Nita Shashidharan

Nita Shashidharan's picture
Nita Shashidharan
Ph.D. Student
Real name: 

Research Interests:

My research spans four key domains: Landscape Sustainability Science, Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing, Conservation and Livelihoods, and Global Environmental Change.

My core research interests include - 

a) the monitoring and analysis of environmental change over space and time and its relevance for landscape conservation,

b) understanding patterns and processes that are drivers of change in human-environmental interactions,

c) addressing questions of sustainable land use with a focus on conservation and livelihoods,

d) advances in remote sensing and GIS especially open source and its potential application for citizen science and environmental monitoring. 

I am keen on being a researcher and educator who engages in activities that target science, policy, practice and outreach. 

My PhD research aims to understand the spatio-temporal trends & patterns in forest-agricultural land use/land cover and linked provisioning ecosystem services in a protected area in South India. For this, I use both natural and social sciences methods - remote sensing and GIS, time series and geo-computation skills, land surveys, vegetation assessment, interviews and focus group discussions to examine underlying concerns of sustainable land use and people-PA conflicts and co-existence.

Doctoral Advisory Committee: 

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Dr. Milind Bunyan, ATREE 

Dr. Harini Nagendra, Azim Premji University

Dr. Anita Varghese, Keystone Foundation




M.Sc. Environmental Science, (2011), Institute of Science, University of Mumbai

B.Sc. Life Science, (2008), Sophia College, University of Mumbai

Professional Networks:

Member, Women in Geospatial +

Member, Global Land Programme (GLP)

Advisory Board, Young Ecosystem Service Specialists (YESS)

Executive Team Member, RLadies Bengaluru, A Wing of the RLadies Global Initiative

Member, American Geophysical Unit - Advancing Earth and Space Sciences (AGU)

Member, American Association of Geographers (AAG)

Member, International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Nature Systems (CHANS)

Co-Founder and on past Editorial Board (along with a group of other young researchers at ATREE Research Assistants, Research Associates, Interns, PhD students), ATREE Young Researchers Network Blog (2016 to 2022)


(2022) Oral presentation on - "Of Bandits, Conservation, and Climate: Changing forest-agricultural livelihood relations in Oorali villages in a Protected Areas in South India" at the Forest and Livelihoods Conference, Rome, Italy. (Virtual Presentation) 

(2019) Poster presentation on – “Changing forest-agricultural dynamics and provisioning ecosystem services under climatic variability and institutional change: A Case of a Tropical Tiger Reserve in India” at the Central Indian Landscape Symposium, Melghat, Maharashtra.

(2012) Poster presentation on “Monitoring and Evaluating Land Use/Land Cover using remote sensing and geographic information system as a tool – A participatory approach” at Students Conference of Conservation Science, Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Grants, Awards, and Fellowships:

Nagrathna Memorial + Gurusiddappa Sulkunte and Ujjawala Sulkunte Grant (NMG+GSUS 2022)

Education Grant (Aug 2015 to Aug 2020), Tata Education Trust

Green Lead Fellowship, to support the project “Citizen Science: Assessing its potential and capacity building for the environment” along with team member Parveen Shaikh

Lectureship (Environmental Science), State Eligibility Test, Maharashtra

Peer-reviewed Publications:

A. Peer-reviewed Publications

Sreejith, K. A., Sreekumar, V. B., Prashob, P., Nita, S., Prejith, M. P., & Sanil, M. S. (2020). A checklist of angiosperm flora of low elevation lateritic hills of northern Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 12(9), 16077-16098.                                                                                                                                                Shashidharan, N. and Quadros, G. (2013). Bridging gaps: Open Source geospatial technology as a public participatory tool for landscape assessment. In: Proceedings of the National Conference on Biodiversity: Status and Challenges in Conservation – ‘FAVEO’ 2013, 224-229. ISBN: 978-81-923628-1-6

Book Contributions:

Subject Expert, (2018 - 2019).Green World - 101 Things to Do Series on Earth, Plant, Animals, Water, Air. Puffin Publication (5 books).

Print and Online Popular Articles:

Shashidharan, N. & Weins, N. Volunteering our Way to Better support Networks for Young Ecosystem Service Researchers. October, 2022. Nature Words Blog - The Blog of the Young Ecosystem Service Specialist (YESS) Network, Medium.  

Shashidharan, N. Dr. Harini Nagendra: Ecologist by profession, writer by passion. September, 2022. A Rukhmabai fellowship initiative to cover Indian women in STEM by women journalists. 

Shashidharan, N. A Teacher a Student Remembers. 2021. ATREE Young Researchers Network Blog. 

Shashidharan, N. Of Land and Rights. 2019. ATREE Young Researchers Network Blog.

Shashidharan, N. & Warrier, D. On Birds and Databases. Hornbill. July-September, 2013. PP 27-30. Print.

Shashidharan, N. 'Trees For All-The Importance of Green Cover'. The Green Runner. 1(1). November 2012. GreenLine e-newsletter.





Thesis Title: 
Climate, People and Institutions: A Spatio-temporal Analysis of Forest Cover Change, Land Use and Linked Ecosystem Services in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu

People Page

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy's picture

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy

  • Senior Adjunct Fellow, ATREE
  • Ecosystem Services & Human Wellbeing