Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, Head

Ankur Patwardhan holds a doctorate in Environmental Sciences. His current research projects focus on recovery, including ex-situ and bioprospecting of threatened plant taxa from Western Ghats of India, one of the 34 global biodiversity hot-spots. It includes quantification and mapping of plant resources of Western Ghats, besides documenting traditional knowledge and community conservation practices. He also undertakes Ecological Assessments projects and Biodiversity Management Plans. In honorary capacities, he guides research activities at RANWA (www.ranwa.org) and is on the editorial board of African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

Email : ankurpatwardhan@gmail.com                                                        Web : www.ankurpatwardhan.com

Dr. Mugdha Divekar Bakshi

Mugdha Bakshi completed her graduate studies in Biotechnology and decided to carry out her PhD in Natural Sciences from Germany. She has an expertise in Marine Microbiology with an industrial experience in the same at Piramal Healthcare.. Having an academic experience, she developed her interests in teaching and sharing her knowledge with the students to help them in discovering their future. She has a previous working experience as a faculty for Biotechnology at Bangalore and Pune. Her research interests lie in natural product isolation from marine and terrestrial sources and their optimization for medicinal use.

Email : divekar.mugdha@gmail.com

Sumedha Korgaonkar

An ardent marine biologist, she has graduated in Zoology – Biotechnology and did her masters in Endocrinology with dual specialization in Oceanography from Mumbai university with higher first class. She has cleared CSIR – UGC NET twice in Dec 2010 and Jun 2011 with all India ranking 164 and 20 resp. Her field of interest in research is marine biology. And is keen in incorporating biotechnological tool in her research work. Apart from academics her other field of interest & expertise is photography specifically scientific and marine photography.



Email : sumedhakorgaonkar@gmail.com

Medhavi Tadwalkar

As a student of Masters in Biodiverisity, she worked on woody species diversity of the Protected Area in the northern part of Western Ghats, with special reference to Chandoli National Park. It included the studies related to existing woody species diversity and factors affecting diversity. Besides, she has also worked on documentation and nutritional analysis of Wild Edible Plants from Maval Taluk. With her team members, she developed a field guide and a recipe book of these plants. She worked as a Research Fellow on DBT funded project involving Mapping and Distribution of Plant Resources of Western Ghats after completing Masters. She was associated with the Biodiversity assessment studies for Forest Department and private land owners which also included consultation regarding plantation of Indigenous species. She worked as a consultant of herbal garden and home herbal garden for various stakeholders. Actively participated in the organizing the National Conference on Biodiversity Assessment, Conservation and Utilization (February 2012), organized by the Dept. of Biodiversity, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

Currently, she is Research Project Coordinator and Contributory Lecturer in the Department and a Research Associate of RANWA. Her research interests include gaining insights into plant- animal interaction especially dispersal in northern Western Ghats.

Email : medhavitadwalkar@yahoo.co.in    

  Ph.D. Research Scholars

Mr. Makarand Pimputkar

Title : Ecological Studies on two commercially important species –Salacia chinensis Linn. and Saraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde from Western Ghats of Maharashtra". 

Makarand’s study includes exploring ecology, population studies, cultivation, seed biology, regeneration and conservation aspects of two commercially important threatened plant species namely Salacia chinensis (vern. saptarangi) and Saraca asoca (vern. Seeta ashok). Salacia is mainly used in preparation of anti-diabetic medicines. Saraca is found effective in treatments of uterine disorders, piles and dysentery. He is being guided by Dr. Ankur Patwardhan and Dr. Mahesh Shindikar

Ms. Ashwini Keskar

Title : Diversity, Distribution Patterns and Molecular Phylogeny of hill stream loaches (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae, Cobitidae) along the environmental gradients of the Northern Western Ghats

Ashwini’s study deals with understanding diversity, distributional patterns along with molecular phylogeny of hill stream loaches with studying some aspects of their ecology and conservation from selected sites in northern Western Ghats. She is being guided by Dr. Anand Padhye & Dr. Neelesh Dahanukar

Mr. Nikhil Modak

Title : Ecology and Molecular phylogeny of leaping frogs (Anura: Ranixalidae) from Northern Western Ghats of India with their conservation implications.

