A Carl Zeiss Conservation Awardee (2008), Dr. Anish Andheria is a Fellow of LEAD and has helped set up Kids for Tigers, a nation-wide conservation education programme which currently reaches out to over half a million school children. After completing his Ph.D. from Institute of Chemical Technology, he went on to pursue a Masters Degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. He is a large carnivore specialist with field knowledge on predator-prey relationships. A wildlife photographer of repute, he has photographed some of the most remote wildlife reserves of India. He has co-authored two books on Indian wildlife and contributed to several other national and international publications. He runs a wildlife rescue center in Mumbai and is a Trustee of The Climate Reality Project India. A natural communicator, he is one of India’s leading motivational speakers, and has introduced thousands of people to the joys of nature and the rationale for nature conservation.
Dr. Sandeep Deshmukh has a Ph.D. in Education, a Masters in Anthropology and a Diploma in Business Administration. He is a certified trainer in agriculture and dairy extension, research methods, gender and project design. He has worked in the government, non-government and corporate sector for over two decades. He possesses front-line experience in training, teaching, research, management and grant making and has authored three books.
A post-graduate in Environmental Sciences, Rushikesh has over 14 years of experience in the field of conservation. He has represented the Bombay Natural History Society at the Maharashtra State Wildlife Advisory Board and the Special Task Force for conservation of Central Indian Wild Buffalo constituted by the Supreme Court of India and the Chattisgarh Government. He prepared the management plan for the buffer zone of the Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary and has been a part of several critical conservation initiatives across India including the conservation of giant clams in Lakshadweep and capacity development programmes for the Indian army and corporations. He is an advisor to Conservation Beyond Borders and the Lakshadweep Marine Research and Conservation Centre and has authored several articles on conservation in India.
Milind’s deep rooted passion for wildlife encouraged him to give up a corporate job for a Master’s in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, where he worked extensively on developing a photographic population estimation technique for wild herbivores. Since then, he has worked to strengthen the tiger conservation initiatives of the Wildlife Trust of India, particularly on the estimation of tiger densities in the Terai and Central Indian landscapes and human-tiger conflict mitigation in Uttar Pradesh.
A hardcore development practitioner, Punam has been involved in tackling development issues from the perspective of extremely marginalised communities. For about 20 years, she has worked across a wide range of terrains and communities to unravel the real challenges of rural livelihood in India. She has vast experience of working with both grassroots organisations as well as premiere policy organisations such as TISS, CII and The World Bank on issues related to food security, rural livelihoods and skill development. Two of her most challenging projects include a) a rural livelihood pilot called Project RUDRA, where she devised and tested methods to reliably identify vulnerable households and ways of addressing their livelihood challenges, and b) working with the CII Centre for Skill Development in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh that skills rural youth in mainstream industry trades. Her published work on food security includes a paper presented at the 88th Session of Indian Science Congress. She brings to WCT her unconventional but reliable approach to strengthen rural livelihoods.
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh is an alumnus of the Wildlife Institute of India, with a Doctorate in Wildlife Sciences. He is one of the foremost trainers on wildlife crime prevention in India and has helped train numerous frontline forest staff during his decade-long career with reputed organisations such as the Wildlife Trust of India and WWF-India. A member of several statutory bodies of Bihar including the State Board for Wildlife, State Expert Appraisal Committee and Tiger Conservation Foundation, Rakesh is also empanelled with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India as an expert to provide inputs on forest diversion proposals. He is also a member of the committee constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for the appraisal of Tiger Conservation Plans of tiger reserves situated in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
Sheetal is a graduate in Zoology from Mumbai University and a post graduate in Psychotherapy and Counselling from the Institute of Psychotherapy and Management Sciences, Mumbai. She started her career in the field of telecommunication but her love for wildlife compelled her to pursue a career in conservation. This took her to the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), where she coordinated the photo/video documentation of various projects and worked on creating awareness programmes for students. Subsequently, she was asked to handle the formulation of annual plans and the monitoring and evaluation of several field projects. As a member of IFAW-WTI’s Emergency Relief Network, she did a month-long internship on Wild Animal Care and Treatment in Assam.
Kiran Rahalkar has done his Master’s in wildlife biology and conservation from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, where he worked on the socio-economic aspects of human-leopard conflict in Maharashtra. He has worked on the parasite ecology of the tiger and other large carnivores in the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve as well as projects on the Great Indian Bustard and vultures. He is the city coordinator of Kids for Tigers, a nationwide environment education programme for children.
