097: Science, people, and cross-disciplinary research in conservation with Ghazala Shahabuddin

In this episode, Divya speaks with Dr. Ghazala Shahabuddin. Ghazala is an ecologist based in India, where she currently teaches at the Ashoka University and is also working on multiple projects focusing on the ecological and institutional aspects of decentralized forest management, conservation, wildlife policy and politics, and community-based ecotourism. 

They talk about Ghazala’s important work on conservation-induced displacement in India, which she has written extensively about in several books and articles (links below), particularly her books: Conservation at the Crossroads: Science, Society and the Future of India’s Wildlife and Making Conservation Work (co-edited with Dr. Mahesh Rangarajan). They also discuss Ghazala’s ongoing work on the impacts of land-use change on natural ecosystems and community-based ecotourism in the mid-Himalayan region of India. Ghazala’s work although diverse, we see that the common themes cutting across her work are the role of science in informing human dimensions of environment and policy, local people and histories in conservation, and the role of context-specific studies in informing global discourses on climate change and development. 

More information on Ghazala’s work: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ghazala-Shahabuddin


Shahabuddin, G. (2010). Conservation at the crossroads: science, society, and the future of India’s wildlife. New India Foundation.

Shahabuddin, G., & Rangarajan, M. (Eds.). (2007). Making conservation work: Securing biodiversity in this new century. Permanent Black.

Shahabuddin, G., Goswami, R., & Gupta, M. (2017). An annotated checklist of the birds of banj oak–chir pine forests in Kumaon, Uttarakhand. Indian Birds13(2), 29-36.

Shahabuddin, G., Goswami, R., Krishnadas, M., & Menon, T. (2021). Decline in forest bird species and guilds due to land use change in the Western Himalaya. Global Ecology and Conservation25, e01447.

Shahabuddin, G. (2021). Lived in the lived landscape: A decade of insights. Sanctuary Asia, 41(10).