Dr. Varun Goswami

4 months, 3 weeks ago 0
Posted in: Staff

Dr. Varun R. Goswami initially joined WCS India Program in 2003, and currently works as Associate Director – Conservation Science. He obtained his Masters in Wildlife Biology and Conservation in 2006 from the multi-institutional graduate program at NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore, offered by NCBS in collaboration with WCS India Program. He thereafter got his Doctorate from the University of Florida in 2013 for his thesis, ‘Of Populations, Habitat and People: The Asian Elephant in a World Fast Changing’. Professor Madan K. Oli, was his PhD advisor.

Varun’s overarching goal is to work towards the conservation of wildlife and their habitats in its broadest sense. Towards such an end, his research interests are largely applied in nature, and aimed at building a strong scientific basis for conservation action and policy. For his PhD, Varun investigated Asian elephant population dynamics, space use and interactions with people in heterogeneous landscapes to inform spatial conservation planning for the species. He used advanced quantitative tools, including matrix population models and occupancy sampling and analyses. His master’s research, also on Asian elephants, involved the first application of photographic capture–recapture modelling towards reliable estimation of demographic parameters for the species. Varun uses his expertise to build and shape WCS India’s elephant program in the country. He also co-leads the organisation’s wildlife research and conservation program in Northeast India. Varun has received grants from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, IUCN–KfW Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme, World Wildlife Fund Asian Rhinoceros and Elephant Action Strategy among others, and awards for outstanding graduate research from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida. He is a member of the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group. He also co-teaches population ecology and estimation at the WCS–NCBS MSc Program in Wildlife Biology & Conservation.

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