Currently pursuing a Master’s in Multilateral Environmental Agreements from the International University of Andulasia, Spain; Prasenjeet routinely assists Indian enforcement authorities in conducting seizures of live animals and wildlife products. He compiled and analysed the national wild elephant mortality database and international ivory seizure database for the Wildlife Trust of India. The latter was used to supplement policy documents passed at various international forums on regulating ivory sales. Prasenjeet was instrumental in the creation of the CITES cell of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, India and has represented the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) at international conferences. In addition, he compiled and revised GTF’s second edition of the National Tiger Action Plans of 13 tiger range countries and authored the first ever state Bear Conservation and Welfare Action Plan for Maharashtra.
With a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and music, Kavita has worked as an educator and a soft skills trainer for various corporates. After completing her Master’s in Business Administration, she decided to focus her energies on improving public education systems in India.
Aditya Joshi is a trained wildlife biologist from the National Centre for Biological Sciences. As part of his master’s thesis, he has carried out one of the first studies on the connectivity of tiger populations using a combination of conservation genetics and landscape ecology, substantiating long range dispersal by tigers. He is a recipient of the Karanth J. Paul Getty Award 2010 for academic and conservation excellence. He has worked extensively on occupancy surveys of tiger corridors and tiger monitoring outside Protected Areas. Aditya is interested in creating short documentaries to increase awareness about wildlife conservation and has produced one on the vultures at Ramnagara.
Dr. Vishal S. Gadre has completed his B.A.M.S. from M.U.H.S., Nasik and Masters of Public Health - Health Policy, Economics and Finance from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, where he was involved in field level activities in community health. He has worked with Aarogyasri Health Care Trust, Hyderabad as a Deputy Executive Officer in Planning and Coordination and also assisted in budgeting and monitoring activities of the Rajiv Aarogyasri Scheme implemented in state of Andhra Pradesh.
Pallavi, a trainer for Experiential and Outdoor Education, plunged into the social sector after completing her Masters in Communications Media from Mumbai University. Her deep passion for youth empowerment resulted in the creation of a community named E.E.E. (Education, Environment and Experience). She has over five years of experience in working with children and is the regional ambassador for Asia’s W.Y.S.E. Leadership Institute. Prior to joining WCT, she was Programme Director at the Masoom Education Foundation.
An extraordinary naturalist, Ankur has over 15 years of field experience in natural history and wildlife conservation. He has assisted the forest department and NGOs in several surveys and conservation initiatives in Navegaon, Nagzira, Bor, the Tadoba landscape and Gadchiroli and has helped in the preparation of the checklist of birds and reptiles of Gondia. He has also participated in devising a conservation strategy for the highly endangered Great Indian Bustard in Chandrapur. He has rescued thousands of reptiles and participated in rescue operations involving three tigers, 11 deer and two leopards. He was instrumental in the preparation of the management plan of Navegaon National Park and also in formulating the proposal for upgrading the Navegaon Bandh Lake to sanctuary status. Currently, he is acting as a research assistant for WCT’s field programmes in the Central Indian Landscape.
Vivek has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. Fuelled by his deep-rooted passion for wildlife, he has carried out extensive tiger and prey-base monitoring work in central India. He has also trained innumerable frontline forest staff in wildlife population estimation techniques. His belief in people’s participation in conservation encourages him to conduct awareness programs for local communities residing in and around protected areas.
With a degree in Social Work, Prakash has spent the last two decades working in the field of education, child rights and community engagement. He was a part of the National Institute of Advanced Studies team that developed an education resource centre in Chamarajanagara, Karnataka with the support of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust. Prakash also holds a diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations and he has completed a course in Research Methodology from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Prakash is an integral part of the education vertical of WCT.
Ronald is an alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, where he has done his Masters in Social Work with a specialisation in ‘Livelihoods and Social Entrepreneurship’. His MA thesis on the livelihoods of fishing communities in Kutch exposed him to India’s coastal ecosystem and the natural resource utilisation patterns of subsistence communities. This spurred his interest in ensuring sustainable rural livelihoods. He has experience with microfinance and rural microenterprise development and is keen to bring this knowledge to WCTs livelihood initiative.
