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Anita Varghese

MSc, Pondicherry University

PhD, University of Hawaii

I am Director at Keystone Foundation. I lead the Biodiversity team at Keystone which undertakes implementation and action research projects on Human wildlife interactions, Apiculture, Restoration, and Climate Change. The community based conservation program at Keystone is supported by a team of Barefoot Ecologists who are local indigenous women, men and youth. I am one of the founders of the Nilgiri Natural History Society. I am the Chair of the Western Ghats Plant Specialist Group of the SSC IUCN, which was established in 2019 and has a 50+ members who are scientific and practice experts from the region. Additionally I am a member of the Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group steering committee (CEESP/SSC - IUCN) and Cycad specialist group (SSC/IUCN). My interests are in conservation specifically on sustainable use, non-timber forest products, and long term population dynamics of harvested species, human wildlife interactions, invasive plants, cycads, and endangered trees. My work looks at the factors that mediate the relationship between people and nature, specifically how the goals of conservation and development can be harmonised.