Names of individual members appearing in alphabetical order
Contributing Institutions and Research Groups
The academicians from the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, UK are leading this research initiative to open a window of understanding the precise questions and maybe some answers to the mystery of complex urban systems.
One of the world’s leading archaeology departments, Oxford's school of Archaeology covers full scope of human history. Researchers from the department are leading the research initiative of PAWS - Web to unravel some critical aspects of future of urban coexistence of human-animal systems.
OICSD advances research on the complex challenges and opportunities posed by sustainable development in the Indian subcontinent. Dr. Radhika Khosla (Research Director, OICSD) would offer guidance and support in successful conduct of the workshop and Dr. Siddharth Arora (Applied Mathematician, Oxford) would handle theorisation of evolutionary and cultural games at the human-animal interface, and agent based modelling for socio-epidemiological aspects of the research.
WII is an autonomous institution of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India. WII faculty has a wide expertise, comprised of scientists and forest managers (Indian Forest Service) on deputation who deal with Animal ecology and conservation, Landscape management, GIS and Remote Sensing, Human dimensions of wildlife management, and Wildlife health.
University of Chicago
(i) Ecology and Evolution unit and (ii) Delhi Centre
Through interdisciplinary seminars organised at its Delhi centre, U Chicago offers platform to academicians to deal with sustainability challenges associated with South Asia’s development. The Project PIs aim to use the strategic centre in the capital to hold multiple meetings during August 2020 - July 2021 with academicians, practitioners and policymakers before the first webinar-workshop event in the third week of October 2020. This will enable transition from the level of independent units of expert groups to a potential team for actionable research on sustainable urban development that is unthinkable without interdisciplinarity.
University College London, officially known as UCL since 2005, is a member institution of the federal University of London, and is the largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment apart from the Open University, and the largest by postgraduate enrolment. It is also the number one London university for Research Strength (REF2014), recognised for its academic excellence and global impact. Experts in various disciplines will help us examine the socio-cultural aspects of PAWS.
For the research on Black Kite Milvus migrans, and related projects in Delhi, Kumar and colleagues (a 10 member team) have been studying the urban processing of waste by animals and humans since 2012, and have identified: i) the roles of urban-waste as cattle feed, ii) complex spatial relationships between animals, humans and urban-waste, iii) high densities of animals and humans leading to conflicts around waste, and iv) the emerging threats of diseases spilling across social and physical barriers between animals and humans, mediated by garbage, with implications for the health of urbanized living beings. Common Science is a recent initiative to identify potential undergraduate candidates from Delhi who can be trained to combat human-animal conflicts and zoonoses (diseases that spill from humans to animals) of urban animal origin, with implications for solid waste management.
(In alphabetical order)
Dr. Aldina Franco
Associate Professor, University of East Anglia, UK
Aldina is a movement ecology expert who co-leads Movetech telemetry, a joint initiative of East Anglia and the British Trust for Ornithology, who are dealing with the latest, affordable and innovative solutions for biologging. She is designing a new set of satellite tagging equipment that would help the informal livestock economy wherein urban poor maintain livestock on compostable garbage.
Ms. Aparajita Singh
Master’s Program, Development Studies; Tata Institute of Social Science, Hyderabad
Aparajita is conducting a long term research at the Ghazipur landfill. She will contribute on the policies of waste management.
Barbara is a political economist also trained in geography and agricultural science, with Indian field experience since 1969 and field research since 2015 on the socio-economics of generation and disposal of small-town waste. She would contribute to research designs in social science.
Ben is a leading expert on social animal ecology and behaviour, with a research focus on understanding the causes and population-level consequences of individual-level variations. He plans to contribute on social network approaches that can be used to understand the interplay between animal and human behaviour, and disease transmission.
Dhananjai has been involved in wildlife management, training and research for more than two decades. As a member of esteemed Indian Forest Services, he has managed protected areas in the Uttarakhand Himalaya and Uttar Pradesh terai. He has also written management plans for many protected areas of the present day Uttarakhand state. He would be guiding the research initiative and will contribute on perspectives of management in conjunction with ecological knowledge.
