Apoorva Kulkarni

Apoorva Kulkarni


Name: Apoorva Kulkarni
Position: DPhil student
Email: apoorva.kulkarni@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Short biography:                                                                                                             

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. Post my masters, I was awarded the Global Fellowship in Marine Conservation by Duke University; followed-up by a mini-grant by Oak Foundation to collaborate with Conservation International, Brazil and work on community-based conservation networking. My colleagues and I then founded the Marine Conservation without Borders initiative in 2014.

In 2015, I worked as a Research Associate at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) on the India Biodiversity Portal project to create species distribution maps and digitalize historic data from the fauna of British India. After a long stint at the desk, I took up the position of a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Lethbridge, Canada to study the acoustic communication of the endemic Adelaide’s warbler (Setophaga adelaidae) in Puerto Rico. During this time, I collected blood samples, biometric data, colour- banded 75 warblers and ran bio-acoustic experiments. Following this experience, I returned to work an independent researcheralongside government and local NGO’s to initiate field-based research and community engagement for biodiversity conservation in India.

Current research activities: 

My doctoral 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 central Western Ghats in India. I am supervised by Prof. Andrew Gosler of the Ethno-ornithology World Atlas group and funded by the Indira Gandhi Graduate scholarship for my DPhil.

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, human-wildlife relationships and the salient factors influencing the above. Through this project, I would address how traditional/ local ecological knowledge can inform species conservation not only at a grassroot level but also in conservation planning and species status assessment at a global scale.

More information can be found on my personal website: www.apoorvakulkarni.com


Ghosh, R., Dhyani, S., Kumar, B., Sinha, N., Raghavan, R., Selvaraj, G., Divakar, N., Anoop, V. K., Shalu, K., Sinha, A., Kulkarni, A., Das, S., Molur, S. (2021) Insights on COVID-19 impacts, challenges and opportunities for India’s biodiversity research: from Complexity to building adaptations. Biological Conservation (in press).

Kulkarni, A. (2012) Turtle Times. Conserving coastal & marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods, International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv Messengers Booklet, pg. 47.