Nikhil’s work includes study of the breeding and developmental ecology, food and feeding behaviour as well as habitat/microhabitat preferences and phylogenetic relationships among the species of Leaping frog Indirana from northern Western Ghats. He is being guided by Dr. Anand Padhye & Dr. Neelesh Dahanukar

Ms. Shruti Paripatyadar

Title : The study of aquatic Heteroptera (true bugs) in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra:

Study of aquatic and semi-aquatic bugs belonging to infra-orders Nepomorpha, Gerromorpha and Leptopodomorpha will be carried out with special emphasis on their diversity, ecology and distribution patterns in the study area. Complete life history studies will be carried out on a common Belostomatid bug, Diplonychus rusticus based on field as well as laboratory studies.

  DST Women Scientist

Monali Mhaskar

Monali has completed her graduation in Botany and masters in biodiversity before assisting on a ISRO-UoP project related to ‘Application of RS-GIS in Conservation of medicinal plants’. She was also a team member of national level project on plant resources of Western Ghats supported by DBT, India. Her keen interests in learning about RS-GIS techniques, helped her to secure a prize at SCCS held at IISc, Bangalore. She was also instrumental in designing modules related to biodiversity studies. She also possesses a working knowledge of database management. Her research interests include assessment of biotic and abiotic drivers shaping species interactions.

Email : monali.mhaskar@gmail.com    

  Research Fellow

Amit Bansude

On completion of his graduation in Agriculture, Amit opted Forestry subject for his post graduation from Kokan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli. For his M.Sc. project he worked on Seed biology of Garcinia talbotti an economically important plant species. After his post graduation he worked on the seed biology of RET plant Saraca asoca as a research fellow. He is currently working as a junior research fellow on MoEF supported project of Ecological service assessment of the Sacred Groves. He is a keen observer and an hard core field worker.

Email : amitbansude007@gmail.com    

  Visiting Faculty

Varad Giri

Presently working as Senior Scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai. His main area of interest is the taxonomy of caecilian and geckos. To his credit there are about 45 scientific publications in peer reviewed national and international journals. Notable publications among these are description of 25 new species of amphibians and reptiles from India. He is Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum, London.

Email : varadgiri@gmail.com    

Poorva S. Joshi

Poorva S Joshi holds a Masters’ degree in Botany from University of Pune. She has over ten years of experience in teaching biology to students’ up to the Masters level. She is involved in research on medicinal plants and their conservation. She contributes to medicinal plant related projects and other developmental activities, and research articles. She has co-authored a book “Introduction to Plant Physiology” (ISBN-81-900565-4-9) in 2000. She has published a paper on “Studies on high temperature stress tolerance during early stages in wheat genotypes” during her stint at the Division of Plant Physiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

Email : poorva_joshi@yahoo.com    

Asim Manohar Auti

Asim is currently involved in teaching graduate and undergraduate students of Biotechnology, Industrial Microbiology and Biodiversity. After doing M.Sc. in Biodiversity and then working for PhD in University of Bremen, Germany, he has joined this carrer of teaching after carefully thinking about the responsibility of a Teacher in the field of science. Department of Biodiversity, founded with a focus on research while learning, gives him a liberal platform to continue in the new developing field of academics to try newer and successful methods in teaching and understanding the overall concept of science itself. He is most interested in the fields of Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Evolution, Conservation Ecology and Science of relevance.

Email : asimauti@gmail.com    

  Non Teaching / Support Staff

Bhushan Raut

Bhushan is working as Lab Assistant in Dept Of Biodiversity. He has done B.com special in Cost and work accounting from University of Pune. He is currently pursuing M.Comfrom University of Pune with special subject – Banking and Finance. He has also done Diploma in Journalism from YCMOU (press Media). His hobbies are Trekking & Traveling.


Kishor Sathe

Kishor has been associated with the department since the past four years as a laboratory attendent. Having a good understanding of Marathi, Hindi and English, he is of help to the staff and students.


Ganesh Kale

Ganesh has a graduate degree in Commerce and is currently pursuing his M.Com from Pune University. He has recently joined the department as an administrative assistant. He has keen interest in accounting and is an avid nature lover.