Faculty

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

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. She is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Phenological Studies of Plants in Amboli.

Email : medhavitadwalkar@yahoo.co.in    

Sonali Shinde

Sonali Shinde completed her Masters in microbiology. She was associated with several research projects in IBB, NCCS and URDIP. She has sound knowledge of basic microbiology, molecular tools, research methodologies and procedures of patenting an invention. She has her expertise in Molecular Modeling, Docking, Molecular Simulation and metabolic network construction to find the drug target. Results obtained by her are presented in various national and international conferences and are also published in international scientific journals of repute. Her research interests are natural product chemistry and exploring the microbial diversity. She is a member of Jaivik Shastram blog which explores day to day research in an around world and several opportunities important for a life science student.

Email : shindesonali14@yahoo.co.in    

  Adjunct Faculty

Dr. D.G. Naik

He has obtained Ph D. in Organic Chemistry from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He worked at Union Carbide (India) Ltd, R&D Center, Bhopal as a Research Officer from 1982-1986. During this period he was deputed as ‘Visiting  Scientist’ at Union Carbide Agricultural Products company, Research Triangle Park (NC), U.S.A. Later he joined Agharkar Research Institute in 1986 and retired as Head, Chemistry and Biometry department. Presently he is the Project Coordinator at Maharashtra Education Society, Pune and adjunct faculty at Department of Biodiversity.

His research interests include Semiochemicals, Natural product chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry. He is the pioneer in the field of Chemistry of Indian  honeybees. He has successfully carried out isolation, identification, synthesis and bioassay of important honeybee pheromones.

Email : dgnpune@gmail.com    

  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.

Amruta Joglekar

Title : Characterization and germination studies of seeds of selected wild woody plants from Amboli forests of Northern Western Ghats.

Research Interest- Amruta’s PhD study deals with measuring seed characters like seed mass, seed shape, seed length, breadth etc of wild woody plant species of Amboli forests. She is also planning to conduct germination studies and natural regeneration of selected wild plant species. She is guided by Dr. Ankur Patwardhan.

She is also involved in natural resource management and sustainable development studies in tribal belt of Central India with people participation.

Email : amrutamjoglekar@gmail.com    

  DBT Ramalingaswami Fellow

Dr. Dhanashree Ashok Paranjpe

Dhanashree holds doctoral degree in Animal behavior and Evolution. She recently finished her postdoctoral research at University of California, Santa Cruz, CA. She has received Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship from Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. Broad area of her research is Animal Behavior, Ecology and Evolution. Currently she is studying the impact of human vicinity on Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) populations in terms of feeding habits, reproductive behaviors, communication and demographics and the impact of peafowl on local economies in different localities across India.

Email : dhana4shree@gmail.com    

  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    

  Project Assistant

Priyanka Dange

Priyanka has done her Bachelor’s in Biotechnology and Master’s in Biodiversity from Abasaheb Garware College. Currently she is working as a Project Assistant under Dr. Dhanashree Paranjpe, Ramalingaswami Fellow, on a research project titled as: Impact of human vicinity on Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) populations in terms of feeding habits, reproductive behaviours, communication and demographics and the impact of peafowl on local economies in different localities across India. The project is funded by DBT, Govt. of India. Her research interests are Ecology, Evolution, Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Email : dangepm3@gmail.com    

   
  Visiting Faculty

Tejaswini Pachpor

Teaching professional with research experience. Doctorate in Microbiology with 2 yrs of postdoc experience. Hands on experience in yeast molecular biology, protein purification and characterization techniques and scale-up /process optimization for metal enriched yeast production. Have taught Masters and Bachelor students from multiple disciplines Microbiology, Biotechnology, Biodiversity and Optometry topics associated with Basic Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Immunology.

Email : tejaswini.pachpor@gmail.com    

Pankaj Koparde

I am interested in science-driven conservation research and outreach. My particular research interests include biogeography, conservation genetics, citizen science, landscape ecology, odonatology, and science communication. I am also involved in various citizen science projects concerning owls and dragonflies. My doctoral thesis explores evolutionary and ecological explanations to endemicity. For this, I work on the Critically Endangered Forest Owlet and other co-distributed owls. I use molecular tools and techniques, and RS-GIS based niche modeling approach to answering the questions. 

Email : pankajkoparde@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.