An integral member of the WCT accounts team, Atul has over 20 years of experience helping NGOs with fund management and accounting. Prior to joining WCT, he worked with CRY (Child Rights and You) as a Senior Manager for Finance and Accounts and with the Unit Trust of India. He has a Master's degree in commerce from Mumbai University and is deeply passionate about environmental issues.
Harsh Kothari is a passionate wildlife enthusiast and photographer, supporting the cause of nature and wildlife conservation in several ways. He is Senior Vice President at DSP BlackRock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd., overseeing Fund Administration and Finance. He began his career as a practicing Chartered Accountant in 1997. In 2000, he joined S. R. Batliboi and Company in their Audit function. An ace Chartered Accountant, he plays an important role as technical advisor to the WCT accounts team.
Prashant graduated with a Bachelors of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from Krantisinh Nana Patil College at the Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University, Nagpur. He started his career as a research assistant at the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, U.S.A. where he worked on estimating the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in white-tailed deer. As an emergency relief veterinarian at the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Prashant responded to human-tiger conflict situations in the Terai landscape and managed the WTI Captive Elephant Care programme. Prashant also has experience in satellite telemetry data management and hand-rearing wild mammals. He is part of the Rapid Response Team at WCT.
Dr. Khumbhare has a B.M.H.S. from M.U.H.S., Nasik and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He interned with the Directorate of Health Sciences, Nagpur where he conducted an evaluation of their malaria control programme and an assessment of the motivation and performance levels of employees of the National Rural Health Mission. He has assisted various NGOs in the interiors of Maharashtra by monitoring and evaluating their work and refining their administrative processes.
Subbaiah K.S. works in the Research and Monitoring team at WCT. He has a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), India for approximately three years. At WCS, he focussed on assessing the meta-population dynamics of tigers, co-predators and their prey in the Western Ghats region in Karnataka, Kerala and Goa. He is an avid birdwatcher and a keen wildlife photographer.
Sanjay has two decades of experience in wildlife conservation with a special focus on the Central Indian Landscape. After receiving a diploma in Ecological Restoration and Wildlife Management from the Ecological Society in Pune, he studied human-leopard conflict in the Northern Western Ghats, snake charmers in Madhya Pradesh for a project with the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal and the Pardhi tribe’s involvement in wildlife hunts for TRAFFIC-India. As a Senior Project Officer with WWF-India’s tiger conservation program, he headed their office in the Kanha-Pench corridor. During this time, he initiated trainings for frontline forest staff on wildlife law enforcement and designed a first-of-its-kind mobile awareness vehicle for the Satpuda-Maikal Landscape. He received the Sarpa Mitra Puraskar by the Indian Herpetological Society for his extensive work in reptile conservation and has authored seventeen scientific papers in national and international journals.
Aniket has a Master’s degree in Economics from Mumbai University and is part of the Conservation Economics team at WCT. Prior to this, he worked to optimise group business operations at Kotak Life and as a data analyst for L’Oreal, Set Max and Red Bus designing consumer engagement strategies based on behavioural surveys. He is an avid biker and has been a member of the Mumbai District Football Association for the past 12 years. While at university, he led a radio programme called Maths in Sports aimed at encouraging young people to learn applied mathematics through sports features.
Adwait Keole has volunteered at the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) where he focused on a radio telemetry project for King Cobras and with the Satpuda Foundation. He worked with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust and has been assisting WCT’s research and tiger monitoring team since February 2014. He has conducted over 150 camps on environment education for school and college students in Amravati.
Aniket Sayam has a Bachelor’s degree in science from Amravati University. He has interned with several environmental organsations including Sanctuary Asia, where he helped build a database of images for use in two publications and several websites. As a travel executive with the Western Routes, he organised custom heritage tours for visitors to Pune city. He has been assisting WCT since 2014 and has helped our research and monitoring team with camera trapping and line transect surveys in the Bor Tiger Reserve and Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary.
Rovhin is currently interning with WCT. He has a Master's in Zoology from Mumbai University and is a member of Ecopersona, an NGO focused on leadership development for young people. He was part of an Al Gore Climate Leadership training in 2015 and has attended courses at the Conservation Education Centre at the Bombay Natural History Society. For the last four years, he has volunteered at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park leading nature trails and introducing young people to the magic of nature.
A post graduate in Visual Communication, Kirti was part of the Satpuda Foundation Mumbai chapter where he has been spreading conservation awareness in schools and online forum. He has also volunteered with Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust in setting up remote sensing cameras and was actively involved in GPS tracking and locating Indian Sloth Bear in the Terai.