Greger received his bachelor’s degree in 1996 from Claremont McKenna College, a small liberal arts college in California. He read just about everything Stephen J Gould ever wrote over the following three years while he wandered the deserts of Turkmenistan and worked for an environmental consultancy in Azerbaijan. Deciding that evolution was cooler than oil, Greger studied at Oxford and the University of Colorado before receiving his PhD in Zoology in 2006. He then spent two years in Uppsala, Sweden on an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship before starting a job in the department of archaeology at Durham University. Greger then moved to Oxford University to become the Director of the Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network where he is continuing his focus on the use of ancient DNA to study the pattern and process of domestication. He rarely wonders what his salary would be had he stuck to oil.
A big-data expert, Lucas has worked extensively on the public health prospects. In the near future, Kumar, Larson and Malla aim to link Delhi and Nairobi to research human-stray dog relationship pertaining to basic eco-evolutionary questions and applied Public Health interventions that involve solid waste issues and commensals. Kumar and Malla researched their DPhil. (s) simultaneously at Oxford, Somerville College where they seeded the ideas of collaborative research.
Maan is an expert on urban ecology, more-than-human geographies, biodiversity conservation and the politics of lively capital. Since 2015, Nishant and Maan have been collaborating on research ideas pertaining to multidimensional research on human-animal relationships in Delhi.
Mr. Navneet Kumar
Navneet is a management professional who would contribute on aspects of project management and would contribute through his participation in the research exercise by furthering his interest in learning more about the cultural and behavioral aspects of PAWS.
Dr. Nishant Kumar (PI)
Visiting Fellow, department of zoology (University of Oxford)
Postdoctoral Researcher, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
Nishant is studying opportunistic animal responses (population, movement and behavioural ecology) to resources provided by humans, and how centuries of coexistence have tied urban ecology of commensals with religiously founded patronage and ritual animal feeding by people in South Asia (ethno-zoology).
Mr. Prashant Kumar
Lawyer, Patna High COurt
Prashant will contribute through his expertise on jurisprudence and litigation contextualising animal rights and cross-border animal trafficking (Inter-state and across the international borders).
Qamar is a GIS and remote sensing expert, focusing on human-animal conflict issues across the country.
Richard is a wildlife veterinarian, with an extensive experience in transboundary animal diseases at the wildlife, livestock and human interface. Since 1985, he has worked in multiple regions within the Global South. Kumar and Larson hope to leverage the existing research associations of Kock, to extend the research on human-stray dog relationships in Bangladesh.
Siddharth is an essential contributor who would handle theorisation of evolutionary and cultural games at the human-animal interface, and agent based modelling for socio-epidemiological aspects of the research. He will help to incorporate a sound mathematical framework for basic questions on human-animal communication, as well as other applied aspects pertinent to PAWS-Web.
Trevor has extensive research experience in the field of speciation that focusses on Indian biodiversity. He is a leading expert on genetics, genomics and systems biology and we look forward to his contributions in the long-term aspects of the zoonotic diseases. Trevor will enable integration of U Chicago and its Delhi centre with the existing links between Oxford and WII.
Ms. Urvi Gupta
Project Biologist, Black Kite Project, Wildlife Institute of India
A wildlife enthusiast since childhood, Urvi is currently working as the Project Biologist with Wildlife Institute of India. Having a background in Zoology from Delhi University and a Masters in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Oxford as a Chevening Scholar, she hopes to bridge the gaps between disciplines for wildlife conservation. She is interested in conservation, evolutionary ecology, human-animal interactions and science communication.
Yadavendradev has expertise on population ecology and animal behaviour using advanced quantitative methods and biotelemetry. Jhala, Qureshi and Kock have active collaborations with other countries in the Indian-subcontinent (Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh).
