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About Me

I was raised in the picturesque city of Pune, where a deep reverence for the natural world is instilled from a young age. My passion for wildlife was further ignited by my parents, both zoologists, who introduced me to the wonders of the natural world by taking me to pristine sanctuaries like Bhimashankar and the Koyna Backwaters, where I marveled at the beauty of birds and the grace of giant squirrels.

During my high school years, I embarked on a journey that saw me participating in wildlife camps throughout the country, evolving from a mere student to a camp leader. This transformative experience, which involved traveling at a tender age, deciphering the language of the forest, and sharing enthralling tales with fellow enthusiasts, naturally paved the path for my career in wildlife and conservation. While pursuing my undergraduate degree at St.Xavier's College Mumbai, I eagerly volunteered under the mentorship of independent researchers, honing my understanding of field biology and ultimately steering me towards the study of animal behaviour. This journey culminated in my pursuit of a Master's degree and eventually a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from the Wildlife Institute of India.

For my Master's thesis, I designed the first ever ethogram for studying dhole (Cuon alpinus) behaviour. I conducted extensive field work, observed, and video-graphed dholes in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, India. After publishing my study, I moved on to studying dispersing tigers (Panthera tigris) in the human-dominated landsapes of Eastern Vidarbha. Personally, this first of its kind study broadened my understanding of large carnivore ecology and conservation. I learnt the unique features of studying large carnivores both inside and outside the Protected Area Network.

On completion of this study, I continued behavioural studies on dholes for my Ph.D. We radio-collared 5 dholes across age and sex classes from four packs at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. By conducting scat translocation experiments, I tried to understand whether dholes can differentiate between strangers vs. neighbours, and whether they exhibit the 'dear enemy hypothesis'. I also studied how dholes compete with tigers and leopards (Panthera pardus) in terms of time, space and diet.

Currently I am looking for postdoctoral positions in the field of animal behaviour, cognition, large mammal ecology, and/or human-wildlife interactions and conservation issues.

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