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My research focuses on understanding and integrating local peoples' perspectives into land management and biodiversity conservation efforts. I study how they understand, interact, and manage local ecosystems across topics of biocultural food security, human-wildlife coexistence, sociocultural dimensions of protected areas, and traditional land management practices (like cultural burning, agroforestry) with an underlying objective to enhance our collective knowledge and skills to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.

Through my work, I am committed to bringing forward the knowledge and lived experiences of local communities, especially historically marginalized communities like Indigenous and local communities, to inform land management, biodiversity conservation, and ecological restoration policies and practices.


Roted in local community-engaged empirical work, my research seeks to expand its reach to a global scale by exploring commonalities in the knowledge systems, ontologies, experiences, and histories across communities without diminishing their uniqueness. The goal is to foster stronger alliances among local communities globally to leverage their diverse perspectives to enhance our collective knowledge and skills to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. 


My research vision highlights three crosscutting questions/approaches:

  1. Local Ecological Understanding and Interactions: Exploring the depth of local communities' understanding and interactions with their ecosystems

  2. ​Historical Suppression of Local Knowledge: Investigating the impacts of these suppressions/erasures on local people, livelihoods, and land relationships

  3. ​Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Examining how local ecological knowledge and experiences can inform biodiversity science and contribute to inclusive and sustainable conservation and land restoration practices

Using community-engaged ethnographies, mapping, interviews, surveys, and multi-disciplinary collaborations, I critically examine the contemporary biodiversity conservation and land management approaches.Bringing these research inquiries, I currently work with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in Asia and North America.

Bio-cultural Food Security 


Impact of conservation efforts on traditional forest-based food systems, its consequences on food security and the socio-cultural dynamics of forest-dependent communities.

Human- Wildlife Interactions

Socio-cultural dimensions of protected areas

Traditional land management practices

Characterization of human- animal interactions and examine the consequences of any distorted categorizations on the local people and wildlife 

Multifaceted significance of protected areas, moving beyond their traditional roles as conservation sites to emphasize their broader cultural and ecological importance

Importance of traditional land management practices in maintaining local ecosystems, that supports healthy human- land relationships

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