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South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests, South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, South Western Ghats montane rainforests


Botanist, Community leader, Researcher, Ecologist

Dr. TA Suresh Ayyappakutty

Foundation for Environmental Conservation, Education And Research (FECER)

I obtained a PhD in invasion ecology of plants from the Forest Research Institute Deemed University, India in 2015. My doctoral work was on the biology, spread and management of the invasive alien plant Mimosa diplotricha var. diplotricha in the Western Ghat forests of India. My exposure to research started from 2000 onwards when I collaborated and worked in different internationally collaborative research projects (India-Australia, India-UK and FAO of the UN) at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), India. These projects mainly dealt with biology, ecology and control of invasive alien species occurring in the region. I developed skills in research methodology, conducting field experiments and preparing project proposals and reports during my stint as researcher as discussed above. A lion’s share of my time was spent on survey, mapping and study of the biology, spread and management of invasive alien plants. I was also instrumental in multiplying and releasing Puccinia spegazzinii as the biological control agent of the invasive weed Mikania micrantha which is widespread in the Western Ghats. Later, during my work at Kerala State Biodiversity Board (2017-2022) done a project entitled, “ Conservation of Agrobiodiversity” in eight flood affected districts ( Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Alappuzha, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Malappuram, Wayanad) . Visited eight districts and collected information of farmer community conserving agrobiodiversity and provide financial assistance for further work. I have experience in conducting field work in deep forests and difficult terrains under minimum facilities.

Also worked in the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Invasive Species Network (APFISN), a network under the Food and Agriculture Organization which aimed at mitigating the threats of invasive alien species (IAS) in the Asia-Pacific region. I assisted the Coordinator in organizing several National and International workshops on IAS and in preparing pest fact sheets, newsletters and making films on IAS in the region. I also co-authored four books on the topic one of which dealt with invasive alien plants in the forests of the Asia-Pacific region which was published by the FAO. One of my other activities during my tenure at KFRI was creating awareness on the damages due to IAS among foresters, scientists, students, teachers and the common public.