire regimes, to all of which these systems are sensitive.

Chetan Misher

I am a wildlife enthusiast and interested in animal ecology and behavioural studies. I initially joined RAMBLE as an intern with ATREE and did my master's dissertation work here. My master's thesis was on "Site Occupancy and Den-site Selection of Desert fox in Banni Grassland Ecosystem". After finishing M.Sc. in Wildlife Science from Kota University, I joined RAMBLE as a RA with ATREE and participated in the long term monitoring of flora while continuing my research on the Desert Fox. My interests are in desert ecology and animal behaviour studies.

Kadambari Devarajan

I am an engineer-turned-ecologist and a data geek who likes to study wildlife and animal behavior. I am a graduate student in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). My M.Sc. dissertation research at NCBS involved identifying the determinants of distribution and landscape use of sympatric carnivores, as well as intra-guild interactions between them, with canids as my model system. This study on resource partitioning among sympatric canids was done in the Banni landscape. My primary interests are community ecology and ecological interactions - prey-predator, intra-guild, plant-animal and human-wildlife. I am also interested in wildlife assemblages in both human-dominated and human-modified landscapes, with a soft-spot for semi-arid, arid, and grassland ecosystems.

Ovee Thorat

As a PhD candidate from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, I am studying the transformation of Banni landscapedue to development interventions. My work involves ethnography, vegetation analysis and mapping of migratory patterns of the pastoral communities, which makes it an interdisciplinary project that can be themed under the field of Political Ecology. The study focuses on grassland development schemes and projects that have been specifically designed for betterment of pastoral communities in the area. It becomes essential to look into the changing human-nature interactions in current times when the policies around land use in protected areas are being revamped increasingly under the objectives of development.

Priyanka Runwal

I am a researcher affiliated with the National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore) with a keen interest in dryland savanna ecosystems. My work in the Banni grasslands involves understanding the role of two key players i.e. livestock grazing and invasion by Prosopisjuliflora, in shaping the ecology of the landscape. I am studying the vegetation responses to grazing by looking at herbaceous vegetation composition and plant traits along gradients of grazing intensity. With respect to the latter, I ask if Prosopis tree densities have impacts on soil nutrient properties (C and N) and understory vegetation dynamics (biomass, C:N).



Contact Information

Banni Research Centre,Hodko, Bhuj