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I completed my PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago in July 2007. Part of my PhD project dealt with the distribution and abundance of snow leopards using behavioral clues of their prey. Everest. The theoretical part of the work was on modeling pre-predator relationship, evaluating the role of predators on ecosystem and the implications of major ecological theories in biodiversity conservation and management. In 2008 and 2009, I evaluated habitat selection by small mammals in meticulous details in Canada’s arctic. Since May 2009, I have been evaluating and developing models for corridor habitats in east Himalayan Eco-region in collaboration with ESRI, Snow Leopard Conservancy, and Texas A&M University – at first through the University of Minnesota -- and now here at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to initiating the PhD program in Chicago in 2002, I worked with the environmental agencies such as Nepal’s National Trust for Nature Conservation in managing biodiversity, energy and climate change projects, for almost a decade (1993 to 2002), through community-based stewardship. During this period, as the National Program Manager for the UNDP-GEF project (~ $2 million), I led the foundation work for biodiversity monitoring and management for globally significant Himalayan ecosystem. I am currently the lecturer at the University of Illinois, Biology Adjunct at Wright College, and Regional Conservation Director for Snow Leopard Conservancy – Nepal program.
I am a mud-and-boots field biologist and evolutionary ecologist. My research interests involve population, community, ecosystem, and evolutionary ecology, and the application of ecological theories to change the way people do things in biodiversity conservation, education, and society at large. I use foraging behaviors of prey to assess the ecology and behavior of its predator. I apply the principles of ecology of fear, foraging and vigilance theories to link individual behavioral responses to population-and community-level consequences. This investigation involves assessing and modeling predation-risk. On the other related frontier, I explore the theories of habitat selection that may reveal competition as one of mechanisms for community organization and resulting biodiversity. The interest here is to understand how habitat selection, as behavioral strategy, determines the outcome of competition and coexistence among the species.
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