Dr. Milind Bunyan
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Milind is the Coordinator of the Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies at ATREE. At the Academy, he assists the Convenor in designing and planning its activities including its pioneering and flagship PhD programme, certificate courses and training programmes for conservation professionals, researchers and practitioners.
Milind also conducts research in assessing the impacts of global change drivers and especially invasive alien species and climate on natural ecosystems. For this, he uses a combination of field and remotely-sensed data to understand how landscapes, species and communities have responded and may respond in the future, to these drivers.
His recent research assesses the impacts of the spread of invasive alien species in southern India and specifically, in the Nilgiris and Anaimalai-Palani high elevation landscapes. One effort, with Robin Vijayan and other colleagues in IISER Tirupati, investigates the ecosystem-wide loss of shola grasslands to exotic invasive timber plantations in the Western Ghats. The other, with Ankila Hiremath, seeks to develop a platform to collate data on invasive alien species using the power of citizen-science, while retaining scientific rigour.
Prior to this, Milind worked on a cross-regional assessment of the impact of climate-related impacts on vulnerable communities and ecosystems in semi-arid regions through the ASSAR project. At ATREE, he lead the effort on demonstrating forest and natural ecosystem response to climate change in Tamil Nadu and how this may impact communities that depend on these ecosystems. This, in turn, was preceded by his postdoctoral research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he worked on an assessment of biologically significant avian habitat in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, National Parks Service and Clark County, Nevada.
Milind holds a PhD in Forest Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida when he studied vegetation response to edge-effects in the shola-grassland mosaic. This followed a Masters in Forest Ecology and Management from the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and a Bachelor's degree with a triple major in Chemistry, Environmental Science and Botany from St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore.