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Ecoregion

East Deccan dry-evergreen forests, East Deccan moist deciduous forests, Orissa semi-evergreen forests

Expertise

Botanist, Researcher, Student, Ecologist

Sangram Sahoo

MSc Student, Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanjadeo University

I was attracted towards forest and their habitat during my undergraduate study at Udayanath Autonomous College of Science And Technology, under Utkal University which is located close to the Cuttack. Here, at the Department of Botany, I volunteered in the major research project on the biodiversity which involved spending several hours on a cycle conducting transects and documenting observations. The research drew attention of lawmakers towards a fragile ecosystem threatened by the proposed construction activities. I emerged with a more sophisticated insight on forest plant species and their conservation, wishing to improve this knowledge with higher studies. This new interest gained impetus in my 3-year course of B.Sc. (Botany) which propelled me to create a Plant Specimen Collection at the department for taxonomic studies. I led the team which collected, identified and preserved the plant more than 300 species. These initial years spent near our College left an indelible mark on me to pursue a research-based career in Forest ecology. I entered into a 2-year M.Sc. program (Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation) at Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanjadeo University with a focus on learning new tools to study biodiversity, population dynamics and ecological responses of Forest communities towards environmental changes. I conducted a research project which investigated the diversity, abundance and bioactive potential of intertidal organisms at Manchabandha Reserve Forest, Baripada.

This study threw light on changes in species diversity and abundance under severe anthropogenic pressure on the polluted Forest area. I spent two months at Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Central Region, Jabalpur as intern gaining experience on sampling the various plant species which is mostly threatened and later analysis of samples at the laboratory. One who has knowledge has the ability to make a difference. Climate change has changed the world’s perception towards forest ecosystems. My interest in studying its impacts on vulnerable species inspired me to apply as a student member for the Indian Science Congress Association . I was selected for All India Tigers Estimation which I defended successfully in front of top experts from the field. I was in Bonai forest division for 1 months and conducted on-board experiments on various forest cover.Experiments were conducted to measure their metabolic rates at different temperature ranges. This fantastic experience exposed me to the working conditions on a jeep during rough weather which I handled well. It also gave me a rare opportunity to assist the scientists from RPRC Institute of Bhubaneswar who were studying the abundance and distribution of tree species. I helped them in conducting aerial transects and photo-documentation for forest management. This expedition helped a lot in consolidating my understanding of the ecological aspects of forest ecosystem and the factors influencing their distribution and abundance.