Invited Seminar at CES on 14 March 2018 at 11:00 am titled "Examining the functional ecology and sociology of human-wildlife coexistence" by Dr. Nitin Sekar from
As a visiting doctoral student at IISc (2010-14) , I and my collaborators had two major streams of research. First, we attempted to understand whether elephants were functionally unique or redundant as seed dispersers in Buxa Tiger Reserve, testing the ecological theory and intuition that physiologically and behaviorally distinct species are also functionally non-redundant. Realizing that human activities near Buxa had drastically altered the forest's seed dispersal ecology, I began wondering how ecological communities might be restored in a way that is fair to local human communities. I conducted research on how purportedly voluntary village relocation from Melghat Tiger Reserve had affected socioeconomic outcomes for relocated and non-relocated villagers. After reviewing the main results from these efforts, I will explain how I hope to combine functional ecological and socioeconomic inquiry to understand how conservation interventions affect both people and ecological processes.