017: Valuing the community level and changing sustainability narratives with Harini Nagendra

Harini Nagendra is a Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University. Her recent book “Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present, and Future” (Oxford University Press India, 2016) examines the transformation of human-nature interactions in Bangalore from the 6th century CE to the present, addressing the implications of such change for the urban sustainability of fast-growing cities in the global South. The book was listed by the science journal Nature as one of the five best science picks of the week in its issue of July 28 2016.


Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future


Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities


Prof. Nagendra is an ecologist who uses methods from the natural and social sciences – satellite remote sensing, biodiversity studies, archival research, GIS, institutional analysis, and community interviews, to examine the sustainability of forests and cities in the global South. She completed her PhD from the Centre for Ecological Sciences in the Indian Institute of Science in 1998. Since then, she has conducted research and taught at multiple institutions, and was most recently a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2013. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her research, including a 2017 Web of Science 2017 India Research Excellence Award as the most cited Indian researcher in the category of Interdisciplinary Research; a 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award for her research and practice on issues of the urban commons, and a 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (with Elinor Ostrom).

Along with her two books, she has authored over 150 peer reviewed publications, including in journals such as Nature, Nature Sustainability and Science. She writes extensively on her research for the public via newspaper and magazine articles, science blogs, and has given a number of public talks for science communication. She also engages with international research on global environmental change, She is a Steering Committees member of the Future Earth Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society and a former Steering Committee Member of the Global Land Project, Diversitas and a Capacity Building Committee member of the Asia Pacific Network for Global Environmental Change. She has also been a Lead Author of the 5th IPCC Report – Working Group III.

Harini’s Google Scholar page


Link to her commentary piece in Nature 2018


Link to her recent article in Nature Sustainability


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