Collaborators from Sciences
Researcher, Department pf Zoology, University of Oxford; Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University
Dr. Darragh Hare
Darragh is a researcher in the Zoology Department at Oxford University and the Natural Resources Department at Cornell University. He studies the ecology and evolution of human conservation behaviours and ethics. He measures and analyses people’s moral attitudes and beliefs about wild organisms, conducts experiments to untangle factors underpinning conservation conflicts, and develops eco-evolutionary models of adaptive conservation behaviours.
Senior Lecturer, Cross-cultural Psychiatry; University College London
Prof. Sushrut Jadhav
Using his psychiatric expertise and experience as a clinician anthropologist, Sushrut has been exploring research questions in context of cultural expressions of immigrants and urban-wellbeing. He would extend his expertise on cultural psychiatric extensions to the research on human-animal interface while monitoring slums rehabilitation and relocation of ‘problematic’ monkeys and dogs, and ‘suffering’ cows in India.
Collaborators from Social Sciences
Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar
Urban Historian, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Awadhendra is the author of ‘In the city, out of place: Nuisance, Pollution and Dwelling in Delhi, 1850-2000’. Prof Sharan will offer guidance in the field sampling design that contextualises the history behind the development of urban gradients within the city of Delhi.
Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
Harini is an ecologist who uses satellite remote sensing coupled with field studies of biodiversity, archival research, institutional analysis, and community interviews to examine the factors shaping the social-ecological sustainability of forests and cities in the south Asian context. She would contribute to research designs at the interface of Ecological and social sciences, with a special emphasis on cross-disciplinary perspectives for the evolving human-animal relationships in rapidly urbanising Delhi.
Human Geographer, School of Geosciences; University of Edinburgh
Krithika has undertaken more-than-human approach to understand human-street dog relationship in Chennai, India. She has been focusing recently on rabies. She would contribute through her long-term research perspectives.
associate professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
Dr. Shalini Sharma
Shalini is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. Her research interests and expertise include questions on environmental justice, political ecology, environment and development studies, media studies, memory studies, Oral history, and Climate justice.
Shalini is also the oral historian/trustee of the Remember Bhopal Museum, India’s first oral history based museum which is also co-curated by those affected by the 1984 Bhopal industrial disaster. She was a Commonwealth Rutherford Fellow at the University of East Anglia in 2018-19, and Assistant Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India from 2013-18. She has a PhD in development studies from SOAS, London. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist interested in city, culture and climate relations. She is also a contributing author to IPCC AR6, WGII on cities and settlements.
Collaborators from Applied Fields
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health; The Australian National University
Prof. Gabriele Bammer
Gabriele is an expert on research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems, and would train the workshop team to address complex societal and environmental problems by promoting virtuous cycle of a coalition of researchers and institutions. She has extensive expertise in helping teams apply the most effective theory and methods for synthesising knowledge, managing unknowns and supporting policy and practice change.
Development Professional, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Mr. Gaurav Jain
Gaurav is a development professional with an engineering background and a Masters in Public Policy from Oxford University. He is currently working for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a multilateral investment bank, conducting economic analysis on the Eastern and Southern Europe, Central Asia and the Mediterranean region.
He has worked closely with the Indian Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, designing and implementing policies and projects around skill training. Specifically, he was involved with the management of the government’s flagship scheme to train over 10 million youths. There he also led policy initiatives on regulatory reforms, standards-setting and data-driven decision making. He has also done a short stint with the British government on their National Data Strategy, allowing him to work closely at the forefront of policy making on the intersection of technology with people, government and economies. In addition to this, he has volunteered with several NGOs working on education, social entrepreneurship and promotion of opensource technologies.
Joint-Secretary, Indian Administrative Services
Mr. Vikas Gupta
Vikas is serving in the government, and is based in the state of Haryana that borders Delhi. Mr Gupta has showed interests in guiding and supporting research initiatives addressing urgent urban human-animal conflicts.