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Aravalli west thorn scrub forests, Rann of Kutch seasonal salt marsh


Field biologist, Researcher, Scientist

Ankila Hiremath

Adjunct Senior Fellow, ATREE

Looking back, I think I wanted to be involved in ecological restoration long before I knew that there was such a thing, thanks to a number of inspiring teachers—nature included. I trained as a plant ecologist, feeling that would give me a better understanding of the process by which ecological systems assemble. Over the years, working in forested landscapes of South India, and in arid grasslands of India’s north-west, I have also come to appreciate the role of history and culture in shaping landscapes. This has brought with it the learning that restoration is not just an ecological process but also a social-ecological process. So far, the work my colleagues and I have done has been in the form of small-scale restoration experiments. Most recently, this has involved trying to understand how best to restore Prosopis-invaded grasslands in the Banni, Kutch, under different management practices. I am also part of a team that is building on scientific and local knowledge to try and restore Lantana-invaded savanna woodlands in Karnataka.