Apoorva Kulkarni

Research Interests

I am an ecologist, primarily interested in all aspects of wildlife-human interactions and applied conservation.

My D.Phil research explores the inclusion of traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous communities alongside scientific ecological knowledge for conserving endemic and threatened fauna in the rich tropical forests of Western Ghats in India. I am supervised by Professor Andrew Gosler. My research focuses on understanding and preserving cultural, ecological, linguistic and spiritual ethnobiological knowledge of the Siddi (Afro-Indian) community; and intends to contribute to the ongoing paradigm shift in conservation by mainstreaming them into the conservation narrative. My study tends to inform effective conservation management of endemic populations of seed-dispersing birds, mammals and, freshwater fishes by taking into account the historic and contemporary ecological knowledge, ethno-taxonomy, exploring human-wildlife relationships and the salient factors influencing the above. I post-graduated with a Masters in Ecology from Pondicherry University in 2013, where I studied the socio-economics and perceptions around smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) and fishermen interactions in the Cauvery River in southern India, funded by the International Otter Survival Fund, UK. Alongside research, I am also an active participant and contributor at policy based global forums such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity- Conference of the Parties (UN CBD-COP) and Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) COP voicing for mainstreaming indigenous communities in wildlife conservation.

I am also a trained Natural History Illustrator and use art as a medium to communicate conservation science. You can explore more about my research, outreach and artwork on www.apoorvakulkarni.com

Additional Affiliations


Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholar, Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development