Akshay is a Management graduate from Mumbai University and has spent over 10 years in the corporate sector, handling diverse roles in Human Resources, Training and Development, Operations Management and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Prior to joining WCT, Akshay has worked extensively on social innovations and scale-up of development sector organizations with the Marico Innovation Foundation and has led their biennial innovation recognition platform for five years. His drive to make a sustainable impact on conservation practices in India led him to the Wildlife Conservation Trust where he focuses on strengthening processes, strategic fundraising and livelihood generation.
Vinni Munjal has an engineering degree in Electronics and Communications from Kurukshetra University, Haryana and a Post Graduate Diploma in Youth Development and Social Change from TISS, Mumbai. Her passion for wildlife inspired her to quit her job in the IT industry and explore options in the field of conservation, where she commenced work on projects concerning environmental protection and social upliftment in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She is determined to carve out a future for herself in the field of nature and wildlife conservation.
After completing a Post Graduate degree in Zoology from Mumbai University, Vikrant worked as a JRF at the Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning (FERAL) for two years, before joining WCT. At FERAL, he studied effects of restoration on biodiversity in different land use types, using butterflies as indicators. He was also part of the camera trapping teams studying, a) Effects of linear barriers on movement of wildlife across Shenkottai Gap in the Western Ghats and b) Demography and movement of elephants across Banerghatta and Hosur landscape. He is deeply interested in butterflies and their distribution.
Chetan has a dual dental and medical qualification and holds fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. He currently holds the position of Honorary Associate Professor in Medicine at Warwick Medical School and a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwick. He has an interest in pre-hospital medicine and has held the post of the crowd doctor at the Kia Oval one of the most renowned cricket stadiums across the globe for the last 10 years. He has published 18 peer reviewed publications and two textbooks on emergency medicine and been involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education for over a decade. He holds a PhD from King’s College London. He has had a life long passion for wildlife and set up the Tulsi Foundation with the sole focus on improving the health of rural communities living and working around conservation areas. To date he has been working in collaboration with WCT to provide medical emergency and trauma training to both WCT staff and front line rangers which has resulted in training over 400 staff in six tiger reserves in the Central Indian landscape. With his academic background and expertise in emergency medicine he will support WCT to develop evidence based and sustainable strategies to improve the health and safety of conservation staff working in the field as well promote ranger health in rural conservation areas with the vision that this will have a positive impact on conservation efforts.
After spending a few months with the music industry as a Music Journalist, Nishant soon realised that his calling lied somewhere amidst the wilderness. With a penchant for viewing life through a lens and a graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai, Nishant has done academic research on general understanding of term Climate Change and its Impacts by various indian dailies. He has also worked and articulated on issues like Human-Leopard conflict in/around Mumbai, death of sperm whales in India due to unplanned garbage disposal, climate change in India and air pollution in Delhi and Mumbai during 2015-16. When not writing or finding that ‘perfect frame’, he’s usually busy listening to classic rock or conjuring stories in thin air.
An ardent veterinarian with zest for wild, Himanshu is a promising alumni of Bombay Veterinary College, with Ph.D. in Wildlife Health Management from Centre for Wildlife Forensic and Forensic (CWFH), NDVSU. During the academic course of his Masters and Ph.D. research, he investigated the causes of mortalities in gharial hatchlings, used various molecular tools and conducted field surveys to study kinships in gharials in National Chambal Sanctuary, a research which was first of its kind. As a veterinarian he has taken to resolving human-leopard conflict situations in Mumbai. Started his career as a Research Associate at CWFH where he assisted in developing techniques and processing samples for species identification and disease diagnosis using molecular markers. Himanshu was a part of team of vets that visited various protected areas in Central India for health examination, disease surveillance, translocation and treatment of free ranging wild animals. When not working he loves reading and listening to classical instrumental music, at times switching to fusion.
After completing his graduation in commerce from the Mumbai University, Ashish started his career as an Accounts and Audit Assistant and currently forms a vital part of our accounts team. He has independently handled export documentation, securitization audit, payment process and various accounting functions in his earlier job. Having spent three years in audit and nine in accounts and operations, he has prepared and managed cash flow, MIS, budget, service tax returns, TDS returns of a few companies on a monthly and quarterly basis. Apart from reading magazines and travelling, it is the day to day environmental issues and the beauty of nature that capture Ashish’s interest.