Professor and Reconciliation Ecologist in Raleigh, North Carolina
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science and the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program for Leadership in Public Science at North Carolina State University. I am also the Editor-in-Chief of The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.
I am an evolutionary ecologist who discovered birds as an undergrad after growing up a nature-oblivious urban kid near Bombay, went chasing after vanishing wildernesses in the Himalaya and Western Ghats as a grad student, and returned to study cities up as a reconciliation ecologist. I now engage local communities and the broader public in studying how human activities and histories of colonization and segregation shape the distribution of nature and biodiversity in urban areas. My work centers Reconciliation Ecology—the application of evolutionary ecology to find real-world solutions for reconciling biodiversity conservation with human wellbeing. I am also interested in the ethics of ecological research, nature conservation, and of how humans learn to live with other species. I am actively engaged in rethinking and redesigning my own research and the teaching of ecology and conservation biology within a broader framework of decolonizing science.
Before moving to NCSU, I led the multidisciplinary Urban Long-Term Research Area - Fresno And Clovis Ecosocial Study (ULTRA-FACES) project, studying the interactions between water policy, human water use, and urban biodiversity in California's Central Valley. I serve on the steering committee of UrBioNet, a network that grew from an NCEAS Working Group to study global urban biodiversity.
I strive to make science a part of our everyday culture. My writing has appeared in The Conversation, The Nature of Cities, Coyot.es Network, and other outlets. I founded the Central Valley Café Scientifique and hosted an affiliated radio show, "Science: A Candle In The Dark" which is now hosted by a colleague from Fresno State, and continues to air on the 4th Tue of each month at 3:30PM (Pacific Time). Episode of the show hosted by me are also available as a podcast.