Names of individual members appearing in alphabetical order

Contributing Institutions and Research Groups

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK

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.

School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK

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.

Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development OICSD
(Somerville College, University of Oxford)

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; 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); and Vinita Govindarajan (M.Sc. Environmental Governance, School of Geography and the Environment) would organise the workshops.

Wildlife Institute of India WII, Dehradun

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.

North Delhi Municipal Corporation NDMC, Delhi

One of the three municipal corporations, NDMC covers the largest area, and is responsible to ensure civic amenities e.g. construction and maintenance of public streets, slum improvement, regulation of animal areas, human-animal conflicts, abattoirs, city’s cleanliness by solid waste management, and public health, including urban forestry.

Black Kite Project Group and Common Science Group (Delhi)

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.

PAWS-web network

(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.

Prof. Barbara Harriss-White

Senior Research Fellow, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies; Professor Emeritus of Development Studies; University of Oxford

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.

Prof. Ben C Sheldon (PI)

Joint head, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

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.

Dr. Dhananjai Mohan

Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

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.

Dr. Dinesh Sharma

Deputy Director, Veterinary Division; North Delhi Municipal Corporation

Dinesh has extensive experience in mitigating human-animal conflicts within the National capital. Dr. Sharma would provide NDMC support and guidance from his long-term experience and extensive network with other civic bodies and stakeholder representatives from citizens.


Prof. Greger Larson (PI)

Professor and Director Paleogenomics & Archaeology Research Network, University of Oxford

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.

Dr. Lucas Malla

Postdoctoral Researcher, KEMRI Wellcome Trust Centre for Geographic Medicine Research and Public Health, Nairobi, Kenya

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.

Dr. Maan Barua

Human Geographer; Dept. of Geography, University of Cambridge

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

Management Professional

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).

Prof. Qamar Qureshi

Nodal Officer (RS and GIS Cell), Senior Professor and Scientist-G, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India

Qamar is a GIS and remote sensing expert, focusing on human-animal conflict issues across the country.

Dr. Radhika Khosla (PI)

Research Director, Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD)

Radhika is an essential contributor who would help with the provision of valuable guidance, support, the institutional framework and research groups spread across multiple regions, and upholding diverse responsibilities, through OICSD. This collaboration will allow the workshop and pilot-project participants to remain connected via a web portal to be hosted by WII. OICSD has signalled availability to further support the emergent themes, that align the centre’s current scope and ethos, into actionable research-projects.

Prof. Richard Anthony Kock

Royal Veterinary College, London

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.

Prof. Trevor D. Price

Ecology and Evolution unit, University of Chicago

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.

Prof. Yadvendradev V. Jhala

Dean, Faculty of Wildlife Science, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

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

Senior Lecturer, Cross-cultural Psychiatry; University College London

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.

Senior Research Scientist, Social Mind Center & Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest

Thom is a Senior Research Scientist in Cognitive Science, at Central European University, Budapest. He has expertise in the nature and evolution of human and non-human communication, and will consult on the communicative aspects of the project. His involvement would help PAWS-web design projects on the evolutionary games at the human-animal interface within shared urban spaces.

Collaborators from Social Sciences

PhD student, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Ms. Advaita Rajendran

Adavita is researching the informal labour sector associated with garbage disposal. She would impart her skills associated with waste-work, involving how informal waste workers contextualise accessibility to urban space while procuring waste a resource. 

Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

Ambika is an anthropologist of wildlife conservation with a special interest in human-animal relations and community-based conservation. Her ongoing and long-term research aims to understand how local and global forces shape the human-animal relations. Her contributions will help in bridging the perspectives and opinions between the three sets of experts.
Urban Historian, Delhi University

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.

St Antony’s College, University of Oxford: Professor of Indian History

is a Gandhian Scholar and the director of the Asian Studies Centre at Oxford. He would contribute on Gandhian thoughts (that reflect Indian cultural mindset), in relation to the 21st century relevance of Mahatma’s famous quote, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

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.

Anthropologist of South Asia, Wolfson College, Oxford University

Nayanika has broad interests in the anthropology of politics, development, environment, law, and human-animal studies. PI(s) and Dr. Nayanika have similar research motivations that caters to human-animal relationships, from their own disciplinary training and background.

Collaborators from Applied Fields

National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health; The Australian National University

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.

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.